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August 2011 | Adam Leach
CBI has mounted a
vigorous defence of the private finance initiative (PFI) as a way to procure
new infrastructure in the UK.
report, Building Strong Foundations,
published by the business group this week said the method had enabled projects
to be completed that were not previously possible.
UK’s Victorian hospitals and dilapidated school buildings needed investment and
the public-private partnership (PPP) approach has directed funding to build and
maintain infrastructure in a way that conventional procurement often failed to
do,” it said.
support follows recent criticism, that - in the Treasury’s own words -
investment has been “timid, uncoordinated, wasteful in its procurement and
insufficiently targeted”. The UK government announced a plan to save £1.5 billion from existing PFI projects in July.
CBI said Britain’s growing and ageing population increases the need to improve
the quality of the country’s infrastructure.
in order to maximise value for money, both the private and public sector must
learn from past mistakes. The public sector needs to ensure tenders don't put
off companies from bidding and stifle competitiveness, and the private sector
must become more agile, meeting the changing requirements of service users.
Bentley, deputy director-general at the CBI, said: “The government must provide
leadership and champion the use of PPPs to fund and deliver projects, otherwise
the opportunity to use private finance will be lost. Companies and investors
will increasingly look overseas for business and the UK will not get the new
infrastructure it needs.”
teams also need to be incentivised to carry out projects quickly and keep to