Perversely, it was Amey's PFI stakes that attracted Ferrovial. Amey, say the Spaniards, is the "best fit" of any UK firm in the sector. In theory, perhaps – but that won't help much in the task of reviving the sickly firm. Ferrovial has got one decision right, by ruling out any change of name. That's always a sign that the patient's condition is terminal. But it will soon have to administer harsh medicine. Gay's prescription included cash injections and cost-cutting, which will be on Ferrovial's agenda, and leaving PFI, which won't. So can they succeed where others failed? Well, here's hoping. After all, they could hardly do any worse.
All hail, McEganNo surprise to learn that MSPs have been stung into action by the outrageous cost overruns on the Scottish parliament. After estimates leaped eightfold to £338m, MSPs have decided to appoint a construction overlord to advise on future projects (see news). Welcome McEgan. In principle, the idea is sound. But it will be hard to find the right candidate, and harder still for them to make an impact. If they start by reflecting on the parliament debacle, though, they will learn lessons about being an effective client. For instance, if you triple the floorspace and the number of committee rooms, and make the external envelope blastproof, don’t be surprised if your contractor needs to jack up the cost a bit. It’s invariably cheaper to decide what you want before you start.
Adrian Barrick, editor