Review will establish if it is a suitable method of delivering projects

The Treasury select committee has launched an inquiry into the future of PFI and will look into whether it is a suitable method of delivering projects. This inquiry will build upon reviews by the National Audit Office and the House of Lords economic affairs committee.

A statement released by the Treasury this week said: “Proponents point to a record of completed projects and argue that the PFI strikes an appropriate balance between risk transfer and reward. Critics argue that many PFI projects are inflexible and expensive, or worse, that the PFI is wasteful of public resources.”

The Treasury select committee will look at the future use of PFI and similar initiatives, and seeks evidence on the following points:

  • Strengths and weaknesses of differrent public procurement methods
  • Advantages or disadvantages of putting PFI debt on the government’s balance sheet
  • How should PFI deals be accounted for?
  • How far can risk be transferred from the public to the private sector?
  • The kinds of risk/ projects that are particularly appropriate for transfer through PFI deals
  • State guarantees in PFI deals
  • When are PFI deals suitable for delivery of services?

The deadline for submissions to the inquiry is 28 April 2011.