Firms suggest the USA could use private finance to fund defence and health jobs in the next two years.
the usa is considering the use of PFI-style procurement to fund defence and health projects, UK consultants said this week.

Tony Poulter, global PFI, infrastructure, government and utilities partner with financial consultant Pricewaterhouse Coopers, said discussions on the use of the procurement method were at an early stage.

He said: "There is interest over there in alternative methods of procurement. It is at a preliminary stage right now, but you might see tendering for specific contracts in a year or two."

Poulter said there was particular interest in defence jobs such as barracks construction. He added: "We see a lot of potential interest in support facilities, although naturally the government wants to think about the extent to which it should enter into long-term commitments."

Chris Liddle, chairman of HLM, an architect specialising in PFI projects, said his practice made a presentation on the benefits of the funding method to the Government Services Agency in Fort Worth in May.

The practice is hoping to organise a string of similar seminars across the USA and is seeking a meeting with the US civil service later this month to offer advice on the PFI.

There is interest in alternative methods of procurement

Tony Poulter, partner, Pricewaterhouse Coopers

Liddle said he believed that PFI would be attractive to the US government in the light of its recent economic problems.

He said: "We've been seeing a recession in the USA and we know what happened to the economy after 9/11. PFI started in similar circumstances in the UK during the Thatcher years, when there wasn't any way of funding public building projects because there was nothing in the coffers."

n A team including consultant EC Harris has been shortlisted to advise on a £1bn extension to the Warsaw metro system in Poland.

The firm is competing with financial consultants such as NM Rothschild, KPMG and Deloitte & Touche for the job. A decision is due in December.

The scheme is likely to be a public–private partnership and is expected to create a standard for future schemes in Poland. The adviser will be part funded by the European Bank for Regional Development.