HC Deb 27 June 1996 vol 280 cc231-2W
20. Mr. Congdon

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the benefits of the private finance initiative to London. [33426]

Mr. Michael Jack

Projects with a capital value of over £3.7 billion have been agreed in the last year in and around London. These include the channel tunnel rail link, which has a capital value of £3 billion; a new fleet of trains for the Northern line of the Underground, with a capital value of £400 million; the creation of 170 new housing units in Waltham Forest with a capital value of £15 million; and the Croydon tramlink deal, which has a capital value of £160 million. Many more are under consideration. Comprehensive details of small-scale projects or projects by region are not held centrally.

Ms Ruddock

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many civil servants have been given formal training on the private finance initiative; and what plans his Department has to increase awareness of the private finance initiative among all Government Departments. [34579]

Mr. Jack

Nearly 2,000 civil servants have already attended or are currently booked to attend the PFI training course announced at Budget time last year. The private finance panel hopes that between 5,000 and 10,000 will be trained in total. Government Departments, other public sector bodies and private sector organisations now run more specialised PFI courses and training of their own.

Other measures to ensure that all civil servants involved with the PFI are fully informed about it include the publication of a comprehensive handbook "Private Opportunity, Public Benefit: Progressing the Private Finance Initiative"; "Guidelines for Smoothing the Procurement Process"; and a series of case studies, the latest of which is "Report on the procurement of custodial services for the DCMF prisons at Bridgend and Fazakerley". The "Private Finance Journal", provided under contract for the private finance panel executive, publishes regular information about the initiative. Departments are increasingly developing guidance and newsletters of their own, specific to enhancing knowledge of the PFI in their own areas.

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