HC Deb 11 June 1997 vol 295 c445W
Mr. Swinney

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the Government's proposals for the future of the private finance initiative; and if he will make a statement. [2569]

Mr. Geoffrey Robinson

I have asked Malcolm Bates to conduct a rapid review of present arrangements. I have placed a copy of his terms of reference in the Library. Mr. Bates is due to report to me by 13 June, and I expect to announce the Government's response to the findings of that review shortly thereafter.

Terms of Reference The purpose of the review, to be submitted to the Paymaster General by 13 June, is to make recommendations as to how best to accelerate the flow of sound PFI (Public/Private Partnership) projects. Taking as its starting point the 12 point plan for partnership, published originally in Labour's Business Manifesto, it will address in particular:

  1. (i) The role that can best be played by a new public/private taskforce within the Treasury, reporting to the Paymaster General.
  2. (ii) The respective roles and effectiveness of the Private Finance Panel, the Executive to the Private Finance Panel and the departmental officials active in advancing partnership projects across the public sector.
  3. (iii) Generic obstacles to progress and recommendations for their removal in ways that maintain value for money as the litmus test for what is acceptable and what is not.
  4. (iv)The extent to which a lack of skills in the public and private sectors is a barrier to progress and what could best address that.
  5. (v)How best to learn the lessons of success (and failure) so that public and private sector practitioners do not constantly reinvent wheels.