HC Deb 18 May 2004 vol 421 c944W
Mrs. Iris Robinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what penalties will be imposed on contracts to build schools awarded through public private partnership if handover dates are not realised; and if he will make a statement. [171027]

Mr. Gardiner

The terms and conditions under which a private sector contractor delivers services to a school authority through public private partnership, are detailed in the contractual arrangements negotiated between the parties. A PPP contractor normally borrows from banks or other financial institutions in order to pay for the construction of school facilities. The penalty for a contractor failing to deliver school facilities by the target date, which is specified in the contract, is therefore the servicing of a substantial loan while receiving no payment from the school authority. A school authority could seek additional protection in the contract though this would most likely increase the project cost.

Should a delay be caused by a school authority, compensation may be payable to the contractor.