Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : Geoffrey Robinson announces Second Review for the Private Finance Initiative [November 1998]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 12 November 1998.

A review of the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) is to be conducted in advance of the expiry of the Taskforce’s mandate in late summer 1999, Paymaster General Geoffrey Robinson announced today.

Sir Malcolm Bates, Chairman of Pearl Group, has been asked to examine the progress made in the delivery of PFI and PPPs by this Government and in the light of this new experience, recommend any changes to the existing arrangements which could further improve the government’s approach to PPPs.

In launching the Review, Mr Robinson said:

“We have made great strides with PFI in the past year. But we must continue to improve, identify and develop new opportunities and partnerships with both the public and private sectors. As well as improving value for money to the taxpayer this will ensure the delivery of a higher sustainable level of public sector investment.

“I want to see such partnerships extended beyond PFI. We need to exploit all commercial potential and spare capacity in public sector assets through a sensible balance of risk and reward. Sir Malcolm Bates’ first report reinvigorated PFI and I very much look forward to reading the outcome of his second review.”

The first review under Sir Malcolm Bates proposed the creation of the Treasury Taskforce to help central government departments and agencies road-test significant projects for their commercial viability. The Treasury Taskforce’s two-year life comes to an end in late summer 1999. The Government wants to look ahead and ensure that the best possible arrangements are in place for a smooth transition at that time.

Sir Malcolm Bates will commence his review immediately and complete his work by mid February 1999.