Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : Geoffrey Robinson calls on PFI bidders to work with Trade Unions [October 1998]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 21 October 1998.

New Treasury Taskforce guidelines highlighting staff consultation will lead to greater openness in PFI projects, Paymaster General Geoffrey Robinson announced today.

The procedures outlined today – which have the full support of the CBI and TUC – are designed to encourage transparency and openness during the consultation with staff and other interested parties.  Calling for greater trust and cooperation between Departments, bidders and trade unions, Geoffrey Robinson said:

“The quality of the service which PFI projects deliver depends on the skills and commitment of its staff.   Openness between bidders,  trade unions and staff is an essential part of  any well run procurement process.

“By working closely with staff representatives and acting positively, and by taking on the responsibility for retraining affected staff, the private sector can deliver a good deal for
the public as well as creating valuable alternative employment opportunities. Trade unions know this too. Applied sensibly, these guidelines will ensure that their concerns are listened to.  I want to see trade unions use it in that way.

“I also look to other Departments and public bodies to remove the cloak of secrecy surrounding PFI and allow the free flow of information on PFI projects. Hiding behind the empty phrase “commercial confidentiality” will no longer be the easy option.”