Treasury announces PFI review

May 23, 1997

A REVIEW of the Private Finance Initiative has been announced by the Treasury to help speed up the launch of public-private projects.

Announcing the review, Geoffrey Robinson, paymaster general at the Treasury, said he wanted to know "what obstacles are in the way of bringing projects to fruition and how the whole PFI process can be streamlined". The review, headed by Malcolm Bates, chairman of Pearl Group, will be complete by early June. It includes a probe into the Private Finance Panel, an independent PFI advisory body. Mr Robinson, a former chief executive of Jaguar Cars, has already sacked the panel chairman Alastair Ross Goobey. The Treasury says that this signalled its desire to make a fresh start for PFI.

Philippa Roe, head of the panel's education and employment unit said a key question is why the PFI process takes so long in certain sectors such as health.

* Clarendon College is to become the first FE college in England to finalise a PFI project. The Pounds 16.5-million project will give the Nottingham college a second campus.

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