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Report cover showing a Defence vehicle going through country side

Allocation and management of risk in Ministry of Defence PFI projects

“Most of the private finance projects in its portfolio of more than 50 have been delivered successfully by the Ministry of Defence. But the Department needs to be more alert to the risks that can emerge once the project is up and running, such as inaccurate performance reporting. It could also reduce procurement times by speeding up its decision-making, and by collecting better information at the outset on current and prospective use of the service and the condition of assets.”

Published:
30 Oct 2008
Report cover showing kitchen utensils

Benchmarking and market testing the ongoing services component of PFI projects

“It is important that public officials test the cost and quality of facilities services to get value for money during the life of a PFI contract. My report highlights lessons in how value-testing should be carried out. In particular, public officials must have the necessary skills, must promote vigorous competition when value testing, and they must have a full understanding of whether and how the private sector’s price and service proposals offer value for money.”

The report recommends that the recent Treasury guidance be taken up by departments and that the Treasury should continue liaising with departments to identify suitable cost data to use in benchmarking. The NAO also urges that further steps should be taken to compare the cost and quality of facilities services under the PFI with conventional outsourcing experience.

Published:
6 Jun 2007
Report cover showing images from Cambridge and MIT

Cambridge-MIT Institute

“CMI has the potential to generate considerable impacts. Many of these will be long-term and are intrinsically difficult to measure. After a challenging start, I am pleased that CMI and the Department of Trade and Industry have been taking steps designed to maximise long-term success. Public sector organisations are increasingly expected to manage innovation, and we look to them to learn from the experience of CMI to improve their appraisal and management of innovative projects.”

Published:
17 Mar 2004
Report cover showing doctor and boy

Darent Valley Hospital: The PFI contract in action

“My 50th PFI/PPP report continues our current strategy of reporting on how PFI projects are working out. I am pleased to be able to report on the successful delivery of the Darent Valley PFI hospital but this early PFI deal highlights that there are important issues to manage once the operational phase is under way. In particular, although refinancing may offer attractive benefits to the public sector it may also present new risks which authorities need to fully assess before agreeing to the refinancing.”

Published:
10 Feb 2005
Report cover showing people working in the NHS

Department of Health – Innovation in the NHS: Local Improvement Finance Trusts

“I welcome LIFT as an attractive new way of improving primary health and social care facilities. This is an excellent example of a department doing something different and new to come up with an effective solution to an established problem. I fully support this kind of innovation and the department must carefully evaluate this initiative so that all of government, and especially Building Schools for the Future, a similar initiative, can benefit from the lessons that arise.”

Published:
19 May 2005
Report cover showing a model of The Paddington Health Campus scheme

Department of Health – The Paddington Health Campus scheme

“A hospital development of this scale and ambition was always going to be a challenge but the original business case was inadequate, the lack of a single sponsor was a fatal flaw and the final scheme was not deliverable. The cancellation of the Paddington scheme at a cost of £15 million has left patients, staff and visitors to the hospitals with outdated facilities.

“The Department of Health should draw on my report’s conclusions and recommendations when deciding how best to initiate and manage its £7 billion to 9 billion capital investment programme in order to provide value for money to taxpayers, patients and staff.”

Published:
19 May 2006
Report cover showing Eurostar trains at Waterloo station

Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions: The Channel Tunnel Rail Link

“It is apparent that, faced with a range of complex issues, the Department handled negotiations with LCR in a competent manner. The financing of the restructured project is fundamentally different to that envisaged in 1996, and so is the distribution of risks between the various parties now involved. There are a number of important lessons here for future PPPs, along with some specific points for the Department”.

Published:
28 Mar 2001
Report cover image of doctor at work

Dr Foster Intelligence: A joint venture between the Information Centre and Dr Foster LLP

“Bringing together the best of the public and private sector has clear benefits in improving the quality of public sector services. But in such cases attention must be paid to protecting government spending and value for money for the taxpayer. By taking the decision not to carry out a formal competitive tender process in this instance, the Department cannot demonstrate that the joint venture was the best structure to meet its needs or that it represents good value for money.

Published:
6 Feb 2007