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Managing PFI assets and services as contracts end

The Private Finance Initiative (PFI), first introduced in the 1990s, engaged the private sector to design, finance, build and maintain public infrastructure projects, such as a school, hospital or road. In return, the government makes annual payments to the private contractor over the life of the contract, typically 25-30 years. Currently, there are over 700 operational PFI contracts with a capital value of around £60 billion, and these contracts are starting to come to the end of their life. As these contracts near expiry, the government must decide on the future use of the asset—whether for example it should be sold or the service retendered—as well as ensuring that contractual maintenance standards are continued.  

This study will assess whether government is making appropriate preparations to secure value for money from PFI contracts nearing the end of their term. We will examine whether the government collects adequate information on the assets and how it prepares for the expiry of these contracts; and what skills, resources and governance are in place to effectively manage the end of the PFI contract and the transition to any new arrangements. 

If you would like to provide evidence for our study, please email the study team on enquiries@nao.org.uk putting the study title “Managing PFI assets and services as contracts end” in the subject line. The team will consider the evidence you provide; however, please note that due to the volume of information we receive we may not respond to you directly. If you need to raise a concern, please use our contact form.