Puk will offer help to town halls on PFI

18 Nov 99
The new team to promote the Private Finance Initiative will help councils overcome any skill shortages that may stop them pressing ahead with schemes, finance directors have been told.

19 November 1999

David Goldstone, from the Treasury Taskforce's private finance project team, said that Partnerships UK (Puk) will assist local authorities with complex tasks, such as writing output specifications and negotiating contracts.

'The PFI requires skills which public sector authorities may not automatically have and which are in short supply,' he told a CIPFA seminar this month. 'It is about trying to provide core private sector skills which are needed to get the best out of these projects.'

The Treasury Taskforce will be wound up early next year and replaced by Puk.

An announcement about Puk's corporate structure and the services it will provide should be made within the next few weeks, but Goldstone stressed that it will be a co-sponsor of PFI schemes, not a bank or funder. 'It will help get schemes off the ground and procure them,' he said. 'It will not provide long-term capital finance.'

Asked about Puk's likely relationship with local government's Public Private Partnerships Programme (4Ps), Goldstone replied that it would attempt to avoid wasteful duplication in the same way that the task force had.

'The 4Ps has a role representing local authority interests which will continue to be of importance,' he said. 'There is no feeling in the Treasury that the 4Ps will disappear.'


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