Last edited 11 Jul 2016

Public private partnerships PPP

Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) are a very broad range of partnerships where the public and private sectors collaborate for some for mutual benefit.

PPP's were first developed in the UK in the 1990's in the belief that private sector companies might be more efficient at providing certain services than public authorities and so could deliver better value for money for tax payers.

PPP's can cover a range of partnerships to deliver policies, services, buildings or infrastructure, from hospital catering to maintenance and renewal of London Underground. Partnerships can be with either central or local government.

The three main categories of PPP are:

PFI is the most common form of PPP (ref HM Treasury: Public private partnerships), and is one of the three procurement routes preferred by the Government Construction Strategy for central civil government projects. Generally it is only suitable for large-scale projects (with a capital cost of over £20 million, (ref Achieving Excellence Guide 6 - Procurement and Contract Strategies P6) such as hospitals and schools.

However, in 2011, the damning House of Commons Treasury Select Committee report on PFI found '...that PFI projects are significantly more expensive to fund over the life of a project' and that there is no '...clear evidence of savings and benefits in other areas of PFI projects which are sufficient to offset this significantly higher cost of finance'. It is difficult to see where this leaves private finance initiatives,

Following a review of PFI, the government published details of a new approach in 2012, stating that it '…remains committed to private sector involvement in delivering infrastructure and services, but has recognised the need to address the widespread concerns…'. The new version of PFI is referred to as PF2. See PF2 for more information.

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