Published: 5th Jun 2020

Schools and hospitals built under controversial Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deals could be returned to public hands in a ‘unsatisfactory condition’ when contracts end, a watchdog has warned. In a new report published today, the National Audit Office (NAO) has warned that many councils have underestimating the time, resources and complexity involved in managing the end of PFI contracts, many of which are due to come to an end in 2025. The watchdog said there is a ‘danger that important infrastructure could return to the public sector in an unsatisfactory condition’ and services could be disrupted unless a ‘more consistent and strategic approach’ is taken. According to the NAO, there are currently mre than 700 PFI contracts in operation around the country and the bulk will start to expire from 2025. PFI deals were used by both councils and NHS trusts for many years to finance the building of large-scale infrastructure projects, including schools, hospitals and roads. However, the use of such deals and, in particular, … (To read the full article, subscribe below)