CIPFA comments on public accounts committees PFI report


In response to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee report on Lessons from PFI [Private Finance Initiative] and other projects, published today, CIPFA has issued the following comment:

PFI should be only one of a number of options that are considered for major capital investment schemes, including traditional procurement and financing options. For value for money to be achieved it is vital that this option appraisal is carried out on a level playing field. PFI may still emerge as the best option where there are genuine opportunities for the private sector to harness additional benefits such as through co-provision of income generating services or economies of scale.

Information is key to ensuring that value for money is being achieved.  Increased transparency in relation to the profits and gains being made by the private sector will contribute to the assessment of value for money.  Reviewing ongoing projects to assess the validity of the underlying assumptions (for example, in relation to taxation) will help ensure that these assumptions are refined and improved prior to their use in future projects.

Paul Mason, Assistant Director at CIPFA said:

“PFI should only be the preferred option for major capital investment when it provides true value for money. CIPFA supports the Public Accounts Committee’s recommendations on this.”


CIPFA press office
T: 020 7543 5600

Notes to Editors:

1. The House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts PFI and other projects reportis available at:


CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, is the professional body for people in public finance. Our 14,000 members work throughout the public services, in national audit agencies, in major accountancy firms, and in other bodies where public money needs to be effectively and efficiently managed. As the world’s only professional accountancy body to specialise in public services, CIPFA’s portfolio of qualifications are the foundation for a career in public finance. They include the benchmark professional qualification for public sector accountants as well as a postgraduate diploma for people already working in leadership positions. They are taught by our in-house CIPFA Education and Training Centre as well as other places of learning around the world. We also champion high performance in public services, translating our experience and insight into clear advice and practical services. They include information and guidance, courses and conferences, property and asset management solutions, consultancy and interim people for a range of public sector clients. Globally, CIPFA shows the way in public finance by standing up for sound public financial management and good governance. We work with donors, partner governments, accountancy bodies and the public sector around the world to advance public finance and support better public services. This includes the development of local professional qualifications in African countries like Lesotho and Nigeria and in Europe in post conflict states in the Balkans.