In March 2006, HM Treasury set out its updated approach to Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) in the document PFI: Strengthening Long-Term Partnerships (HM Treasury, 2006a). This document, building on the measures introduced since 2003, set out further improvements to PFI to support its ongoing role in delivering better public services. These recent approaches include: Measures based on the government’s research to build on the operational and contractual flexibility under PFI, including increased support to public sector managers during this phase of the contract.Measures further to improve the ability of the public sector to understand where PFI is likely to offer better value for money (VfM) than other procurement routes. This will be achieved by assisting procuring authorities in understanding the VfM of key decisions within a project including strengthening the test for the inclusion of soft services.Measures to bolster the professionalism of PFI procurement to reduce procurement times. While procurement is improving, the government believes that procurement times remain unnecessarily long and is introducing steps to improve the maturity of projects before they are tendered into the market, to reduce unnecessary uncertainty later in the procurement.Measures to support local decision-making in PH through the provision of central skills and capabilities to ensure approvals are given at the right points in the process.
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