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Government list plan aims to give shot in the arm to PFI

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The government is to publish regular lists of pfi projects to try and woo big business and overturn fears that the initiative is a fiasco.

The three-monthly lists will update progress made on around 50 projects, said the Treasury private finance taskforce this week. 'You will be able to compare a project with its earlier progress, so it will have had a road test by the taskforce,' said a spokesman. 'Its commercial viability will have been assessed. We want to build confidence in the process.' The group will work closely with departments to push projects through.

Paymaster general Geoffrey Robinson insisted pfi was 'alive and kicking'. Since the election, the government has signed 30 projects to a value of £1.5 billion. A total of £8.5 billion is in the pipeline. The list will consist of 'big, ground-breaking or high-profile' schemes. These include new accommodation for the gchq, hospitals and London Underground projects.

Taskforce chief executive Adrian Montague said his team was seeking to send out a message of commercial viability. It would help departments through the procurement process, not take over projects.

Some 23 local authority pfi projects are to receive cash support from central government including schools, libraries, magistrates' courts and police projects. Government support is to double to £500 million.

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