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PFI reviewed

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As PFI came in for another drubbing at the Labour Party conference this week, opponents may be interested in an analysis of how PFI really worked on one of the most significant jobs it has been used on - the Treasury.This flagship scheme, praised in almost all quarters for its transformation of horrible premises into something snappy and bright, managed to attract Stuart Lipton, Norman Foster and Bovis Lend Lease as the consortium partners. Despite all this, an internal review of the project concluded that: the complex contractual arrangement was based on an expectation of failure; compliance was king;

detailed requirements were set years before they needed to be;

design was given negligible importance; and risk transfer led to budget protection. No wonder Mr Blair's foundation schools are being procured using more traditional methods.

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