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PFI SHARING URGED

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Commercial confidentiality should not be used as a barrier to sharing information about the private finance initiat...
Commercial confidentiality should not be used as a barrier to sharing information about the private finance initiative, paymaster general Geoffrey Robinson said this week.

Speaking at the first official Treasury PFI Task Force conference, Mr Robinson said: 'Lessons from one project are wasted unless they are shared with others, both within the public and private sectors.'

'It is no good one side trying to screw the other, whether it is the government trying to offload risk to the point where it is avoiding the responsibilities that only it can properly assume, or whether it is the private sector seeking disproportionate returns by exploiting information that only it can properly appreciate the significance of.'

This week's conference was the product of the Treasury's own public/private partnership with Capita. The firm has been contracted to deliver a series of similar events.

In another deal, Price Waterhouse has been awarded a contract to provide a programme of in-depth PFI training. The programme will be open to officers in central and local government.

- Mr Robinson's full speech to the PFI conference is available on request from LGCnet. Tel 0171 833 7324/5.

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