Michael Heseltine urged to save Private Finance Initiative

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The Independent Online
Michael Heseltine, the Deputy Prime Minister, was urged by a right- wing think-tank to intervene and save the Government's flagship Private Finance Initiative from sinking under its own weight. In a report, the Adam Smith Institute said red tape and bureaucracy were putting off private firms from investing private finance in public sector contracts for roads, hospitals and prison schemes.

The report, Seize the Initiative, accused public officials of costing contractors millions of pounds as they dithered over details for buildings and services. The institute said Mr Heseltine should be called in to sort out the muddle. It proposed bringing in private-sector managers to sharpen up the performance of officials, and limit PFI to a very few projects that were likely to be successful. Colin Brown