Achieving best value in private finance initiative project procurement

Akintola Akintoye, Cliff Hardcastle, Matthias Beck, Ezekiel Chinyio, Darinka Asenova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The wherewithal of achieving best value in private finance initiative (PFI) projects and the associated problems therein are documented. In the UK, PFI has offered a solution to the problem of securing necessary investment at a time of severe public expenditure restraint. In PFI schemes, the public sector clients must secure value for money, while the private sector service providers must genuinely assume responsibility for project risks. A broad-based investigation into PFI risk management informs the discussion in this paper. It is based on 68 interviews with PFI participants and a case study of eight PFI projects. The research participants comprised of contractors, financial institutions, public sector clients, consultants and facilities management organizations. The qualitative software Atlas.ti was used to analyse the textual data generated. The analysis showed that the achievement of best value requirements through PFI should hinge on: detailed risk analysis and appropriate risk allocation, drive for faster project completion, curtailment in project cost escalation, encouragement of innovation in project development, and maintenance cost being adequately accounted for. Factors that continue to challenge the achievement of best value are: high cost of the PFI procurement process, lengthy and complex negotiations, difficulty in specifying the quality of service, pricing of facility management services, potential conflicts of interests among those involved in the procurement, and the public sector clients' inability to manage consultants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-470
JournalConstruction Management and Economics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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