'Commercially Sensitive' con
Letter from Dave Watson to Herald Newspaper
So NHS Glasgow are at last going to publish the
Outline Business Case (OBC) for the controversial ACADs. But wait,
only next week when they have removed "commercially sensitive"
In a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) scheme the
Outline Business Case does not include genuinely commercially
sensitive information. The Final Business Case and contract may
do as they include prices from bidders.
The OBC is NHS Glasgow's case for building the facility
using PFI, it will include estimates of various costs but not
actual bid data. In reality the need to hide information from
the public and staff is because NHS Glasgow knows that for projects
of this size PFI is "the only game in town".
This OBC therefore, like many before it, has to
be manipulated to meet the criteria for a PFI scheme. It has nothing
to do with "commercially sensitive" information and everything
to do with making a case to fit the rules.
All of this would be unnecessary if the Scottish
Executive adopted the Audit Scotland recommendation to provide
a level playing field of financial support between projects financed
by PFI and conventional funding.
Then public authorities like NHS Glasgow could make
a real choice based on best value. Not indulge in a secretive
accountancy juggle to privatise key elements of the NHS in Scotland.
we oppose PFI - in brief
is strongly opposed to the use of PFI/PPP in Scottish local government
for the following reasons:
- this is a more
expensive way of procuring capital projects
priorities in local government expenditure are being skewed
- it is having a
detrimental impact on local government workers jobs, pay and
conditions of service
resulting in the privatisation of Scotland's local government
the system of PFI/PPP is clouded in secrecy
Reasons for opposing PFI
- PFI privatises.
comes before public need.
- PFI privatises
staff, cutting jobs, wages and conditions
- PFI substitutes
for public investment, it is not an extra.
- PFI set
up costs can be five times more than public borrowing projects
- PFI hits
your pocket. You'll pay more through taxes for tens of years
because it is more expensive than public borrowing
UK Positively Public Pages with PFI resources
UNISON UK Publicity Downloads (PFI leaflet)
Executive's PFI Scotland newsletter and Scottish Executive PFI
Government Information Unit (LGIU)
- very useful PFI news site.
page feature on PPP/PFI projects in Scotland (Herald Feb. 20)
was surely missing an essential reader warning - "advertising
of lawyers, bankers and construction companies who have benefited
from the PPP/PFI gravy train queued up to tell us how wonderful
PPP/PFI schemes are and how helpful the Scottish Executive has
been in allowing them to make vast sums of money from the Scottish
on Glasgow schools omitted to mention that Glasgow City Council
will pay £36.4m more than if its schools were funded by conventional
finance. For this Glasgow will lose seven school swimming pools
along with staff common rooms and classroom reductions.
to this "Special Report" the Skye Bridge PFI project is a "success
story". A scheme which the Scottish Executive now estimates will
cost £128m from an original quote of £10m. It may have been a
"success story" for the companies involved in your report - but
taxpayers are entitled to view the matter somewhat differently!
PPP/PFI remains a more costly way of financing public services
than direct borrowing by the public sector. Projects escalate
both in scale and cost leading to shortfalls which must be met
from other services or by reductions in service provision.
14 West Campbell Street
Trees fall foul of PFI
The start of groundwork for the new PFI Craigmillar/Greendykes/Peffermill
school (Edinburgh) commenced on Monday 5 August to the north of
Castlebrae High School.
The first act was to destroy the millenium forest
planted by local youngsters some six years ago. Some 500 trees
and shrubs were bulldozed under in a morning.
However, one tree survived, that planted by a certain
ex Scottish Secretary, Michael Forsyth.
PFI contractors certainly know who their friends