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8 September 20234 minute read

DLA Piper recommendations recognised by Infrastructure and Projects Authority commissioned Public Private Partnership report

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) has published the White Fraiser Report on Private Finance Initiatives (PFIs), an independent report commissioned by the IPA on the back of DLA Piper’s ‘Project Autumn’ industry consultation report on Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), published September 2022, and the Public Accounts Committee’s Managing the Expiry of PFI Contracts in March 2021.

The White Fraiser report refers to DLA Piper’s Project Autumn recommendations throughout, considering, supporting and building on its recommendations for reform around PFI disputes. The Project Autumn report is the culmination of a year-long, pan-industry consultation which invited and considered responses from some 200 key PPP stakeholders across government, public sector, private sector investors and groups, and industry consultants.

Alison Fagan, Partner at DLA Piper, shared: “We welcome Barry White and Andrew Fraiser’s report and analysis on the current PFI landscape, and support the role it will play in engaging much-needed debate in this important area of PPP. The level of constructive stakeholder engagement with both the White Fraiser consultation, and that of our own Project Autumn, goes to show the interest and enthusiasm that exists around PFI reform. DLA Piper’s Project Autumn report was the culmination of an important, year-long undertaking for our team, and we’re delighted that its findings have been taken on board by the IPA and have gone on to support and encourage the pursuit of improving ways of working in the PPP space. We look forward to continuing the discussion among key PPP stakeholders following this latest publication.”

Specifically focusing on the handback process in the context of social infrastructure, three key themes had emerged from the original DLA Piper consultation: there is a short termism at play where parties are simply focusing on surviving the process of expiry and handback; there is a lack of certainty on what a successful end point looks like for the industry and the key stakeholders, and; there is a certainty that the industry will face a slew of disputes and that adversarial process will become operating practice.