Tories warn of PFI risk.

The way the government is proceeding with the Private Finance Initiative risks financial impropriety or worse, the Conservative party has warned. Spokesman Howard Flight intervened after economic secretary Melanie Johnson rejected demands for PFI advisory body Partnerships UK to be inspected by the National Audit Office. She rejected a Tory amendment preventing the Treasury financing the proposed company by guarantees. Flight said: ‘The structure as laid down by the Bill opens the doors to the risks of corruption.’ His comments follow a debate on the Government Resources and Accounts Bill after Johnson agreed to amend the legislation to lay down a statutory limit to the finance the Treasury provides for Partnerships UK. Flight said the Confederation of British Industry and the Trades Union Council were concerned conflicting interests. Public Accounts Committee chairman David Davis said: ‘It is hard to escape the conclusion that the Treasury must have designed the arrangements to exclude a role for the C&AG and the PAC.’ He complained the new body would be up to 49% government owned and the Treasury would appoint directors. It would impact the use of public money and derive revenue from the public and private sectors.

Related reading