Chapter 4: Lacking relationships with third parties
As a long-term method of cooperation between public and private actors, public–private partnerships/Private Finance Initiatives (PPPs/PFIs) deliver infrastructures or services to the public at large (e.g. London Underground (LU)), to specific categories of users (e.g. pupils in BsF,patients in Lift), or to a public authority (e.g. office accommodation such as PRIMEand STEPS). Public authorities have to decide which schools will be refurbished first when PFIs are delivered in waves, such as in the BsF programme. They also have to decide which PFI hospital will go ahead for which catchment area. PPPs/PFIs are thus means of allocating resources among various categories of individuals. Public authorities exercise their discretion as a means of ensuring coordination and balance between competing interests for scarce resources over time. Control over how such discretion is exercised is needed. Parents may want to be involved in the educational projects and refurbishment plans for the schools attended by their children. They may want to understand how the private contractor’s contractual performance matches the contractual agreements or how the theatre and sport facilities or computers can be best used and adapted to the changing needs of education and the career prospects of their children. They may thus want to access contractual and financial information or be consulted to express their satisfaction or concerns with the education provided by the school and its PFI.
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