Local Government Finance

– Scottish Parliament written question – answered on 11th March 2003.

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Photo of Keith Harding Keith Harding Conservative

Question S1W-34381

To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will implement the recommendation made by the Accounts Commission’s Overview of the 2001/02 local authority audits and Taking the initiative – Using PFI contracts to renew council schools that the Executive should consider developing a leadership role in order to ensure that the special experience and skills learned from current private finance initiative schools projects are transferred to future projects.

Photo of Andy Kerr Andy Kerr Labour

The Financial Partnerships Unit within the Scottish Executive has already developed a leadership role with regard to local authority schools public private partnership (PPP) projects in order that the experience and skills learned from current PPP projects are transferred to future schools projects. This role is continuing to evolve and takes several forms.

To date, five seminars covering the PPP process and related skills have been held by the Scottish Executive. Three two-day training workshops will be held shortly. In addition, the Executive has encouraged and supported several seminars arranged by other organisations such as the Scottish Leadership Foundation and private companies.

The Executive has commissioned Partnerships UK to undertake a Key Stage Review of each of the schools PPP projects. This will occur at two stages within the project, pre-Invitation to Negotiate stage and pre-Preferred Bidder appointment, and is intended to assure both the education authority and the Executive that the project is sufficiently well prepared to proceed to the next stage of the procurement. In support of the Staffing Protocol, a Technical Guidance Note "Scoping of Facilities Management Services and In-house Bids" was published for consultation in February.

Members of Financial Partnerships Unit attend project board meetings. This acts as a useful check on how the authority is progressing with their project and can highlight any different approaches between projects. The Financial Partnerships Unit also provides advisory support to the Scottish Schools PPP Group.

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