Public private partnerships (PPPs) are arrangements typified by joint working between the public and private sector. In the broadest sense, PPPs can cover all types of collaboration across the interface between the public and private sectors to deliver policies, services and infrastructure. Where delivery of public services involves private sector investment in infrastructure, the most common form of PPP is the Private finance initiative.

The Private Finance Initiative (PFI)

The Private Finance Initiative (PFI) is a small but important part of the Government's strategy for delivering high quality public services.

In assessing where PFI is appropriate, the Government's approach is based on its commitment to efficiency, equity and accountability and on the Prime Minister's principles of public sector reform. PFI is only used where it can meet these requirements and deliver clear value for money without sacrificing the terms and conditions of staff.

Where these conditions are met, PFI delivers a number of important benefits. By requiring the private sector to put its own capital at risk and to deliver clear levels of service to the public over the long term, PFI helps to deliver high quality public services and ensure that public assets are delivered on time and to budget.

The Government has created an Operational Taskforce, acting on behalf of HM Treasury, based in Partnerships UK. The Taskforce has set up a helpdesk to assist public sector partners with operational PFI issues. Public sector project managers can contact the helpdesk on 020 7273 8356, or by emailing

This site provides access to a wide range of information about the Private Finance Initiative in the UK. Further queries can be directed to the Treasury Correspondence & Enquiry Unit.

In this section

Key policy
Includes Infrastructure procurement: delivering long-term value (March 2008), PFI: strengthening long-term partnerships (March 2006) and PFI: Meeting the Investment Challenge (July 2003).
Standardisation of PFI contracts (SoPC) Version 4
This is the latest version of standard wording and guidance to be used by public sector bodies and their advisors when drafting PFI contracts. It supercedes Version 3, issued in April 2004.
Additional guidance
This section includes the Treasury's Value for Money guidance, Operational Taskforce guidance notes, guidance on financing matters, Treasury Taskforce Technical Notes and the Competitive Dialogue guidance.
The Operational Taskforce
This section includes more information on the Treasury's Operational Taskforce, based in Partnerships UK, and links to Operational Taskforce notes.
The Project Review Group
The Project Review Group oversees the approval process for local authority PFI projects that receive Government support. It is the gatekeeper for the delivery of PFI credit funding to the local authority PFI programme.
Private Finance Initiative (PFI) statistics
Includes PFI signed projects list.
Private Finance Initiative (PFI) useful links
Links to guidance and support, devolved administrations and government departments.