HM Treasury

Public private partnerships

Public private partnerships

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.

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