Partnership UK
ignore this image, used for positioning
View our Project Database  
Background Visit Home page Learn more about Partnerships UK View information on PUK Business Sectors View information on PUK Case Studies View Partnerships UK Projects Database Further information on Partnerships UK

Defence Equipment
ITC Team
Northern Ireland
Property / Regeneration
Support Operational PPPs

Partnerships UK Business Sectors Top Banner Graphic Top Half
Partnerships UK Business Sectors Top Banner Graphic Bottom Half
ignore this graphic as it is used for layout
ignore this image as it is used for layout

Support Operational PPPs

There are now over 750 completed PFI/PPP deals of which over 500 are operational. PUK has carried out a large number of assignments of the last 2 years to help and support individual PPPs. This work has included: small variations, mergers of major departments, re-competition strategy, termination options, benchmarking and PUK has also carried out a number of pro-active Operational Reviews to help individual projects or Departments ensure they are getting the best out of their PPP.

We strongly believe that forward looking operational reviews could strengthen the relationship and drive greater value out of the deal.

PUK is currently working with the NAO and HMT to review current operational PPPs and look at how best to improve operational performance.

Click here to view details relating to the Operational Taskforce
Click here to view details relating to the Operational Taskforce Helpdesk

Operational Taskforce Note 1: Benchmarking and market testing guidance

This guidance is designed to provide practical advice to contract managers and to encourage the systematic and effective use of these processes, in order to ensure the long-term value for money of soft service provisions in PFI contracts.

Click here to view the document.

Please note that this guidance only applies to PFI projects in England. The Scottish Executive's Financial Partnerships Unit will soon be publishing guidance on benchmarking and market testing in PFI contracts in Scotland.

Report on Operational PFI Projects - 22 March 2006

This report by Partnerships UK, undertaken on behalf of HM Treasury in 2005, is a comprehensive review of the performance of PFI projects during their operational phase. The report covers a wide range of operational issues impacting on all projects from all sectors that were known to be operational at the end of March 2005.

Click here to view the document.

Operational Taskforce


Alongside the 2006 Budget, HM Treasury published the policy document PFI: Strengthening Long Term Partnerships. One of the measures announced was the creation of an Operational Taskforce, acting on behalf of the Treasury within Partnerships UK.

The Taskforce became operational on 3 April 2006. This note sets out its role and main functions.

Role of the Taskforce

The Operational Taskforce is staffed by experienced practitioners and is primarily aimed at public sector PFI contract managers. It will provide a source of support, guidance and advice that is free at the point of use.

The Taskforce can advise on contract management strategy, benchmarking, market testing, contract variations and a host of other PFI related issues. 

As well as providing support to individual project managers, it will assist public sector bodies by disseminating knowledge and expertise on a range of operational, financial and legal issues.

The Taskforce will maintain close liaison with Departmental PFUs to exchange information and to ensure that lessons and best practice are captured and disseminated. It will encourage PFUs to develop their own capability for supporting operational projects.

In consultation with Treasury, it will also produce guidance on operational issues, including benchmarking, market testing, managing variations and managing the transition from procurement to operations.

The Taskforce will pro-actively engage with projects as well as provide a reactive service to projects in operation.

The Taskforce will be able to support any PFI or PPP project.

Main Taskforce Functions

The main functions of the Taskforce are to:

  • provide a free helpdesk facility to help public sector managers on operational issues;
  • develop guidance for the public sector on operational issues such as benchmarking and variations; any guidance issued will be agreed with and issued on behalf of Treasury;
  • maintain a database of information about operational projects;
  • gather and make available information about issues raised on projects via the helpdesk, identify market trends and ensure best practice is widely disseminated;
  • undertake operational reviews of long-term service contracts with the primary aim of providing forward looking advice to project teams to improve performance;
  • negotiate any codes of conduct with the private sector that are required to provide a consistent approach across older contracts; and
  • assist authorities in applying the refinancing code of conduct.

Return to top

Operational Taskforce Helpdesk

A helpdesk is up and running, resourced with professional staff with experience of managing operational PFI projects, to provide support to public sector contract managers dealing with operational issues including:

Contract Management Strategy 
The Taskforce will help public sector clients establish their approach to contract management in advance of the project becoming operational, so that issues such as handover, staff training and contract management and governance structures are appropriately planned for and managed.

Benchmarking and Market Testing
The Taskforce will provide hands-on advice and support to PFUs and contract managers who are managing a benchmarking or market testing process.
This will be in addition to guidance to be published in 2006.

Contract Variations
The Taskforce will support contracting authorities in negotiating major changes that meet the public sector’s needs on terms acceptable to contractors.

Contractor Difficulties

The Taskforce, building on the experience of dealing with previous contracts and contractors that have suffered distress, will give well-targeted central support, helping to minimise the adverse effects of contractors having financial or operational difficulties.

Contract Reviews

The Taskforce will, on request, undertake operational reviews of long-term service contracts with the primary aim of providing forward looking advice to project teams to improve performance

Changes in Ownership of Contractors
The Taskforce will be able to advise contracting authorities on any particular issues regarding proposed changes in the ownership of contractors, including whether or not the change involves a possible refinancing of the project. It will create and maintain a database of information about ownership of PFI consortia.

The Taskforce will offer a dispute mediation service between contracting parties with the aim of helping both sides reach agreement on issues that may otherwise become contentious and expensive to resolve.


The Taskforce will collect data on insurance costs and provide information and support which will help authorities manage the bi-annual insurance review.


The existing Refinancing Taskforce will continue to be available as a resource to contracting authorities. .


The Operational Taskforce’s Helpdesk can be contacted by calling the dedicated Helpdesk number 020-7273-8356 or by email on

Initial support from the Taskforce Helpdesk is FREE to public sector authorities.

Return to top


WAI - AA Compliant
ignore this graphic Links ignore this graphic Contacts ignore this graphic About this site ignore this graphic