Ritical Evaluation and Appraisal of the a?P.F.I.a? and role of the External Auditor in assessment of value for money.

TASK DESCRIPTION:
The a?Private Finance Initiativea? (PFI) has been perceived by Government as the mechanism, which can:

i. Provide and finance new public assets without having an impact on the Public Sector Borrowing Requirement (PSBR), and traditional financing methods.

ii. Allow the a?riska? involved in designing, building and (sometimes) operating new public assets to be removed from Government.

iii. Achieve greater value for money/best value in the provision of public services.

You are required to :

a? Critically evaluate and appraise the above issues, incorporating examples of specific schemes from countries worldwide, and selecting evidence which may (or may not) suggest that Governments/Public organisations desired outcomes above have been achieved.

a? Discuss the role of the external audit agencies (National Audit Office; Welsh Auditor General) in relation to the P.F.I.(for schemes in the UK ), and the statutory requirement to achieve value for money.

a? Quality/depth of discussion/evidence of research/relevant examples provided to support critical evaluation/ relevant and appropriately referenced academic sources/journals/texts. A minimum of 20 references required

GUIDANCE FOR STUDENTS IN THE COMPLETION OF TASKS

1. Provide a brief overview of the PFI mechanism.

2. Explain the how the Private Finance Initiative changed the way in which Public Assets were traditionally financed, and how this has (previously and currently) impacted on the UK Governmentas National Debt.

3. Discuss the perceived advantages/disadvantages of the PFI.

4. Select a number of appropriate PFI schemes and critically evaluate them in relation to the three points mentioned above

5. Discuss the role of the external audit agencies (National Audit Office; Welsh Auditor General) in relation to the P.F.I.(for schemes in the UK ), and the statutory requirement to achieve value for money.

6. Produce a structured essay of approx. 2,000 words.

Extent of knowledge and understanding of the following:
(a) The PFI mechanism.
(b) How the Private Finance Initiative changed the way in which Public Assets were traditionally financed, and how this has (previously and currently) impacted on the UK Governmentas National Debt.
(c) The perceived advantages/disadvantages of the PFI.
(d) Appropriate PFI schemes in relation to the three points mentioned above.
(e) Role of the external audit agencies regarding VFM on PFI schemes.