Fitzsimmons, D. and Brown, S. and Beck, M. (2009) 'Does the UK Local Finance Improvement Trust (LIFT) initiative improve risk management in public-private procurement ?', Journal of risk and governance., 1 (2). pp. 137-156.
The UK government introduced the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and, latterly, the Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) in an attempt to improve public service provision. As a variant of PFI, LIFT seeks to create a framework for the effective provision of primary care facilities. Like conventional PFI procurement, LIFT projects involve long-term contracts, complex multi-party interactions and thus create various risks to public sector clients. This paper investigates the advantages and disadvantages of LIFT with a focus on how this approach facilitates or impedes risk management from the public sector client perspective. Our paper concludes that LIFT has a potential for creating additional problems, including the further reduction of public sector control, conflicts of interest, the inappropriate use of enabling funds, and higher than market rental costs affecting the uptake of space in the buildings by local health care providers. However, there is also evidence that LIFT has facilitated new investment and that Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) have themselves started addressing some of the weaknesses of this procurement format through the bundling of projects and other forms of regional co-operation.
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