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Changes to waste PFI credits announced - COMMENT UPDATE

A new more streamlined process for applying to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for waste PFI credits has been announced.

This includes the introduction of Award Rounds, similar to those used in other government departments, and will see the previous first come first served system replaced by application windows.

The previous waste PFI system allowed local authorities to apply for credits at any time of the year. But Defra said this made the assessment of the relative contribution of each case to the overall PFI programme more difficult and hindered the development of a pipeline management strategy.

Defra Waste Implementation Programme director John Burns said: This change of approach is one of a number of steps which Defra is taking to ensure that England will meet its EU Landfill Diversion targets on a timely and cost-effective basis.

Burns has written to all local authority chief executives to explain the system, which will focus priority on criteria including scale, deliverability, readiness and environmental objectives.

In addition to the introduction of Award Rounds, other key changes include the need for councils to complete a Planning Health checklist when submitting their business case and extra criteria to enable Defra to match the flow of procurements to the capacity of the market as it expands.

Defra expects the new approach to encourage new entrants to the waste market and improve the competitiveness of the procurement process.
 
Comment
13/02/07: While I am sure that the response will be that the key criteria are listed in no particular order, it appears rather freudian that scale is first. The key principles should simply be of deliverability of objectives. Deliverability should then be split down (such as readiness, corporate governance, scale (which should not necessarily be considered a good thing), speed, planning, finance, and potentially objectives as many are un-deliverable). In addition, the speed of simpler capital projects which could be supported by PFI credits could be considered more readily - whereby targets could more easily be met within realistic timescales of 2010 and 2013 were business cases to be submitted this year (less likely with protracted larger partnership, integrated contracts). No one said scale was a key consideration of PFI in general but it appears with waste, that unless you overly complicate your process with partnering and aligning mis-aligned strategies and politcial wills you don't get the credit.
Posted by James Lloyd, HotRot Composting Systems

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