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National Audit Office to examine three PFI EfW projects

The UK’s public auditor has started a study on three energy from waste (EfW) projects that received financial support from Defra.

The National Audit Office (NAO) will be examining whether Private Finance Initiative (PFI) funding that the department awarded to three projects was well spent.

“NAO will be looking specifically at three PFI waste incinerator projects to gain insight into the role of Defra in promoting value for money in such projects,” said the organisation.

The projects are Herefordshire Council and Worcestershire County Council’s EnviRecover scheme in Worcestershire; Norfolk County Council’s Willows Power & Recycling Centre scheme at King’s Lynn, Norfolk; and Surrey County Council’s Charlton Lane Eco Park scheme.

The councils were among the 29 local authorities to which Defra has allocated £3.6bn in grants for waste infrastructure projects under its Waste Infrastructure Delivery Programme.

A spokesperson for NAO told MRW that the three projects were selected because the organisation had had “a lot of email correspondence from members of the public of these three areas”.

She refused to comment on the nature of the correspondence.

NAO expects the report to be published in early 2014.

Once published, the report will be laid before Parliament. It will be examined by the Public Accounts Committee, which will make recommendations to Defra based on the findings, said the NAO spokesperson.

Defra will have the ability to challenge parts of the report it considers inaccurate.

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