A new study* from the Institute of Economic Affairs suggests that public-private partnerships (PPPs) have often failed to deliver good value for money for the taxpayer. While the New Labour government has favoured PPPs as a method of providing investment in public services, these arrangements have been plagued by political interference, contractual difficulties and the exercise of special interests.
Politicians and civil servants have been required to exercise business judgements about the governance of PPP projects which they are not qualified to make. The absence of proper market processes, including free competition, has meant that significant efficiency gains have generally not been forthcoming.
Indeed, PPPs in the NHS appear to have been particularly unsucce