The Architects Council of Europe has fortified claims that Public Private Partnerships are 'little more than an accounting trick' by quoting research conducted by Edinburgh University Senior research fellow, David Price. Price's study 'PFI: Cost, affordability and value
for money' outlines reasons why there collaboration between governments and the private sector do not cut the cost of major infrastructure projects.
In the latest ACE newsletter they state: "This comes as no surprise to the ACE, which has been
aware of the fact that PPP is little more than an accounting 'trick' that
keeps debt off public balance sheets and thus allow them to keep within
the strict public debt limits set out in the Maastricht criteria for economies
that are within the eurozone.
"To illustrate the research carried out by David Price, it has been found
that hospitals built in the UK using PPP have 30% fewer beds than the equivalent public hospitals that
they replace and that there are now cuts in other areas of the UK health service in order to pay for the
additional costs incurred under the PPP. Another example referred to is the London Metro where, due
to the bankruptcy of the PPP company, £400 million was recently added to the public debt overnight.
"The ACE work to further identify whether or not it is possible to ensure high architectural quality - and
beyond, overall quality in the built environment - in PPP projects continues, but research such as
reported here indicates that the use of PPP models is flawed in more ways than originally thought,
especially when it is used for buildings."