The Infrastructure Projects Authority (IPA) recently issued guidance on PFI expiry. The IPA forms the government's centre of expertise for infrastructure and major projects. The guidance has been prepared by the IPA's PFI Centre of Excellence.

Who is the guidance aimed at?

In short, this guidance is aimed at PFI contracting authorities, in particular, individuals in the following roles: PFI contract managers and their teams, Senior Responsible Owners (SROs) and procurement leaders.

Indirectly, the guidance could also be useful for private sector investors, funders, asset managers and market suppliers. This is because greater understanding and transparency around the actions and expectations related to contract expiry will benefit all parties throughout the process.

What does the guidance cover?

The document is split into three main sections:

  • Part A – Importance and approach

This section covers the contextual importance of PFI contract expiry and the strategic significance of getting ahead of the process. It also provides a template for how to approach the process and invaluable "lessons learned from experience" from those who have already gone through the process.

  • Part B – Implementation

This section includes detailed guidance covering the execution of each aspect of the expiry process. Where appropriate, the guidance also links additional documents of note.

  • Part C – References and grab guide

This section distils the information into easily digestible chunks. The highlights include: timelines, recommended outputs, recaps by topic and a key terms glossary. These "grab guides" could be used as a useful recap of essential information, or a high level summary prior to focussing in on the specifics (in-documents references are also helpfully provided).

Where can I find a copy of the guidance?

The guidance has been published on the IPA's website.

What should I be doing now?

If your PFI contract is due to expire in the next seven years your first steps should be:

Plan! Plan! Plan!

Thorough and detailed preparation in the earlier stages ensures enough time can be dedicated to the various risks, challenges and opportunities. 

Start earlier than you think

The IPA suggests that the process of planning for expiry and transition should commence seven years prior to the contract expiry date – check out the timeline at 3.7 of the guidance document.

Get senior level buy-in immediately

Getting the right people on board with your project at the right time will help streamline the resolution of any issues down the road.

Collaborate, partner, communicate

Reaching out to sector specialists could further support an efficient and effective PFI contract expiry and transition process.

For further information relating to PFI contract expiry and specialist sector insight, please see our other updates on our PFI Handback Hub.

This article is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice.