Headlines: September 3rd, 1997

GA Properties Limited have been selected as the preferred bidder to provide new serviced office space for the Inland Revenue in central Glasgow. The deal will allow 320 staff to move into new purpose-built accommodation. The improved facilities and easy access will benefit both customers and staff.Ian Gerrie Controller of Inland Revenue Scotland, said:- “This is another good example of the Private Finance Initiative in practice, providing Inland Revenue staff in Glasgow with modern efficient working conditions, and using private sector skills and expertise to supply the accommodation and supporting services. The PFI allows the public and private sectors to concentrate on what they do best.” The GA proposal includes a blend of fixed prices over the length of the 15 year contract period and incentives to reduce running costs.

The project is part of a 10 year restructuring programme which merges the previously separate tax and collection offices to improve the quality of service to taxpayers and at the same time increase efficiency and reduce costs.

This is the Inland Revenue’s fourth PFI project – and its second in Scotland. It follows the announcements made in the last year about new buildings to be provided under PFI in Manchester, Bootle and Edinburgh.

The deal coincides with the publication of a new Step-by-Step Guide to PFI. The guidance is the first to be published since the recent review of the Private Finance Initiative by Malcolm Bates and a swift response to his recommendation that such a guide needed early publication. In welcoming the Guide Paymaster General Geoffrey Robinson said: “The hardest part of any project is knowing where to start. For anyone from the public or private sector setting out on a PFI project, this guide provides answers to the basic questions. It will save time and effort by helping make sure that projects are properly thought out from the start.”

The guide describes each stage of the process, indicates what appraisal needs to be done and what decisions need to be taken in preparing the business case.