The Future of Public Private Partnerships

The recent collapse of Carillion and early termination of several Public Private Partnerships (PPP), has put a spotlight on the Private Financial Initiative (PFI) and the future of this model moving forward. Concern was also echoed by The National Audit Office’s recent report which raised questions about the benefit of PFIs. With over 700 PFI and PF2 deals currently operational in the UK, boasting a capital value of £60 billion, the question must be raised around the future of PPPs/PFIs.

Join us for a lunchtime briefing with Gareth Rhys Williams, Government Chief Commercial Officer, and George McFarlane, Sectors Director, CBI, as we explore the sustainability and potential solutions around PPPs in greater detail.


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  • About the speakers

    Gareth Rhys Williams was most recently Chief Executive Officer of PHS Group, a leading provider of outsourced workplace services in the UK. Gareth is an experienced CEO and Non Executive Director, with a consistent record of reinvigorating and reinventing listed and private equity backed companies through creative growth strategies. He has a strong record of driving transformational change in large, complex and federated organisations.

    Before joining PHS, Gareth was CEO of Charter International, the FTSE 250 engineering group, until its successful sale to Colfax Corporation in 2012. Prior to that, he was CEO of Capital Safety Group Ltd, since sold to KKR, and CEO of Vitec Group plc, the supplier of broadcast and photographic equipment and services.

    Government Chief Commercial Officer

    Reporting to the Chief Executive of the Civil Service, the Government Chief Commercial Officer shapes and leads the programme of commercial reform across government.

    The Government Chief Commercial Officer’s priorities include:

    • strengthening commercial capability throughout the civil service
    • improving the management of complex contracts
    • ensuring the government acts as a responsible, intelligent and experienced client

    The Government Chief Commercial Officer works closely with departmental ministers, the Cabinet Secretary, departmental permanent secretaries and other senior officials, and senior leaders of government suppliers. The Government Chief Commercial Officer gives evidence to Parliamentary Select Committees, including the Public Accounts Committee, on commercial matters.


    George McFarlane

    The CBI is the UK’s most influential business organisation, representing 190,000 companies to the government and working to cultivate the conditions in which firms of all sizes can contribute to prosperity. As Sectors Director, George leads lobbying, policy development and communications for complex & regulated industries. During his seven years with the CBI, George has worked closely with government and its major private sector suppliers to unlock business investment and innovation in infrastructure and public services while delivering value for money for taxpayers. Before joining the CBI, George worked as a parliamentary aide to the postal affairs minister in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. He studied English and history at Queen Mary, University of London before gaining a masters in public policy from UCL.

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