The methods used to fund public sector capital investment projects will be the subject of a Scottish Parliament inquiry.
The Finance Committee today began gathering views on the advantages and disadvantages of different funding models, and on how policy can ensure that projects are cost-effective and deliver good public services.
Launching the inquiry, committee convener Andrew Welsh MSP said:
"The Scottish Government is considering how it might improve capital project procurement and has announced that it is developing proposals for a Scottish Futures Trust.
"With increasing political focus on the way in which major projects like schools, hospitals and roads are funded, it is clear that the way our public infrastructure is paid for is hugely important, both to people who use the facilities and services it provides, and to present and future taxpayers.
"Our committee will consider how policy can be developed to ensure that capital investment is managed in a way which is cost-effective and sustainable and secures the best quality services for the public.
"We welcome views on how public capital investment should be funded from anyone interested in the subject. We are especially keen to hear from companies, advisers and public bodies who have been involved in public sector capital investment and communities and individuals with experience of particular projects.”
Call for evidence
The committee is issuing a broad call for evidence on any aspect of this issue. Some questions which submissions could address include, for example:
Funding methods: What are the key features and challenges of various methods that can be used to fund public capital investment? What are the implications of the various methods for costs in both the short and long-term?
Case studies: What practical examples of different methods have been used throughout Scotland? What effects have the various funding methods had on the management and delivery of public services?
The committee also plans to hold a series of evidence hearings in the first half of 2008. Written evidence submitted by interested parties will assist the committee in planning a detailed programme for oral evidence. The programme will be decided and announced in early 2008.
The deadline for written evidence is Friday 7 December 2007.