Crucial silences: when accountability met PFI and finance capital

Darinka Asenova, Matthias Beck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

During recent years, a wide spectrum of research has questioned whether public services/infrastructure procurement through private finance, as exemplified by the UK Private Finance Initiative (PFI), meets minimum standards of democratic accountability. While broadly agreeing with some of these arguments, this paper suggests that this debate is flawed on two grounds. Firstly, PFI is not about effective procurement, or even about a pragmatic choice of procurement mechanisms which can potentially compromise public involvement and input; rather it is about a process where the state creates new profit opportunities at a time when the international financial system is increasingly lacking in safe investment opportunities. Secondly, because of its primary function as investment opportunity, PFI, by its very nature, prioritises the risk-return criteria of private finance over the needs of the public sector client and its stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalCritical Perspectives on Accounting
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

Fingerprint

finance
responsibility
financial system
compromise
public service
public sector
pragmatics
profit
stakeholder
Finance
Private finance initiative
Procurement
Accountability
infrastructure
Investment opportunities
Private finance
Public involvement
Risk-return
Public input
Minimum standards

Keywords

  • public private partnerships
  • PFI
  • accountability
  • accounting
  • finance capital

Cite this

Asenova, Darinka ; Beck, Matthias. / Crucial silences: when accountability met PFI and finance capital. In: Critical Perspectives on Accounting. 2010 ; Vol. 21, No. 1. pp. 1-13.
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Crucial silences: when accountability met PFI and finance capital. / Asenova, Darinka; Beck, Matthias.

In: Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Vol. 21, No. 1, 01.01.2010, p. 1-13.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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