SFT seeking ONS clarification


Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) chief executive Barry White has told Partnerships Bulletin that the agency is seeking clarification on the detailed rationale behind the reclassification of the Aberdeen Bypass project.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has classified Scotland’s Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) to the public sector, bringing the scheme onto the government’s books and also raising questions about other non-profit distributing (NPD) schemes, as well as the Hub programme.

“This will cause some disruption to the pipeline of Hub DBFM projects,” said White.

On the Hub programme, the SFT made changes to the model in June, whereby it reduced the public sector shareholding for future special purpose vehicles within Hub companies set up to deliver new projects.

“Following the ONS report on the classification of the AWPR we are seeking clarification on the detailed rationale for that decision,” explained White. “Subject to that clarification we can consider if the current changes to the Hub model are sufficient or whether further changes may be required.”

Concerns have been raised that the Scottish government could struggle to find the funding for future projects if the AWPR remains on balance sheet, and is joined by other schemes such as the Edinburgh Sick Kids hospital and the Dumfries & Galloway hospital – both of which are now being reviewed by the ONS.

“It is important to stress that the classification of the AWPR doesn’t affect progress on site – the project continues as planned” said White. - See more at: http://www.partnershipsbulletin.com/news/view/91252#sthash.LDfQ1FAs.dpuf

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