Audit Office criticises DEFRA’s PFI programme

The Environment Department (DEFRA) must "reduce substantially" the time taken to procure waste plants and bring them into operation if the UK is to meet EU targets on diverting waste from landfill, the National Audit Office says.

In January, the NAO issued a report on DEFRA’s management of its waste Private Finance Initiative programme.1 Under this, local authorities bid for funding - so-called "PFI credits" - to pay waste management firms to build and operate plant.

Some 18 councils have received PFI funds, the report says, but only two have built all the infrastructure needed to meet the EU targets.

It takes up to nine years to develop waste pr

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