Staff who renegotiate the refinancing of private finance initiatives often 'lack commercial awareness' and must receive training, a Commons committee has found.

The Public Accounts Committee report on refinancing PFI debt, published this week, found that locally negotiated refinancings often produced high returns for the private sector but increased risks such as higher termination liabilities and longer contract periods for the public sector, including hospital trusts.

In 2002 the government introduced arrangements for the private sector to share PFI debt refinancing gains with the public sector, expecting the public sector to benefit by at least£175m. In fact, the public sector has secured the right to gains of only£93m.

Committee chair Edward Leigh said: 'Staff negotiating the fine print of refinancing clauses in contracts... must be trained so they are not outwitted by commercially sophisticated private sector counterparts.'