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Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 103504, tabled on 14 October 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to ensure value for money and protect public investment in broadband network expansion.

Answered on

2 November 2020

BDUK programmes have a focus on ensuring Value for Money throughout every stage of the programme and procurement lifecycle.

Programmes are designed to target delivery in those areas which will achieve the best outcomes and economic benefit and projects under each programme are assured against these objectives prior to approval.

Procurements for delivery of broadband infrastructure are competitively tendered and assured for compliance with relevant regulations and against cost benchmarking data. Furthermore, contracts include rigorous financial and delivery reporting requirements and, where appropriate, clawback mechanisms to recoup excess funding. As referenced in the recent NAO report, DCMS estimates that £0.9bn of funding will be clawed back to Local Bodies through the Superfast programme.

Finally, programmes are evaluated against their original objectives and the outcomes and lessons learnt from each evaluation are used to inform future programme design.