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Cambridge-Mit Institute

Volume 406: debated on Thursday 5 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when funding from her Department was first made available to the Cambridge-MIT Institute; how much funding her Department gave to the institute in each year since funding began; what restrictions apply to the funding; what assessment she has made of the management of grants made to the institute; what guidance she has given to the institute on its management; and what the status is of the Department's relationship with the institute. [116681]

[holding answer 3 June 2003]: On 17 July 2000, DTI formally offered CMI a grant of up to £65.1 million for expenditure incurred up to 31 July 2005. Under the detailed terms and conditions of the offer, the grant is paid in arrears against invoices for expenditure properly incurred, and is conditional on CMI achieving its deliverables. The grant drawn down by CMI each year is published in the DTI Consolidated Resource Accounts.

CMI is a limited company. Its Board of Directors are responsible for the operation of CMI and are accountable to DTI for proper expenditure of the grant. DTI and HMT have seats as observers on the CMI board, and there is regular contact with staff at all levels at CMI and both universities. I instigated an independent review of CMI in May 2001, and the CMI board accepted and acted upon all the recommendations. The most recent independent audit, in February 2003, found CMI's internal systems and controls and corporate governance practices to be satisfactory and made no recommendations for further action.