[holding answer 22 January 2008]: In line with normal arrangements for Government funding, all UMF projects are regularly monitored for progress and expenditure to ensure accountability and the protection of public funds. All projects are required to allow site visits by BERR officials. Failure to comply with such monitoring activity may result in sanctions, including withholding or reclaiming of funds.
On completion, each project is required to produce an independent accountant’s report. The report accompanies the final claim and confirms that the union has expended the sums in respect of which all claims have been made.
In addition, BERR is working with Leeds University Business School to conduct a phased evaluation of the fund. Phase one evaluated the operational effectiveness of the first round of bidding. Phase two will evaluate the success of supported projects and the impact of monies via a series of case studies. An interim phase two evaluation report was published in December 2007.