The Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions is to consider strengthening the penalties payable by grant recipients who fail to notify when receipts are due.
It follows a Public Accounts Committee report which complained it had taken the RDAs three years to fully address weaknesses in the system for collecting receipts from completed projects and said EPs were using a new computer system to identify when receipts are due in future.
A Treasury response said the DETR is putting revised monitoring arrangements, including spot checks, in place. It also agreed with the committee that the RDAs and EPs must include project receipts from all public sector bodies in working out cost per job outputs – and record detailed justifications when the £10,000 per job benchmark is exceeded.
The Treasury said other benefits – employments, private sector investment and land reclaimed – are taken into account and that benchmarks like cost per job are guides to whether output figures are reasonable.
The DETR is also monitoring the time taken to approve projects after MPs complained that 59% of those sampled by the National Audit Office had not been approved within the target time of three months.
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