DTI review to rationalise grants

According to today’s Financial Times, ministers and officials are finalising two reviews of the DTI’s structure and business support services. The FT was told that a radical shake-up of the more than 200 grants schemes, worth around Pounds 1bn in total, is a certainty.

Apparently senior DTI officials are even unsure about how many funds already exist.

‘There’s been quite an argument about precisely how many schemes we offer, depending on whether you count those that have stopped giving out money,’ one insider told the FT.

The funds will be merged into ‘five or six larger pots linked to strategic portfolios within the department, such as knowledge transfer, productivity promotion and competitiveness’, according to the paper.

Another change expected is the breaking-down of barriers between sectors in the department. Trade secretary Patricia Hewitt is understood to believe there is a ‘silo approach’, with officials thinking only about their own specialist area.

A DTI official told that a review of the funding regime was underway. But he added: ‘No conclusions have been reached.’


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