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(1) what process his Department undertook in determining the awarding of the contract to run the national representative body for local enterprise partnerships to the British Chambers of Commerce;
(2) what arrangements he plans to put in place to ensure transparency in the funding of the national representative body for local enterprise partnerships;
(3) whether he assessed the merits of alternative options for the operation of a network of local enterprise partnerships before awarding the work to the British Chambers of Commerce;
(4) what process his Department undertook to determine the cost to the public purse of establishing a national local enterprise partnership network run by the British Chambers of Commerce;
(5) if he will publish the final business case made to his Department by the British Chambers of Commerce for the operation of the national local enterprise partnership network.
The British Chambers of Commerce offered to run a network of local enterprise partnerships and submitted a proposal to support this offer. The Government have chosen the British Chambers of Commerce as the preferred option to run the network because, with its existing extensive network and capability across the country, it is ideally placed to provide the capability and support that partnerships need to achieve their economic ambitions.
The Department is not procuring this service but will support this activity led by British Chambers of Commerce. No grant agreement is yet in place and any funding awarded will be subject to a satisfactory funding agreement which will be dependent on the quality of their final business case and is subject to the Department's normal funding arrangements.
Subject to the necessary redactions to protect sensitive personal and commercial information, we shall publish their final business case.
The British Chambers of Commerce is committed to working closely with other business organisations to ensure that the network is a success. We hope other business organisations will engage constructively in this work going forward.