Bradford Announces Decisions on Business Development GrantsBusiness Development
Existing business development grants are to be paid, but all future grant approvals have been suspended, Business Development Minister Max Bradford announced today.
The payment of grants was suspended temporarily on November 11 because of concern that some Business Development Boards had been issuing grants which were not in line with the criteria they were required to follow.
Following decisions made at this week's Cabinet meeting, the temporary suspension on existing grants has been lifted and payment on those grants will be made by the Ministry of Commerce as usual.
However, Mr Bradford has also instructed the Business Development Boards to suspend the approval of any further grants in order to avoid any further risk of unappropriated expenditure.
"I have taken this action because the boards continue to have problems providing assurance that they are complying with the criteria set down in the Code for Business Development Boards.
"This poses unacceptable risks of further payments being made which are in breach of the Code and the Public Finance Act."
Mr Bradford said this instruction would take effect immediately and applies to all grant applications held by the Board. The decision did not impact on grants approved by Boards prior to this instruction.
"The future of the grant scheme is being considered as part of the current review of the Business Development Programme. I expect to advise the outcome of this early next year."