HC Deb 23 April 1996 vol 276 c113W
Mr. Illsley

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what measures are in place to monitor the use made of money given by the LEDU to small businesses in Northern Ireland. [26227]

Mr. Ancram

[holding answer 22 April 1996]In addition to the monitoring obligations of the Department of Finance and Personnel, the Department of Economic Development and the Northern Ireland Audit Office, LEDU operates an extensive appraisal, monitoring and evaluation system with regard to the allocation, measurement and impact assessment of its assistance to small businesses.

Formal appraisal is carried out ensuring that all forms of assistance offered by LEDU meet the objectives of the organisation in the most efficient, effective and economic manner.

An independent evaluation of LEDU's impact on its client companies is undertaken on LEDU's behalf by the Northern Ireland Economic Research Council. This takes the form of an annual survey to measure the survivability, growth in employment for all clients, and sales and export sales for a subset of clients. In addition, LEDU operates a rolling evaluation schedule whereby all major schemes are evaluated every five years.