Value for Money in Rural Broadband Contracts

During the summer of 2013 a great deal of concern was expressed about whether taxpayers are getting value for money from the government's Rural Broadband programme.

  • In early July The National Audit Office published a highly critical report on the programme.
  • This was followed up by the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee which expressed strong concerns in a session in mid-July.
  • Media reports on BBC Newsnight and in the press have added to the public scrutiny.
Value for Money (VfM) is the term used to assess whether or not an organisation has obtained the maximum benefit from the goods and services it acquires and/ or provides, within the resources available to it.  It not only measures the cost of goods and services, but also takes account of the mix of quality, cost, resource use, fitness for purpose, timeliness and convenience to judge whether or not, when taken together, they constitute good value.  Achieving VfM may be described in terms of the 'three Es' - economy, efficiency and effectiveness.
(Source: Imperial College)
Alongside our September 25 2013 seminar on VfM in Rural Broadband Contracts INCA is developing a service to local authorities involved in rural broadband contracts to provide an independent assessment of value for money.