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Business Gateway Fife value for money audit


The main goal of the audit was to see if the award of the Business Gateway Fife (BGF) contract on a non-competitive basis represented value for money.


Visits were made to the BGF outlets. Prior to each visit a list of information that was required was sent to the manager; this enabled the visits to focus upon gathering discursive, rather than factual, information. Interviews were undertaken with key management staff. A variety of written materials were synthesised. A considerable quantity of statistical information was analysed.


The following conclusions were made about BGF: it had either met, or was in the process of meeting, its contractual requirements; its partnerships for economic development were exemplary; management and direction were focused and pro-active; procedures were working effectively; clients had a positive perception; and Fife was generally performing above average compared with the rest of the network.


The following recommendations were made for local action: Scottish Enterprise Fife should continue the process of integrating the procedures and staff who provide an economic development service under the Gateway 'banner'; BGF should consider developing Service Level Agreements that would outline the services on offer and the obligations of the customer who receives these services; BGF should ensure that all staff who deal directly with customers receive appropriate training; BGF should give thought to its marketing strategy in order to ensure that it can reach those target groups that it is currently failing to meet; BGF should put in place a strategy to ensure that it can meet its business growth targets; BGF should examine the statistics for business growth performance and see if a more targeted approach could result in a greater impact being attained; and BGF should make greater efforts to provide aftercare to business start-ups and to record their achievements in terms of job creation and sales. At a national level, the following recommendations were made: consideration should be given to using the resources allocated to CCA for customer surveys for assessing the impact of Business Gateway on economic development; and consideration should be given to using BGF's resources in a more targeted, and possibly a more effective, way.

Author Keith Hayton and Michelle Myron (Gen Consulting)
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Entrepreneurship/new firm formation, Support to existing/growth businesses