04 November 2013 09:0
Dear Mrs Oliver,

I am writing in response to your request for information (ref FOI 7840).

The relevant Council Service(s) has searched for the requested information and our response is as follows.

With reference to your request for the conditions that have to be met for release of DfT monies / funding, the offer of funding is subject to the following conditions:

· This funding approval is granted entirely without prejudice to any view that the Secretary of State or other Ministers may take on any future application for statutory powers or in accordance with any other functions.

· The scheme must be implemented in accordance with the scheme proposals as set out in your business case dated November 2012, including that it will be delivered within the timescale as subsequently agreed, subject to any changes which may occur as a result of further design or as a result of any remaining statutory procedures. Ministers reserve the right to reconsider their decision on funding if there are any changes to the overall cost, scope or design of the scheme which they consider to be material, particularly where such changes would alter the value for money of the scheme. You must notify the Department immediately of any such material changes, and provide on request any appropriate evidence to determine the impact of the changes on the scheme’s value for money.

· The Department’s contribution will be a maximum of £165.0m. No further funding will be provided by the Department. GMCA is responsible for funding expenditure over and above this amount.

· Should the final cost of the scheme be lower than £230.37m, the savings will be shared between the Department and GMCA in proportion to the share of funding as set out in this letter.

· Should this scheme progress to Full Approval, further detailed conditions may apply to any grant payable. These may include matters not yet discussed with you.

· SMBC as lead authority will be responsible for the validity of the procurement process for the scheme.

· We expect GMCA to keep us closely informed of progress with, and expenditure on, the scheme and it is important that GMCA completes and returns quarterly monitoring forms by the due dates. The Department also reserves the right to request more frequent progress reports as necessary, to have sight of project board papers and meeting notes, and for its representatives to attend project board meetings.

· SMBC will be required to undertake an evaluation of the scheme in line with DfT guidance at your own expense the details of which we would wish to discuss with you. We would expect you to make the results of this evaluation available to the Department.

· SMBC is required to ensure that there is an appropriate project assurance mechanism in place, including formal Gateway reviews, and to make the results and recommendations of such reviews available to the Department on request.

· SMBC should ensure that the variable demand modelling for the scheme is appropriate and a range of sensitivities are carried out (e.g. may consider recalibrating the variable demand model based on peak hour generalised cost from the traffic assignment model and revise the economic appraisal, as well as employing a range of sensitivity tests of alternative reasonable assumptions). This should address the uncertainty in the scheme benefits related to the demand model methodology.

· SMBC should update the forecast uncertainty logs for the scheme to ensure appropriate assumptions are made (for example, assumptions about which road, public transport and Local Sustainable Transport Fund schemes are included in the forecast year Do-Minimum and Do-Something scenarios).

· SMBC should review the need for the Public Transport model and enhance/update as appropriate.