The New Opportunities Fund, created three months ago to channel
National Lottery money into health, education and environment projects,
is seeking an agency to review its external relations.
The fund, a non-departmental Government body, has been criticised as a
mechanism through which the Government intends to use lottery money to
fund activities which would normally be paid for by the Treasury.
Seven agencies have been invited to tender for the brief, which
comprises an audit of its communications with the Government, the media,
distributors of Lottery funds such as the Sports Council and the
National Lottery Charities Board, and government agencies with which it
works such as the Teacher Training Agency.
The audit will last three months, after which the New Opportunities Fund
is expected to retender for an agency to help it implement a programme
based on the audit.
The fund covers projects such as out-of-school clubs and IT training for
teachers and librarians. The Government is considering extending this to
include cancer prevention and care and lifelong learning.