04 July 2002 | Liam O'Brien
The two largest distributors of lottery cash have denied that a move to subject their high-profile projects to more scrutiny reflects badly on their existing controls.
After the debacle over the new Wembley stadium, Tessa Jowell, the culture secretary, said the Office of Government Commerce, the procurement advisory body, would vet future high-profile, high-risk lottery projects.
Sport England, which has received £1.29 billion in lottery money and was responsible for the £120 million allocated to Wembley, welcomed Jowell's move but said it was happy with its existing controls.
A spokesperson said: "We believe our monitoring has been good and we are on course to deliver a world-class stadium."
After being assessed by its lottery panel, all large project applications are ratified by its council and subject to daily reviews.
The Arts Council, which has won £1.49 billion of lottery money, subjects large projects to a three-part application procedure involving a feasibility study, design process and construction.
An Arts Council spokesman said: "We take monitoring our lottery projects very seriously."
The comments follow an SM online poll, in which two-thirds of voters said the OGC should not be able to veto the award of lottery money to private-sector projects.