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Venezuela: Fund for Universal Service

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Por Sandra L. Benítez U. (APC)
, June 2009

This exploratory study, carried out by Funredes and EsLaRed, analyses the use of the Universal Service Fund (FSU-Fondo de Servicio Universal) in Venezuela. Since 2001 the FSU has financed access points in different areas as well as infrastructure and access networks for communities and government agencies.

The study indicates that only 30% of the funding has been allocated and that, of this sum, more than 80% has gone to support social programmes benefiting the government and not the community. The document goes on to say that this evidences the need to create suitable mechanisms that can guarantee management and monitoring of the FSU projects in the timeframes of the contracts, using the designated resources.

Inadequate supervision, sometimes completely lacking, of the projects subsidised by the FSU during their construction or operation will invariably lead to poor results, according to the study, if not to their failure. Therefore, it concludes that strengthening monitoring and honouring the agreements established in the contracts by the responsible bodies is a priority need in order to guarantee the success of the projects.

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