Governance & Compliance 8: Grant Applications

Schools in Devon have recently been contacted by companies offering assistance in applying for grants offering specialist grant funding consultants with minimal work needed to secure funding, with no risk or cost to the school if the funding application is unsuccessful. However, stipulations would then apply if the grant was successful, such as you are required to order goods and services through this company without the need to go to tender but the costs for these goods/services would increase.

The Education & Learning Team have been in contact with the County Solicitor and they had advised us that schools should not enter into the type of arrangement outlined by these companies.  Schools should therefore not tie themselves to purchasing equipment from a particular firm just because that firm offers to assist them with a grant application.

Schools should treat this as a two stage process.  If they require assistance in completing grant/funding applications or require someone to undertake this task on their behalf they should first see whether DCC has any in-house expertise and, if not, actually procure someone to do it on their behalf.

If the school is successful in obtaining funding then, obviously depending on the value of the equipment they intend to purchase, they will need to obtain a certain number of quotes/tenders so that they can be satisfied they are getting value for money.

For further details, please see the Model Procurement Policy and the Finance Manual available from the Education & Learning website.

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