Credit: public domain
The Cabinet Office is exploring the possibility of creating a new £ 5million platform to manage the application and award process for all grants awarded across government.
The ministry-based government grant management function (GGMF) plans to work with “a small number of ministries” to run a pilot program for a new centralized portal. This trial exercise will focus on grant programs for charities, according to a recently released procurement notice.
“If successful, the pilot project would pave the way for a single application portal for government-wide grants,” the notice added. “This innovative model would allow a radical shift in UK government grant making and completely reset the way government, public sector bodies, charities, SMEs and citizens interact.”
The Cabinet Office has indicated that, if it goes ahead with the creation of the unified service, a budget of up to £ 5million will be available for a contract with the business partner chosen to lead the construction of the tool in line.
Such a platform would replace an existing patchwork of varied systems that disadvantages applicants and increases risk to the government, according to the ministry.
“Right now, there is no one place to find or apply for government grants,” he said. “It’s complicated, long and expensive for the candidates – [who] employ people to research grant opportunities – and expose the government to significant risk of fraud, error and duplication of funding. It also leads some organizations to be unaware of grant opportunities. “
It is hoped that the pilot project, which will be run from the Cabinet Office’s’ second seat ‘in Glasgow,’ will reduce the burden, cost and speed of applying for government grants and allow the government to automate due diligence prior to attribution ”. The testing exercise also aims to “raise awareness of the range of funding opportunities available to charities, [while], increasing competition and allowing a wider distribution of funding ”.
The discovery phase of the program has already been completed and the alpha phase is expected to end in early 2022.
A supplier is sought to work on the delivery of the beta phase; the Cabinet Office hopes to appoint the selected firm for a contract starting January 24 and running until March 31, 2023.
Submissions for the project are open until midnight November 26.
The deployment of the pilot program for charities comes at a time when the existence of many people is threatened by the impact of the coronavirus crisis, according to the market notice.
“Covid-19 has had a notable impact on the voluntary sector, with 1 in 10 charities facing bankruptcy,” he said. “Grants are an essential tool to support the sector. By making grants more clearly accessible and improving the focus of funds to the right recipients, we can help give charities the best chance for survival and recovery at this critical stage.