1. Auditing of grants under the Cosc Grant Scheme


Auditing of grants under the Cosc Grant scheme.

Cosc recognises the burden of financial management and 'form-filling' but you'll all understand that we are obliged to ensure that taxpayers money is well spent. We try to ensure that our systems meet our obligations while not overburdening already stretched organisations.

In any event, we have to have a method of ensuring that the grant aid is being spent appropriately. The first part of this process is the information that applicants include on the application form, using the Grant Guidance Manual to help them. It's very important that this is done properly, using the Manual as a guide. Some activities are eligible for grant aid and some are not and this is set out in the Manual. A properly completed form also helps the grant assessment team to fully and quickly ascertain the correct level of grant that each applicant should be paid.

The second part of the process is the audit process. Each year a certain number of grant applications will be selected for full audit on the basis of amount granted, geographical location, previous audit performance and random selection. The groups selected will be asked to send in all invoices and proofs of payments associated with expenditure of money received. The audit of successful grant applicants who received grant aid in 2008 took place during the Spring of 2009. The majority of the organisations audited had spent the money granted appropriately or had a plan to spend any funds remaining at the time of audit. Grant recipients who were not fully audited were required to account for the money they received by completing a written form.

Only one recipient has been asked to return the grant as it had not been spent and no progress on the projects that the funding had been applied for in 2008 was possible until early-2010. A number of other organisations have been asked to provide Cosc with a report of progress on expenditure of money still unspent in the Autumn before a final decision is taken whether to seek the return of monies or not.

We keep all these processes under review to make sure that we are striking the right balance between accountability and burden. Our aim is a fair transparent system which works for everyone and gets information on services to the victim as efficiently as possible.