The Connecting Communities Grant Scheme (FOI)
The Connecting Communities Grant Scheme (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 03 February 2023.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
The Connecting Communities Grant Scheme
Please would you provide, or point to where they may be found if already a matter of public record:
The governing documents relating to this Scheme and say how and by which Minister they were approved, and when.
Details of the governance and decision-making arrangements under the Scheme including which members of the present Ministry sit on any 'Political Oversight Group' connected with the approval of grants under the Scheme, or sat on the same as members of the previous Ministry, including minutes of all meetings to date at which grant decisions have been made.
The quantum of taxpayers funds committed to the Scheme and over what period; and how many grants have been awarded to date, to which entities and for how much money.
The grant criteria under the Scheme.
The audit arrangements for the Scheme.
The contractual arrangements relating to grants, including clawback for non-performance and grantees' reporting obligations.
What specific actions have been taken by those responsible to ensure that activities funded by the Scheme are accessible to persons of all ilks, whether or no they have access to motor cars; and what review of proposals is undertaken to ensure that those (especially children) from households without or without access to motor cars are reasonably able to access the venues at which it is indicated the given activities will take place. Is it, for instance, considered to be reasonable under the criteria for activities to be undertaken at a venue half a mile or so from the nearest bus stop access to which is along single track, unlighted, roads?
Reference the last point above, what precise risk assessments are, and have been, prepared for review by decision makers before grants are awarded, regarding impracticability of access to a designated venue absent private motor transport and the dangers inherent in young people, even if with parents, having to walk considerable distances along unlighted, narrow roads after school in the dark?
Applications were considered by the Project Team, in July 2022, (composed of Senior Officers from Community and Local Services, Department for the Economy and Children, Young People, Education and Skills) against the Social Prescribing Grant fund criteria. Please see below. No Minister was involved in the decision-making process.
Social Prescribing Grant Fund Criteria.pdf
The decision-making process was undertaken by the Project Team in July 2022 (composed of senior officers involved in the project). Evaluation criteria for awarding projects based on those initiatives meeting the criteria as laid out in the application process. Please see the evaluation sheet template below. Decision-making on individual grants remains confidential. No Minister was involved in the decision-making process. Article 33 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law, 2011 has been applied.
Evaluation Sheet Template.pdf
A total of £803,000 was awarded to the Social Prescribing initiative to be utilised by the end of 2023. To-date, 45 Connect Me, Connecting Our Communities projects have been supported. Please see sheet below. Article 25 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 has been applied in relation to personal information. It is not possible to provide financial details of each project given the commercially sensitive nature of this data. Article 33 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law, 2011 has been applied.
List of Projects.pdf
The grant criteria are as follows:
- To engage a large cross section of the Jersey community in arts and/or physical activity aimed at enhancing sustainable wellbeing over the next two years
- To increase participation in the arts and/or group physical activity across the whole population and especially amongst groups who have been most impacted by the pandemic over the last two years
- To provide a means for Government to progress towards the delivery of the strategic objectives outlined in the Common Strategic Policy, Government Plan, Jersey Care Model, Arts Strategy, Heritage Strategy and Inspiring an Active Jersey Strategy
- To stimulate the creative economy by providing coordinated work for creatives and arts practitioners.
The audit arrangements are contained within the agreed and signed grant agreement (signed by both parties) that requires the grantee to provide:
- Unaudited signed income and expenditure Statement provided within 6 months of the grantee’s year end Signed Statement which will be retained by the Department and made available to individual States members on request’
- Acknowledge that they may be subject to an audit by the Department or Comptroller and Auditor General. The grantee agrees to allow unrestricted access to all files and records and provide any information requested within 30 days of the request being made
- Agrees to complete a Grant Assurance statement by the 31st March 2023 (following period of agreement)
- Agrees to provide proof of payment via invoice receipts to the value of the grant
- Agrees to return any monies advanced should the purchases be less than the amount advanced.
Please see response in E above, clauses contain both.
Applications were assessed on the Scheme criteria. Please see D above. It was the grantee’s responsibility to ensure access to all.
Applications were assessed on the Scheme’s criteria. Please see D above. It is the grantee’s responsibility to ensure an up-to-date risk assessment to meet the criteria.
Article 25 - Personal information
(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018.
(2) Information is absolutely exempt information if –
(a) it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is not the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018; and
(b) its supply to a member of the public would contravene any of the data protection principles, as defined in that Law.
3) In determining for the purposes of this Article whether the lawfulness principle in Article 8(1)(a) of the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018 would be contravened by the disclosure of information, paragraph 5(1) of Schedule 2 to that Law (legitimate interests) is to be read as if sub-paragraph (b) (which disapplies the provision where the controller is a public authority) were omitted.
Article 33 - Commercial interests
Information is qualified exempt information if –
(a) it constitutes a trade secret; or
(b) its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of a person (including the scheduled public authority holding the information).
Article 33 (b) allows an authority to refuse a request for information where its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of a person (including the scheduled public authority holding the information). Whilst we accept that the public may have an interest in the details surrounding these grants, we believe releasing this information could affect confidence in government by small charities and businesses in future similar schemes.
Prejudice and Public Interest Test
Decision making on individual grants, due to the confidentiality of the applications from a wide number of Neil, would highlight the operating models, finances and governance arrangements of small charities and local businesses. It could prejudice them from applying to future schemes. Therefore, maintaining this exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing this information.