Changes to budgets, redeployed staff and collection of Families First data during the coronavirus pandemic.
Can funds from the financial year 2019 to 2020 be moved to fund postponed training in 2020 to 2021?
Due to social distancing requirements to stop the spread of COVID-19, we are aware that some planned activities such as training courses, group sessions or similar needed to be cancelled, which has resulted in funds not being allocated to services as intended.
It is permissible to utilise the planned expenditure from the final few weeks of 2019 to 2020, which would usually form part of your quarter 4 (Q4) claim, on activities which needed to be postponed as a result of the impact of COVID-19 in the 2020 to 2021 financial year. Strict monitoring will need to be in place for a clear audit trail to demonstrate the cause of any underspend, the amount carried forward, and clear links to expenditure for the ‘carry over’. You will not be able to claim for more than the outturn provided in your Q4 estimate submitted to the Funding Alignment team in March 2020, and any expenditure relating to 2020 to 2021 planned activities should be claimed in that financial year.
If you wish to carry over funds from 2019 to 2020 into 2020 to 2021 on the basis described, please contact the Funding Alignment Team. More advice on how to claim this will be issued separately.
We’ve commissioned services from third sector providers which have been cancelled due to COVID-19. Can we still pay our third sector providers?
Staff employed through the Children and Communities Grant (CCG) funds should be paid in full throughout this 3 month period as per the UK Government criteria set out in their Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance.
When will local authorities receive the final grant offer letters for CCG and HSG?
Final Grant Offer letters were issued week commencing 6 April 2020.
Staffing and redeployment
When Families First staff are redeployed to front line/statutory duties, does the programme still pay their salary?
Yes, staff should still be paid via the CCG budget. Changes such as these will need to be recorded for audit purposes and you will also need to record the rationale for the decision and associated timescales. With the exception of the CfW+ programme who need you to complete the ‘Redeployment tracker’ as part of the wider employability agenda, you will not be required to submit this information to Welsh Government, but you will need to retain the information and Welsh Government may request to see this information at some stage in the future. The information should include:
- Who – note the details of the staff members to be re-deployed, including which programme they are funded from within the CCG
- When – note the time period of redeployment i.e. start and end dates (latter where known)
- What – note the redeployment role and note a brief description of the activities they’ll undertake
- Why – Provide rationale for the decision
For further information regarding payment arrangements please see the CCG COVID-19 guidance.
Data and monitoring
Is there flexibility to routine end of year monitoring and reporting arrangements?
The Q4 claims for 2019 to 20 are due April 2020, however, the Funding Alignment Team has recently contacted local authorities to establish if you wish to extend the timeframe for submitting the 2019 to 2020 Q4 claim.
Flexibility has been provided in relation to the reporting of programme monitoring data. As advised the Knowledge and Analytical Services Team, which manages Flying Start data have delayed the deadline for submission, however you should still record your data.
If you have further questions relating to provision of your programme, please contact your Welsh Government Account Manager directly or via mailboxes.
If you have any further questions relating to financial matters that are not covered above, please contact the Welsh Government Funding Alignment Team.