Jane Hutt, Minister for Business and Budget
In the Final Budget, approved by the Assembly on 8 February, funding within Reserves was set aside to support public services to meet the challenges of a difficult settlement. £14 million was set aside for 2011-12, increasing to £40 million in each of 2012-13 and 2013-14.
In February, we announced that £5 million of this funding for 2011-12 would be allocated to Adapt, the Career Transition, Single Point of Contact Service. This Written Statement sets out how the remaining funding for 2011-12 will be allocated.
The remaining £9 million will be administered through the Invest-to-Save Fund and will be available to support organisations involved in public service delivery, including third sector bodies, to make the transition to more efficient, more effective and more sustainable forms of service delivery.
In furthering the pan-public service approach taken in the Efficiency and Innovation Programme, the funding will support innovative projects that transform service delivery. Typically, funding will encourage collaboration between organisations, both within and between sectors. Funding will also encourage the dissemination of lessons learnt and best practice.
The Invest-to-Save Fund arrangements will be used as the vehicle for allocating this funding as it offers a simple and responsive means by which funding can be provided. Invest-to-Save can allocate the additional funding promptly and strategically - given its ability to make larger scale investments, its geographical and sectoral reach and its alignment to the Efficiency and Innovation Programme. It has a proven track record of allocating funding to a broad range of projects and has developed arrangements for monitoring and evaluating project outcomes.
Funding will mostly be revenue in nature, but capital support can also be considered. It will be provided on a repayable basis; however, in recognition that some improvement projects may generate wider benefits that are not “cashable” efficiency savings, there will be flexibility to provide non-repayable funding if certain criteria apply. Further details on the process and timing of applications will be provided in due course.