We are making some changes to Form 2: Applying to register a project. We are also reintroducing the project completion form so Environmental Bodies (EBs) can notify us when a project is complete and introducing a project extension form so EBs can seek an extension of time to complete their project.
We are making these changes to address over-running projects to ensure that we are aware when projects have completed and that we have the best data available about completed projects.
Changes to Form 2: Applying to register a project
Project applicants were asked value for money (VFM) questions on the project registration form (Form 2). We were concerned that many project applicants do not have sufficient information at that stage to answer the VFM questions and are likely to be in a better position to answer at project completion stage. Therefore we considered it would be more appropriate that the VFM questions be asked at project completion stage which would result in no VFM questions being asked at project registration stage. These were removed from the Form 2 in April 2014. The project questions, which would remain on the project registration form (Form 2), are on areas project applicants are likely to be able to give an accurate response at registration.
Moving the VFM questions to completion stage brings the timing of our VFM questions in line with many other third sector assessments of VFM (which are predominantly after completion of the enterprise being considered, such as The Heritage Lottery Fund’s recommended quality and impact toolkit, devised by the New Economics Foundation).
Project completion form
In addition we are reintroducing the project completion form. Our main focus in reintroducing the project completion form is to address over-running projects and to enable project applicants to inform us as soon as a project has completed (rather than waiting until submission of the Statutory Annual Return (Form 4), which may be up to 13 months following completion of the project). The reintroduction of the project completion form enables us to move the VFM questions to a more appropriate place.
We also held a consultation earlier this year on the VFM question which EBs considered it would be appropriate to ask and we expect to publish the outcome of that consultation shortly. A set of VFM questions will then be added to the project completion form once it is introduced.
Project extension form
We will introduce a project extension form at the same time that we reintroduce the project completion form. This form will enable EBs who will not be able to complete their projects by the complete date on the project registration form, to seek an extension of time. We already have an informal process for extensions of time. This new form will be available online and will enable EBs to seek an extension of up to three months. Longer extensions can be sought by contacting the Registrations team.
System and process changes
Our expectation is that the new project completion form and new project extension form will work seamlessly with the existing bank of forms.
An EB completing a project extension form online will see the date originally notified for completion of a project and can seek a three month extension. This new date will become the new project completion date.
An EB completing a project completion form online will find that any relevant project information which has already been provided to us will be pre-populated in the completion form for that project. At present an EB can only notify us of the completion of a project by entering data in the supplementary pages of the Form 4 after the conclusion of the reporting year in which the project was completed, the new process enables an EB to notify us at any point in the year.