Publication - FOI/EIR release

Debt Advice funding questions: FOI release

Published: 6 Nov 2020

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
6 Nov 2020
Debt Advice funding questions: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000088222
Date received: 15 Sep 2020
Date responded: 2 Oct 2020
Information requested

You asked for the following information:

i. “[…] how much [funding] Advice UK have been given or the Scottish Government have committed to giving the[m] [from the £2.4 million in additional debt advice funding announced 29th August 2020];

ii. “[…] the terms on which [this funding] has been given”; and

iii. “[…] for what purpose [this funding has been given].

iv. “[…] who else [the Scottish Government] have given money or intend to give money to from this £2.4 million and for what purpose”; and

v. “ […] information on the procurement process used”.

Response

i. As of 15 September, no payment had been made from the Scottish Government to AdviceUK using the debt advice levy in the financial year 2020/21. An Offer of Grant letter has been issued for a £700,000 grant payable over the financial year 2020/21 in connection with a debt advice project, described below at section (iii.).

ii. Information on the process for grant funding used by the Scottish Government, which makes grants on behalf of Scottish Ministers, is available at https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-publicfinance-manual/grant-and-grant-in-aid/grant-and-grant-in-aid/. More specifically with regards to this fund, all providers were asked for proposals for new projects which:

  • are distributed as evenly as possible throughout Scotland;
  • are focused on those hardest to reach or hardest to help – including those who might never
  • before have sought debt advice;
  • are innovative and inventive in approach;
  • will be completed by end March 2021; and
  • can share learning to inform future approaches.

iii. The purpose of the funding for which an Offer of Grant letter has been issued to AdviceUK is to support a proposed grant distribution programme. A Grants Committee in AdviceUK will  assess grant applications from its members based on the Scottish Government’s criteria set out in section (ii.) above – with a key focus on innovation and learning for future approaches.

iv. Other projects which have been considered for grant funding from the additional £2.4 million announced 29 August 2020 and which have been agreed in principle are detailed in the table below. It should be noted that the grant funding process is not yet complete and that a commitment for funding in the form of an Offer of Grant letter has not yet been issued to the organisations listed below. The Scottish Government is still considering proposals from a number of other advice providers, but has not yet committed to provide funding. The details of all recipients of funding from the debt advice levy in the financial year 2020/21, as well as the purpose and amount this funding, will be published at the end of the financial year at
https://www.gov.scot/groups/tackling-problem-debt-group/

Organisation Project Details
StepChange Increase in capacity
Advice Direct Scotland Online video advice provision project to supplement current multi-channel services
Uplift proposal to increase capacity on its digital debt advice project
Money Advice Scotland Project to allow individual advice agencies that are members of
Money Advice Scotland to pilot a video conferencing product

v. As stated above at section (ii.), the Scottish Government makes grants on behalf of Scottish Ministers, following the procedures outlined in the Scottish Public Finance Manual. The process for
grant funding is available at https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-public-finance-manual/grantand-grant-in-aid/grant-and-grant-in-aid/

About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG