COVID-19 SUPPORT: Daily Update – Wednesday 8 April 2020
Support for Welsh Third Sector and Volunteering
The Welsh Government has announced a funding package to support the Third Sector to navigate the COVID-19 outbreak. The £24 million Welsh Government Third Sector Covid-19 Response Fund will support community groups, charities and volunteers and will consist of three components:
- a Third Sector Resilience fund, which will provide direct financial support for Third Sector organisations;
- a Voluntary Services Emergency Fund, which will support community-based organisations in paying the out-of-pocket expenses of their volunteers; and
- a Third Sector Infrastructure Enabling Fund, which will allow Third Sector Support Wales to temporarily increase its capacity.
The purchase and replacement of equipment to support the COVID-19 response will also be temporarily permitted under the existing Community Facilities Programme, a capital grant scheme aimed towards improving local facilities.
The Funding Wales platform, which allows organisations to quickly search for funding options, can now specifically filter funds focused on COVID-19 support.
The purpose of these additional measures is to financially support organisations through the Coronavirus crisis, help more people volunteer and improve and strengthen the Third Sector infrastructure.
Government urges the use of procurement cards
The Government has recommended increased use of procurement cards to maintain the cashflows of suppliers and to protect supply chains. The Procurement Policy Note – Use of Procurement Cards is the third in a series of Procurement Policy Notes (PPNs) which seek to facilitate the accelerated payment of suppliers by contracting bodies during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Under the PPNs, contracting authorities have been encouraged to continue to pay “at risk” suppliers on a continuity and retention basis until at least the end of June 2020 to support them during the outbreak. Interim and advanced payments, revised timescales, and forward-ordering are also listed in the PPNs as ways of protecting suppliers and maintaining business continuity.
The latest PPN has sought to increase the use of procurement cards by implementing a number of changes, which includes increasing the single transaction limit to £20,000 and raising the monthly limit to £100,000 for key card holders. These limits will not be required for all card holders, and organisations are encouraged to work with their card provider to set suitable limits.
The PPN states that, by 30 April 2020, organisations should ensure an appropriate number of staff have the authority to use the procurement cards and should open all relevant categories of spend to enable the cards to be used more widely.
It is believed that increasing the use of procurement cards can “improve organisations’ efficiency and accelerate payment to their suppliers while still ensuring robust controls”.
Full details on the PPNs can be found here:
Please see our daily updated Financial Support Guide for Businesses for futher information- COVID-19 FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES
For more information on any of the points raised, please contact our corporate team.