Generic expectations for all funding arrangements

Spending public money wisely and well: how to put basic principles into practice.

There are some matters that are so fundamental to public sector administration that they are generic expectations for all categories of funding arrangements. Our generic expectations are:

  • any proposed use of public funds should be for the public purpose or goals of the public entity – that is, it should fit with the entity’s overall strategic and business planning;
  • for government departments, all funding arrangements must be within the scope of the relevant appropriation, which sets the terms on which Parliament has authorised the use of public funds;
  • individual funding decisions must fit within the budget of the public entity, and must have appropriate justification for the cost of the particular funding arrangement;
  • delegations of authority should be in place within a public entity, and spending decisions must be taken at the right level in keeping with those delegations;
  • all funding arrangements should be managed in keeping with a public entity’s policies and procedures unless there is a documented decision, at the right level, to do something differently;
  • all those involved in making decisions or managing funding arrangements must act in keeping with the state sector code of conduct or any equivalent sectoral or organisational documents setting ethical standards;
  • systems must be in place to ensure that all those involved in making decisions or managing funding arrangements appropriately identify, manage, and record conflicts of interest; and
  • record-keeping systems should be in place to support effective decision-making, monitoring, and management, and to enable the public entity to be open and accountable.

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