The Government has agreed to provide Grants to religious organisations for the purposes of purchasing goods for the preparation and distribution of hampers and food support to citizens and permanent residents whose incomes have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and who are in need of emergency food supplies. Funds released by the Government shall be used only for purposes for which they are provided as mentioned above.
A proper written account shall be provided by the religious organisation monthly of the disbursement of funds evidencing that the sums have been expended in the manner intended. Monthly reports must be submitted by the 2nd day of the following month. A close-out report must also be submitted.
The Office of the Prime Minister, which has the portfolio for Ecclesiastical Affairs, has the responsibility to make these payments within the shortest possible time frame and monitor and evaluate the progress to ensure transparency and accountability. These allocations are being made to the umbrella religious groups as far as possible. Every effort will be made to identify the unattached groups to determine whether they have the capacity and the reach to support distribution efforts within communities.
The grant is governed by an Agreement which the religious bodies execute with the Government before receiving their cheques. A copy of the Agreement can be found here. The Agreement clearly states that this is an emergency humanitarian effort to provide food and other critical supplies to the populace and that the Government has agreed to provide financial support by the provision of a grant to the religious bodies to assist vulnerable persons. The Agreement clearly states that the religious bodies or beneficiary shall use the Grant only for the purposes of purchasing goods for the preparation and distribution of hampers and food support to citizens and permanent residents whose incomes have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and who are in need of emergency food supplies.
REPORTING AND RECORD KEEPING REQUIREMENTS
All religious organisations agree to report as follows:
- to provide monthly reports on the number of persons/households who have benefited from the food support programme and the quantum of funding expended;
- to provide in writing a Close-Out Report within one (1) month of completion/termination of the initiative and may be additionally required by the Government to make a presentation on the organisation’s experience, at subsequent date mutually agreeable to the parties;
- to submit any reports on the provision of hampers and food support which are being made available to citizens and permanent residents whose incomes have been adversely affected by COVID-19 Pandemic/Crisis or such other report that may reasonably be requested in connection with the performance or the progress of the provision of those services; and
- to respond to any issues that may arise in a timely manner and to treat these with diplomacy and with urgency.
Reports shall be delivered electronically to the Permanent Secretary and to her authorized representative, as duly notified in correspondence from the Permanent Secretary.
The Agreement mandates all organisations to keep their records and the agreement specifies that the organization shall:
- Maintain basic demographic information on persons who access the food support;
- Maintain financial and other records that specially show the use of the Grant exclusively for the purposes of the Grant. The organisation shall maintain such records at least three (3) years after the end of the Grant Period. The Sponsor shall have the right, upon reasonable notice, to conduct on-site visits and to audit the Beneficiary’s records relating to the expenditure of the Grant at any time up to three (3) years after the end of the Grant Period.
- Utilize disbursed funds in accordance with the intent and purpose of the Grant;
- Provide all invoices, bills and receipts for all monies expended;
- Have on record a copy of monthly Financial Reports to be submitted, via email, to the Sponsor; and
- Allow the review of accounting records by the office of the Audit Unit of the Sponsor or the Auditor General’s Department at any time necessary.
The Agreement provides for the return of Grant Funds to the Government and specifically states that at the end of Grant Period the organisation shall return all Grant funds that have not been expended under the Grant for purposes intended within fifteen (15) days after the end of the Grant Period.
The under-mentioned documents are available to all organisations receiving grants at the link indicated.
- Hamper Distribution Guidelines- this document provides guidelines, including health guidelines, nutritional guidelines and the contents of the hampers. - VIEW/DOWNLOAD
- Grant Funding Report Form. This document details the format for monthly reporting and the dates by which the reports should reach the Office of the Prime Minister electronically or hard copy. - VIEW/DOWNLOAD
- Form 1 Expenditure Report. This form must detail all the expenditure associated with the delivery of the hampers including the suppliers. The invoices must support this Report. - VIEW/DOWNLOAD
- Form 2 Beneficiary Register. This is the record of all the persons receiving the support including the name, identification, address and amount. - VIEW/DOWNLOAD
- Close-Out Report Form. This form details the format for the close-out or final report at the end of the three-month period of the grant, and the date by which it should reach the Office of the Prime Minister electronically or hard copy. - VIEW/DOWNLOAD
These Reports will be analyzed by the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit and the Internal Audit Unit at the Office of the Prime Minister for verification, accuracy, reconciliation and for any changes which may be required to fill the gaps identified in reporting and distribution.