We carry out checks on each locally trusted organisation that we fund on behalf of Big Local areas. You can find more information in our guidance on locally trusted organisations. As part of this process we check if the organisation:
- is a legal entity and the act of being a locally trusted organisation fits within its objects – we ask for the organisation’s governing documents
- has the experience and capability to administer and account for the funding – we ask for the organisation's most recent set of financial accounts and use these to check the organisation’s financial position
- has a bank account in the name of the organisation with at least two signatories who are not related to one another or reside at the same address – we ask for a signed form to show the account and signatory details, as well as a copy of a cheque or paying-in slip as evidence of the account details
- has the capacity to support the partnership in its role as locally trusted organisation – we ask how the organisation was chosen and the working relationship between you.
We recognise that in setting up your Big Local partnership as a locally trusted organisation you don’t have a financial history or audited accounts. As this is normally part of our due diligence checks, we ask for a copy of your financial policies and procedures, and details of the skills and experience of the people carrying out the finance work.
If you are new to managing funds then our preference is to fund small amounts and increase this over time as your capacity grows. It is also possible for us to directly fund organisations that you as the locally trusted organisation intend to fund with large sums of money.
Because our due diligence checks normally include checking the capacity of the locally trusted organisation to support the partnership, when the two are the same we expect you to:
- meet your own obligations as an organisation and act in accordance with the law, for example report in line with Charity Commission or Companies House rules
- meet the obligations of being a locally trusted organisation, as set out in the terms and conditions of funding, which includes reporting back to us on spend
- fulfil the criteria of a partnership; more information is available in our guidance on Big Local partnerships.
In addition you will need to consider how conflicts of interest are managed when the partnership and the locally trusted organisation are one and the same, and how you operate in line with the values and ethos of Big Local as both a partnership and locally trusted organisation.
We ask for details of your structure to help us understand this relationship clearly.