Applicants should be aware that as the Green Infrastructure Fund is a new programme, the guidance will be reviewed as the programme evolves and therefore may be subject to change. The European Union and Scottish Ministers reserve the right to amend the National Rules and NatureScot reserves the right to amend the published guidance during the period of the programme. Decisions to fund Projects will be based on the availability of funding, how well the project matches the Green Infrastructure Fund priorities and its contribution to outcomes as part of the whole Strategic Intervention. These priorities may change during the course of the Strategic Intervention to take into account gaps in meeting priorities in previously funded Projects and not to fund at all. The Scottish Government reserves the right not to award any support at all under this programme.
Change guidance and process
This guidance outlines what happens when you need to make a change to your project from that approved in your application and Delivery Contract. It relates to changes that occur as a project progresses.
We understand that change is inevitable, and that this may affect the time, cost, quality, scope, risks and benefits of your project. We have developed a robust process to ensure a systematic approach is taken to the identification, assessment, control and approval of change.
This guidance applies where a Delivery Contract that formalises the agreement between you, as the grantee, and NatureScot as Lead Partner for the Green Infrastructure Fund has been finalised that includes, amongst other terms and conditions:
- Your application form describing the project you will deliver
- Your financial forecast
- The Indicators and Measures that you will be reporting against
Any significant change to Milestones, Outputs or Outcomes must be agreed by NatureScot, as the Lead Partner, before it takes place. Significant changes are alterations or additions to an important part, obligation or performance aspect of the approved Project, including change relating to timescale, cost or outcomes. Examples of significant changes are shown in the table below. In order to determine if a proposed change is regarded as significant, please contact your assigned Project & Funding Officer.
2. Types of change and causes
|Change Type||Example causes|
Please note that this list is not exhaustive. If unsure please always check with us first.
You must also inform us if irregularities or fraud are detected or suspected.
Where any significant change to a project is required it is essential that you inform us and get our approval before implementing the change.
As long as the changes proposed are reasonable, the Project is still delivering eligible activity and it still represents value for money, obtaining approval for changes should be relatively straightforward. However, if you go ahead and make a change without getting prior agreement, there is no guarantee that a “retrospective” change will be agreed, and this could result in you losing some, or even your entire, ERDF grant. This could include retrospective reclaiming of grant.
Please note that in the following circumstances, the changes are unlikely to be approved:
- The change would have had an impact on who you would have awarded the original contract to. If, during the contract period, changes are made that would have encouraged other tenderers to participate, or it would have been possible for you to accept another tender, then the changes are to be considered substantive and are not allowed;
- The change significantly expands the contract quantitatively and qualitatively to include elements that were not initially provided for at the time of tender.
If you are awarded a grant from the Green Infrastructure Fund, the Change process will be used to manage any proposed change to ensure that:
- Good management practices are being applied;
- Ensure that all procurement complies with EU Procurement Regulations and that these are not inadvertently breached by subsequent changes or extensions to your contract or by letting new contracts to existing suppliers;
- The overall outcome of the Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention will not be impacted;
- NatureScot, as Lead Partner, can ensure that the Scottish Government, as Managing Authority, receive all the necessary monitoring information that they require to report to EU.
Determine issue type (Any issue that a manager needs to resolve or escalate or a relevant event that has happened that was not planned and requires management action.)
Determine severity / priority
Assess impact on Project milestones, outcomes, expenditure and Project risk profile
Check severity / priority
Escalate if beyond delegated authority
Approve, reject or defer recommended option
Take corrective action
Update records and plans
Add to subsequent 1/4ly Progress Report
Change requests will be considered in the context of potential impacts on the Project, the Strategic Intervention and how it will affect the risk rating. Changes can be approved, rejected, deferred or more information may be requested. If an agreement cannot be reached on how to proceed, the way forward will be discussed with the Scottish Government and their decision, as Managing Authority, will be final. Once agreed, any amendment to the Delivery Contract will be signed by the grantee and the Lead Partner.
More detailed information regarding the Change process will be discussed at Implementation meetings following approval of your grant. Change request forms will be made available when you are awarded a grant.