All successful bidders are obliged to sign a grant offer letter setting out the terms on which money is provided and circumstances in which funds may be reclaimed. Grant offer terms are those applied to all DTI financial assistance schemes on the basis of Government accounting rules. Additional sanctions are available to the Secretary of State in case of misuse of funds through expenditure on political objects.
Section 116A(4) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (as inserted by section 55 of the Employment Relations Act 2004) prevents money from the Union Modernisation Fund being paid into the political fund of a union. Therefore, money from the Union Modernisation Fund cannot legally be used by a trade union for political objects.
Accountability is ensured through regular monitoring of progress and expenditure for all UMF projects. All projects are required to allow site visits by DTI officials. Failure to comply with monitoring activity may result in sanctions including withholding or reclaiming of funds.
Members of the Supervisory Board are selected by open competition. Recruitment is conducted in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies, with support from the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA). The Nolan Principles of Public Life, which are the foundations of the public appointments process and provide guidance on the standards expected of public appointees, apply to this appointment.
The Supervisory Board advises Ministers on applications to the UMF and other issues. The secretariat to the board is provided by DTI officials, who are in regular communication.
The DTI is working with Leeds University Business School to conduct a phased evaluation of the fund. Phase 1 is evaluating the operational effectiveness of the first round of bidding. Phase 2 will evaluate the success of supported projects and impact of fund monies via a series of case studies. All successful unions are obliged under grant offer terms to co-operate with this evaluation activity.
The following organisations were successful under Round One of the UMF: Retained Firefighters Union; Nationwide Group Staff Union; GMB; Communication Workers Union; Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union; Wales TUC, Lloyds TSB Group Union; National Union of Teachers; Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists; Royal College of Midwives; Union of Finance Staff; United Road Transport Union; Equity; Transport and General Workers Union; Community and District Nursing Association; Community; British Dental Association; Transport Salaried Staffs Association; Connect; USDAW; Prospect; National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers; National Union of Journalists; Trades Union Congress; Community and Youth Workers Union; ASLEF; West Bromwich Building Society Staff Union; General Federation of Trade Unions; Portman Group Staff Association; Ceramic and Allied Trades Union (now Unity); and Amicus.
This information is available on the DTI website at reference: http://www.dti.gov.uk/employment/trade-union-rights/modernisation/page 16097.html.