ACE NPO Stumble

panta rei dans lullaby

Video - Panta Rei Danseteater 'Lullaby'

Norwegian dance company Panta Rei Danseteater, late last year, conducted a little experiment whereby three dance makers created two pieces with the same name based on the same idea, featuring three male dancers and two musicians, to see what the outcome was.

June 2nd, 2016

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Arts Professional (AP) is reporting that Arts Council England (ACE) may have assessed at least 66 funding applications for the recent National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) program without having access to all the required information.

The AP story says, based on information from confidential documents they have seen;

"... documents reveal that, as a result of a problem with ACE's application logging system, the "financial information that non-RFOs were asked to supply... may not have been taken into consideration during the assessment of these applications"."

ACE conducted an internal review of their application process and the handling of it over a three day period from June 20th - 22nd. The review did find that 66 of the NPO applications had encountered "human error" problems when uploading supporting documents to ACE's computer system. According to AP the ACE staff were told;

"... to treat the process "in the strictest confidence, informing only those who need to play an active part."

When asked by Article19 why the review was to be kept, essentially, on a need to know basis ACE told us that this was a normal procedure until they had actually discovered whether or not there would be problem. When the issue was discovered ACE did not consider it serious enough to warrant discussing the issue with the applicants affected.

Subsequently, ACE has contacted or attempted to contact each of the 66 organisations involved.

Additionally, ACE said they did not want to release this information publicly because they didn't want to undermine confidence in the NPO funding process. Here in TheLabā„¢, we imagine that now the cat is out of the bag that may well be a forlorn hope.

After AP made enquiries, the funding monolith gave assurances that the funding applications were unaffected by the error because ACE was holding missing information "elsewhere".

ACE is currently reviewing 3 applications that failed the NPO test, although they declined to name them. If they are subsequently successful after review the other NPO funded organisations that were successful the first time through will be unaffected. None of the 3 are part of the 66 funding applications that were mis-handled.

You can read the full story here and here from Arts Professional.

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