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The Community Fund adhered to its policies and procedures in awarding a grant to the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns, Sir John Bourn, Head of the National Audit Office, reported to Parliament today. However, these policies and procedures were not sufficiently robust and did not alert it to risks it was undertaking in awarding a grant to a body whose actions could be seen as political and doctrinaire. After concerns were raised, the Fund confirmed the grant award but added additional terms and conditions.

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The Community Fund agreed to a grant of £336,261 to the NCADC in July 2002 and payments commenced in February 2003. Following a review, the Fund is now amending its policies and procedures so it is more aware of the day-to-day activities of the organisations to which it provides funds. The National Audit Office makes a number of recommendations to further these improvements. These recommendations are relevant to all grant giving bodies and cover grant assessment, approval, monitoring and review.

"The Community Fund’s grant to the NCADC was entirely consistent with its stated policies and was therefore not improper. However, the grant may have been less controversial if the Fund had made a wider assessment of the organisation’s activities in the first place. This would have allowed it to specify additional conditions at that stage."

Sir John Bourn


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