We award funds on a competitive basis and unfortunately not all applications will be successful.
If you are unhappy with a funding decision, you are entitled to ask for a funding review. To ensure that your request is dealt with fairly and efficiently, we ask that you follow the relevant process outlined in our Funding Review Procedure Guidelines below.
Stage 1 Contact Staff Member
If you are unhappy about a funding decision, you must contact the staff member responsible for handling your application to let them know about your concerns.
This contact can be in writing, by e-mail, fax or by telephone within 10 working days of the date of the letter of rejection/letter of offer.
If, following your discussions with the staff member, you still think that the funding decision is flawed on the basis that either the Arts Council failed to follow its own procedures, or that its procedures were deficient, you can formally request a Review of the funding decision as set out below at Stage 2.
You cannot ask for a Review against a Council decision that was taken on the grounds of artistic quality.
Stage 2 Submission of written funding review request
Funding Review Request forms are available from the Arts Council’s web-site, by email or in hard copy from the staff member responsible for your original application.
These forms must be submitted within 15 working days of the date of the rejection letter/letter of offer.
|Funding Review Request Form|
Reviews will only be considered on the grounds that:
(a) The Arts Council failed to follow its own procedures or processes as described in the Guidance Notes for the particular scheme, a copy of which can be obtained from our website www.artscouncil-ni.org
(b) If you feel the procedures or processes set out in the guidelines are deficient.
Failure to identify which of the above 2 criteria applies will result in your application for a Review being invalidated.
Your request for a funding review will be passed to the Director of Operations. If your request is considered valid it will follow one of the following procedures, dependent on the grant programme and/or amount of grant requested.
a) Annual Funding Programme
At the end of the 15 working day period Funding Review Request forms will be passed to an Independent Reviewer along with the programme guidance notes, the application file, the officer assessment and record of the final decision.
The Independent Reviewer will reach their decision within 20 working days of receipt of Funding Review Request form from the Arts Council.
If the Independent Reviewer finds that the Council’s processes/procedures were deficient or incorrectly applied, s/he will have the authority to ask for the application to be re-assessed. The Independent Reviewer does not have the authority to award a grant. The re-assessments will normally be carried out within 10 working days of the Reviewer’s decision. There is no guarantee that funding will be forthcoming.
Decisions of the Independent Reviewer will be brought to the attention of the Board of the Arts Council at its next scheduled meeting, dates of which are on the Arts Council website.
b) All other grant programmes
At the end of the 15 working day period, the Chief Executive of the Council will assess your Funding Review Request Form, along with the relevant grant programme guidance notes, application file, officer assessment and record of the final decision. Normally, you will be notified of the Chief Executive’s decision within 20 working days. If the Chief Executive finds in your favour, your original funding application will be re-assessed against the relevant programme criteria.
This will normally be carried out within 10 working days of the Chief Executive’s decision. There is no guarantee that funding will be forthcoming.
Decisions of the Chief Executive will be brought to the attention of Board of the Arts Council at its next scheduled meeting, dates of which are on the Arts Council website.
Stage 3 Ombudsman
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the Stage 2 Review, you can contact the Ombudsman:
Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (NIPSO), Progressive House, 33 Wellington Place, Belfast BT1 6HN
You should be aware that the Ombudsman will normally not investigate a complaint which has not been through the above procedure.