In any given year, and setting aside the extra Covid-19-based demands of 2020, the UK Government disburses over £100bn in grants and funded schemes.
In managing and disbursing these colossal amounts, administrative overheads alone can be extremely problematic for both government agencies and recipient organisations and individuals, often rendering schemes disappointingly ineffective through failure in achieving the desired objectives.
Like all government organisations, public transport operators are duty-bound to allocate and distribute grant funds to businesses and citizens fairly and legally. They must also be able to clearly demonstrate how they are improving social, economic and health outcomes through the funds, the steps taken to maximise value for the public purse, and the clear link between grant funding and desired outcomes.
Moreover, transport operators must be able to prove that grants aren’t being misused, that all possible and reasonable barriers to accessing funding are removed, and that positive customer experiences sit at the core of grant applications and processes.
With numerous moving parts and so much to get right, there are multiple associated pitfalls that Government agencies and transport organisations face throughout the scheme design, setup and management process.
Government’s primary role is to serve and support its people, so providing a positive grant experience for citizens is fundamental for transport and all other public providers. Today’s citizens rightly expect an intuitive user interface and seamless experience in both the physical and digital worlds - they already receive such consistency from private sector businesses which is why transport organisations must provide this across all devices and technologies, and at all stages of grant processes.
Additionally, public sector grant processes and platforms must do everything technologically and systematically possible to detect and prevent fraud, bogus claims and misused funds - making the best possible use of real-time data is crucial to achieving this.
Each transport-related grant scheme has its own unique set of priorities and conditions. However, all public transport providers share in common the need to ensure that applicants can easily access relevant information quickly and across various channels. They must also be able to process applications and disburse grants within acceptable time periods, supporting applicants in real-time, and providing tailored help and personalised updates, decisions and outcomes. Government and public transport grant schemes must also leave clear audit trails to reduce fraud and improve transparency, whilst demonstrating prudent management of money from the public purse.
Bearing all this in mind, grant management in large public transport organisations has clearly evolved. And so have we. We apply 15 years of public grant management experience to continue to provide class-leading solutions to our transport and wider public sector customers through our Digital Grant Management service, powered by our flexible digital platform - GrantIS.
Transport organisations can now set up and launch new grant schemes in a matter of days, as opposed to weeks or even months. Administrative burdens for staff, operational costs and fraudulent activity is minimised, all whilst ensuring business and citizen applications for grant funds have never been easier, clearer and more transparent.
GrantIS also offers a significantly improved user experience for applicants by allowing them to check the status of their applications, removing a key frustration with most schemes today.
Our holistic digital grant services give public sector grant makers, such as local government transport authorities, flexibility in operating programmes, minimising fraud and improving transparency by providing digital audit trails which also facilitates greater accountability for operators for how funds are spent.
All of this not only delights citizens but, by using AI, frees-up staff to work on delivering key frontline services. Grants are thus having a larger and more efficient impact on society, as more funds are utilised for their intended purposes and not unnecessary administration. Government bodies benefit from even more prudent results, and their ability to clearly demonstrate judicious money management of the public purse means their chances of securing future funds improve
There is absolutely no doubt that efficient, effective and citizen-centric grant management will be imperative to central and regional transport industries across the UK going forward. We’ve built a reputation for grant management excellence over the past 15 years in transport and right across the public sector. GrantIS, backed by our heritage and team of transport experts, is already proving to be the class-leading digital grant management solution for central and regional organisations.