Stewart Lochrie has sent in the following update from Scot Gov on the current situation with regard to grant applications. Sentences i quotes are taken directly from Scot Gov correspondence.
Scot Gov accepts that some technical issues have caused problems for some applicants (around 100), but believes that all applicants who have been affected by these technical issues have been contacted with an apology and an opportunity to reapply.
1. Over 1300 applications, so far, have contained user errors of some kind. To alleviate this situation, the system has been updated and testing of the update is continuing to ensure that when applicants are invited to reapply, it goes as planned. The guidance will also be updated to help applicants further.
“We will be contacting those applicants in this category over the next few days with an update to reassure them that they will be able to re-apply.”
All applications affected by system glitches have definitely been contacted. Small number, around 40.
The remaining issues around ID verification (as opposed to banking issues) are down to applicant error (postcode format, DOB format, spelling mistakes, etc). The rebuild of the system will ensure fewer mistakes of this kind are possible. Again, it is accepted that the system should have been better equipped to deal with these issues.
2. “It will take a few days for our team to adjust and test the system to enable applications to be re-submitted (seeking to avoid further technical issues). So please note that individuals are NOT able to re-apply until that work has been completed and they receive an email from us asking them to do that. Anyone trying to re-apply before that work has been completed will just be rejected by the system as a duplicate so please ask your members NOT to try to re-apply until they are invited to do so.”
3. Regarding concerns about not having heard anything since applying, this is partly due to the high number of applications – over 12,000. You will be contacted, please be patient.
4. While it is incredibly frustrating to have to wait, the constant requests for further information from various sources is causing everything to go even slower.
“We are working to manage the review of cases systematically so nothing gets missed. We have been receiving multiple emails from individuals and enquiries on behalf of those same individuals from a wide range of sources. This is slowing down the process of checking and putting solutions in place. All those whose cases you have raised with us thus far have been logged on a central database by our teams and are currently being worked through, or will be in the coming days.”
5. There is a new enquiry form available va the Biz.Scot link. Please note that this is for new enquiries. This is obviously extremely important because it means if you have an issue that you have not spoken to me about previously, you now do not need to speak to me. You can log it directly with Scot Gov.
“Please note that individuals that have already contacted the Scottish Government direct, through their MSPs, via the Find Business Support team or through you (ADINJC) do not need to use the form as their cases have already been logged and are currently under review. The enquiry form is only for those that have not contacted us already through any of these channels or through other routes.
“Your help in reinforcing that message would be very helpful as we don’t want to slow the checking/resolving process as a result of having to keep detecting duplicate enquiries. On the subject of duplicates, can you remind members that individuals/businesses can only receive one grant award from one of the funds, please? We appreciate that people are anxious to get funds but would ask that individuals only apply once please as the process of finding/removing duplicate applications will slow their application being processed.”
6. While there have obviously been issues, over £13million has been paid out already by the Mobile Close Contact grant and the Newly self-employed grant.
“Reference numbers should not be viewed as an indication of when an application will be concluded, as the work involved in each case may differ.”
“Many thanks again for all your input as we seek to identify and resolve issues where we can and get the funds out to eligible individuals as quickly as possible – which is our core objective here.”
Stewart Lochrie: email@example.com.