Memorandum by the Department
REGULATIONS 1997 (S.I. 1997/3021)
The Committee has requested a memorandum
on two points concerning the above Regulations.
The Committee's first point
New regulation 5(1) (inserted by
regulation 2(4)) provides that, notwithstanding that the applicant
has satisfied the authority as mentioned in regulation 4(3)(d),
the authority upon making a payment of financial assistance must
require all the costs in respect of which payment was made to
have been incurred before the relevant date and for the purposes
specified in the application for that payment. Ought not the
reference to regulation "4(3)(d)" to have read "4(3)(c)"?
Explain the need for regulation 5(1), given that regulation 4(3)(c)
provides that payment of financial assistance cannot be made unless
the applicant has satisfied the authority that (i) he has incurred
costs which are not less than the amount of the payment of financial
assistance, and (ii) those costs were incurred before the relevant
date for the purposes specified in his application.
Similar question in relation to
the need for new regulation 7(1), given regulation 6(3)(d).
Notwithstanding the requirements of
regulations 4(3)(c) and 6(3)(d), it may come to light after a
payment of financial assistance has been made that the costs in
respect of which it was made were not in fact incurred before
the relevant date, for the purposes specified in the application.
This may be due to fraud, or to a mistake, which the authority
could not reasonably be expected to have discovered on satisfying
itself for the purposes of regulation 4(3)(c) or 6(3)(d). An
authority might, for example, make a payment to a doctor on production
of a bill for accountancy work, which appears to relate to preparation
for the provision of piloted services. However, it may become
apparent on subsequent audit of the doctor's accounts that the
accountant's bill actually related in part to the doctor's general
medical practice. Regulations 5 and 7 provide a mechanism for
the authority to recover the amount of the payment in circumstances
such as these.
The Department accepts that regulation
5(1) should have referred to regulation 4(3)(c), and undertakes
to make the necessary amendment at the first opportunity.
The Committee's second point
Ought not the references to "paragraph
(3)(c)" in paragraphs (5)(a) and (6)(b) of new regulation
4 to have read "paragraph (3)(b)"?
As the Committee says, the provisions
in question should have referred to "paragraph (3)(b)".
The Department undertakes to make the necessary amendments at
the first opportunity.
26th January 1998