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The OT Programme strategic funding aims to support the delivery of HMG's 1999 White Paper commitments and FCO's International Strategic Priority (SIP 10) which relate to maintaining the security, governance, stability and prosperity of the Overseas Territories. The Overseas Territories Programme Fund (OTPF) and the Overseas Territories Environment Programme (OTEP) provides a modest source of funding in addition to Territories' own resources and other HMG provisions to support sustainable development within the Overseas Territories. The total amount of strategic programme funding available to OTPF for the 2007/2008 financial year is approximately £4 million.

Funding Eligibility

Project funding will only be considered for the following places: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St Helena and dependencies, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands. OTEP also covers the Sovereign Base Areas of Cyprus and Gibraltar.

Scope

The following guidance covers projects applying for OT funding. As OTEP is sponsored jointly by the FCO and DFID, separate bidding rounds and procedures will be necessary should you be seeking environmental funding.

Applications for OT Programme Funding should meet at least one if not more of the following objectives:

  • To improve the governance of, and promote political and economic transparency in, the Overseas Territories;
  • To ensure the security of the Overseas Territories;
  • To reduce their vulnerability to natural and non-natural disasters;
  • To encourage more diversified economic development;
  • To support the Territories in meeting international obligations;
  • To support environmental management and the implementation of Environmental Charters in the Overseas Territories.

Any project, which contributes towards the achievement of these objectives, will be considered for funding, and those that hit more than one of these objectives will be particularly welcome. Projects that have an emphasis on sustainability and capacity building will be given priority. Requests for OT Programme funding for capital projects will not normally be approved unless a strong case can be made, showing that the sponsorship would lead to other initiatives with wider sustainable benefits. However, funding will be provided for capital goods that assist in the diversification of the economy.

Projects will be subject to regular review and will require buy-in from stakeholders, both in terms of supporting projects, providing regular feedback and in ensuring that follow-up action post-funding, is carried through. They should also complement initiatives being taken by OT governments, agencies or NGOs. Likewise, in order to promote local commitment and sense of ownership, complementary funding should be sought where possible from OT Governments/departments, particularly for larger projects.

Possible project areas include:

  • Training – particularly where there is a 'train the trainer' element or possibility of additional benefits such as cross-cutting network building within and/or across the OTs;
  • Sponsored visits/study tours – to increase awareness and ability of senior decision -makers, whether they be politicians, civil servants or others;
  • Exchanges and secondments – short term attachments to other Overseas Territories or elsewhere aimed at sharing best practice and improving working practices on return;
  • Targeted conferences and seminars – aimed at improving local knowledge and awareness of issues;
  • Support for publicity / educational initiatives – aimed at the local population to raise awareness of relevant issues;
  • Public and civil society projects aimed at raising awareness and local capacity;
  • Training workshops/seminars for key officials, community leaders, lawyers and journalists etc;
  • Provision of expert advice – e.g. inspections of services leading to improvements in OTs ability to deal with issues locally
  • Legal assistance including short-term engagement of consultants to assist OT Attorneys-General with specific projects (e.g. drafting specialised legislation);
  • Short term engagement of judges to hear complex/sensitive cases or to help clear an accumulated backlog.
  • Police investigations and civil enquiries handled mainly by UK personnel in complex/sensitive cases such as allegations of corruption against members of OT Governments; also Counsels’ fees and witnesses’ expenses.
  • Creation of sustainable employment opportunities and diversify the economic bases of the Territories;
  • Schemes leading to import reduction and increased local capacity to provide goods and services;
  • Support for new business initiatives and increased economic activity;
  • Proposals to support economic benefits to Overseas Territories and their inhabitants – e.g. telecommunications liberalisation

The list of possible projects above is not exhaustive, neither are projects limited to particular areas of Government or local business. Other areas which could qualify for funding include audit/financial control; constitutional development; crime reduction and drugs interdiction; human rights; legal/judicial systems; offshore finance/money laundering; health and safety; parliamentary development; risk management; or the wider criminal justice agenda including police and prisons.

Size and Duration of Projects/ Commitments

  • Projects must have a clearly defined duration.
  • A project, which has a single financial year funding requirement, may have a better chance of approval, though multi-year projects are not excluded.
  • All projects should have clear exit strategies.
  • Longer-term projects/commitments will be regularly assessed to ensure that they remain focused, appropriate and offer value for money. If the OT appraisal panel considers, after consultation with the Governors Office or project originator, that a commitment is not worth continuing they may propose to seek early withdrawal of funding.
Roles and Responsibilites

  • Programme Team – first point of contact for all programme and project activities. Provides advice, guidance and support to all stakeholders; monitors programme activities and reports on progress.
  • Governors’ Offices – Provide a focal point for projects. Initial filter of project bids and provide comments to inform the FCO Geographical Desks and OT Appraisal Panel. Governors Offices will be required to provide expenditure profiles for approved projects and ongoing monitoring and evaluation of successful projects.
  • FCO Geographical Desks – to be consulted early on all project proposals. They provide advice to the OT Appraisal Panel on the suitability of proposals. When projects have been approved, Desk Officers, through their regular contact with Posts, should seek to ensure that projects are running smoothly, consulting with the Programme Team as necessary.
  • OT Appraisal Panel – will consider all bids in line with OT Programme Strategy and appraisal criteria.
  • OT Programme Board – will provide policy guidance on OT Programme Strategy and have oversight of Programme allocations.
Selection Criteria

The Appraisal Panel will assess proposals on the basis of the information provided on the bidding forms and will focus in particular on the extent to which they support sustainable development and local capacity building within the Territories. Bids will be appraised using the appropriate criteria and should meet OT Programme objectives. The committee will consist of OTD Deputy Heads, Heads of Section, the OT Programme Team, a Small Business Adviser and the OTs/Disaster Management Adviser. All bids will be subject to the Appraisal Panel’s approval.

Monitoring and Evaluation

In line with GOF Standard Operating Procedures, Quarterly progress reports should be provided for all projects, by the project implementers. They should detail key objectives that have been achieved in the previous quarter, money spent and any significant developments or changes to the project. After completion, Governors Offices will provide an assessment of the project’s success in meeting OT Programme objectives.

Publicity

All project implementers should endeavour to secure positive publicity for their projects, which should give mention to the support and funding it has received from the Overseas Territories Programme in the UK.

Bidding

  • Project implementers are invited to submit proposals to the OTPF. The deadline for receipt of bids is Friday 20 April. All applications must first be submitted for approval to Governors, before onward transmission to the OT Programme Team and Geographical Desk Officers in London.
  • A further bidding round will take place later this year in October/ November 2007. Bids may also be submitted on an ad hoc basis, but these can only be considered if there are funds available.
Guidance and bidding forms can be found below:

This is a PDF file Project Bidding Form  (PDF, 102K)
This is a PDF file Guidance for Biddng Forms  (PDF, 52K)
This is a PDF file Project Proposal Bidding Form Annex A – Economic Diversification Projects  (PDF, 20K)

Contact the Overseas Territories Programme team

If you have any further questions about the Overseas Territories Programme Fund, please contact us through any of the following:

Overseas Territories Programme Fund
Room K220
Foreign and Commmonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London SW1A 2AH

OT Programme administrator - Malcolm Woodman
Email : OTPF@fco.gov.uk