When soliciting an application, we'll ensure that those involved in making decisions avoid actual or perceived conflicts of interest. Those making the decision are informed that the application has been solicited. This is the key reason why we insist staff who solicit applications should have a clear separation of duty from those who carry out the assessment of the application.
Assessment procedures are fair and are seen to be fair. Our staff are careful to impress upon organisations submitting solicited applications that those applications will not necessarily succeed and that they will not be treated differently to unsolicited applications.
All applications, solicited or otherwise, are assessed on their individual merits.
We use our solicitation powers in a number of ways:
1) To invite an organisation to apply for funding where there's a specific strategic need.
In these cases, one organisation is invited to apply.
2) Where there's a specific strategic need, but we’re unsure as to which organisations are best placed to deliver against that need.
In these cases, expressions of interest are invited from the public, proposals are assessed and then organisations are invited to apply for funding.