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Financial Assistance to the Private, Voluntary and Community Sectors: A General Checklist


  • Has eligibility for assistance been established?
  • Is a full economic appraisal required?
  • Does the proposed assistance represent a State Aid?

Economic Efficiency

  • Does the proposal have clear objectives and targets?
  • Are there alternative options to consider?
  • Are costs and benefits identified in sufficient detail?
  • NPVs calculated correctly?
  • Is displacement considered - with adequate supporting evidence?
  • Any adjustments needed for foreign ownership?
  • Are risks and uncertainties assessed adequately?
  • What are the wider costs and benefits?
  • Is the project worth doing?


  • Has the applicant's financial position and ability to fund the project been examined?
  • Have details of the negotiations with the applicant on the level of assistance been recorded?
  • What is the evidence that assistance will make a difference to the project's location, scale, quality or timing?
  • Where project mobility is claimed, is there substantial evidence of a viable alternative location?
  • Are reasons recorded for the proposed level of assistance, related to the location, nature, scale or timing of the project?
  • Is the proposed assistance the minimum needed to bring about the project?


  • Are appropriate ratios included? eg total public assistance to total project cost, cost per job, other unit costs.
  • All NI and EU funding taken into account?
  • Is the proposal cost-effective?


  • Business plan provided?
  • Are the project management arrangements clear?
  • Are the key management personnel identified and do they have the right experience and qualifications?
  • Are anticipated cash flows set out in suitable detail?
  • Will the proposed assistance enable the project to (a) cover all its costs and (b) earn a commercial rate of return?
  • Are the applicant's financial position and previous track record stated?
  • Are arrangements for funding clear and unambiguous?
  • Is there a sound marketing plan?
  • Is the project sustainable beyond the proposed period of funding? Is there a clear exit strategy?
  • Do plans provide for suitable monitoring and evaluation?
  • Is the project viable?