Financial Justification for Activities?

They don’t

That’s a local Wing/Region thing and is certainly not policy or in ACTO 10 or ACP 300

This sort of nonsense started creeping in a while back, but usually only for things I was claiming pay or mileage for. Thankfully it appears to have gone away now too

I know that Regional Commandant LASER has been requiring it for Camps for ages but i’m now being asked for it too!

I’m other Regions don’t follow suit… I don’t have time to justify why I want to deliver the cadet experience

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What do you mean by that? What expenses are you having to justify? That sounds outrageous on the face of it.
The only times I’ve had to justify anything financially, or seen anyone else have to, is millage/pay (and all I mean by justify is prove I was there) and phoenix hire.

Is the activity on the list of activities on SMS? If yes, then I can’t see why you’d need to justify it?

What is the VA and Mileage going to cost, can we do this cheaper seems to be the motto of the week

Yep, it’s a thing here too. Justifying value for money to the public purse - so the activity needs to be linked to a funded core activity, costs of clarity, VA, travel etc all taken into account to establish a broad cost per head.

I’ve struggled to get a clear answer as to what activities it applies to, thresholds applied etc. and have also been involved in trying to define what it’s required for (in order to make it an easier to understand process). It’s really hard to define well without encompassing everything, which is why I’m having difficulty supporting it in its current form.

I’ve also challenged it based on the fact that no-one checks the actuals and there aren’t actually delegated budgets that are controlled at each level, so it seems to be a pointless exercise from that perspective.

I entirely agree with the principle of making sure that activities are value for money but if it comes with a lot of extra admin simply to make up for a lack of decent business management systems, that’s not on. In essence it’s so the the RCs can say to their boss that they are doing some form of check & balance on expenditure of public money, but in reality it’s just another form for the CFAV to fill in.


I’ve moved this to a separate topic.

It seems to me that we’re becoming collectively lazy with creating new topics and just spamming into a select few topics. Which makes searching impossible and kills discussions off prematurely as new ones take over.

If anyone who has posted wants to edit out some names/posts of the guilty feel free.

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If you want an example of the kind of things being asked for, look at the ACATI 14 Overseas Exped tracker form. That contains a lot of the same required information now to enable RCs to assess value for money for exped plans.

Anyone have any idea why SMS activities now require a financial justification? It’s not like we are going far or like we’ve blown the budget this year!

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Yeaaaaah don’t do that down south…

Is this a new feature of SMS? Or is it a local thing…

Ergh. I swear that form is designed to put people off Overseas expeditions!!!

The best form of financial control is simply to not do anything, duh.


As if anyone has time to provide financial justification! If the activity fits within the three aims then is that not justification enough to carry it out?

Also would justification need to be provided every time or if you are repeating an activity does a previous justification stand?

I think the examples that would be quoted that are driving this would be things like:

  • A unit travelling to Capel Curig, circa 200 miles, using Clarity, to deliver First Class training that in theory could be delivered locally.
  • A unit delivered activity which wasn’t core or desirable, but a high staff:cadet ratio, and all staff claiming VA (basically a jolly).

So I don’t think it being within the aims is quite sufficient as that can be abused. It has to be linked, sensibly to our ‘core’ offer in order to attract public funding and that funding has to be used reasonably.

I don’t think that side of it is unreasonable. I’m currently far from convinced of the efficacy of the process being put in place.

I’m pretty sure, last year, there was something where expeds that involved travelling too far away would not be approved. So maybe this is a localised thing.

Not aimed at you obviously, but the assumption that things like this aren’t worthy really irritate me. You need to engage staff and older cadets with activities and sometimes doing activities like this are very beneficial. They allow you to develop people both technically and in team working and ethos and people calling it a jolly really undermine the training value you can get from taking a select few people away.

Especially now in covid world there will be a much reduced ratio of staff to cadets and so by that logic everything will be a jolly and nothing will attract public funding, which is nonsensical.

By all means check to make sure that they run other activities as well but staff developing their own skills and, shock, having some fun themselves shouldn’t be frowned upon once every so often.


Perhaps poor choice of words - I don’t believe this process is designed to stop people doing activities, but it is going to challenge some stuff and people need to be prepared to justify it.

I entirely agree with you that some of these things are beneficial - but the benefits are not appropriately articulated when they are submitted for approval which is where the problem lies. So from a completely independent perspective, those charged with using public money appropriately see 5 staff, all claiming VA & travel, and 5 cadets (say) for an activity which on the face of it is a 1:10 ratio for supervision. Taking an unbiased view, I think that’s entirely worth a question asking for a bit of justification / linking to our core offer.

To that end, in my admin orders for activities I’ve started to put a short paragraph which directly quotes the appropriate bit of the core/desirable offer the activity supports and why.

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Oh absolutely, I don’t deny there are occasions where a bit of questioning wouldn’t go amiss. But my frustration is from the purse holders who apply this sneer of “you’re trying to scam me” when actually if they either looked at the actual application or asked they would see there is usually a reason.