Freedom of Information releases

PERF Application System Questions

PERF Application System Questions: FOI release (reference 4857)

Date received

17 November 2020

Date responded

14 December 2020

Information requested

How can an application system which required specific pieces of information allow you to move on through the format without the budget being a required field? Please advise as to the robustness of this grant application form and as to whether the online system allowed you to proceed without this “pivotal” piece of information or was the system flawed in that it would allow you to progress without a Budget?


The PERF was a bespoke, needs-based grant award for SMEs in Scotland adversely impacted by COVID-19. The creation of the fund required a new approach, cross-agency in nature and one that would allow the fund to be developed, implemented and disbursed in a matter of weeks.

Extensive guidance and frequently asked questions were provided to support customers and thousands of completed applications were received within a short period of time. In addition, applicants were offered a range of real time support via live chat and email for those customers who were in the application form but required help. Additional assisted digital support was also available for individuals to complete their application where this was required. This included an offline application form or support from a member of the team to complete the application on the business’s behalf.

The system design allowed applicants to upload finance documents, which were then reviewed manually by appraisers. Any data missing from applications was identified and applicants contacted. Recent external audits and reviews have found the PERF application process to be satisfactory and we believe the volume of successfully completed applications clearly demonstrates that the system was robust and fit-for-purpose.

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