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Related Party Transactions

  • 10th August 2023

The Education & Skills Funding Agency recently held an Academy Finance Professionals Power Hour on the topic of Related Party Transactions (RPT). Here is everything you need to know about the changes coming into place.

A related party transaction is a transfer of resources, services or obligations between a reporting entity and a related party, regardless of whether a price is charged. A related party include persons and entities with control or significant influence over the academy trust, and members of the same group of companies.

RPT policy changes have been announced and will be effective from 1st September 2023. Let’s take a closer look at the changes coming:

• Removed the approval requirements for RPTs with:

- A college/ university or a school which is a sponsor of the academy trust state funded schools/ colleges (including academies).

- These transactions are declared only and are deemed as meeting “at cost”.

- This concession does not apply to transactions with a subsidiary of such a related party.

• Increased the approval threshold from £20,000 to £40,000 for RPTs with a supplier not included at “1”.

• Removed the cumulative element (i.e., the £40,000 approval threshold only applies to single transactions with the same supplier, the value is not aggregated).

• Confirmed the advance reporting of contracts/ other agreements with related parties also includes those which are being renewed.

• Changed the process for NCR RPTs – these must be submitted using the RPT on-line form and not the ESFA enquiry form.

Why RPT Policy changes have been made:

  • RPTs were a common theme in recent discussions with the sector to improve financial oversight.
  • The approval requirements for transactions which involved other schools, colleges and universities were burdensome and bureaucratic and stifling collaboration and innovation in the sector.
  • The £20,000 approval threshold was not proportionate.
  • The “at cost” policy was difficult to understand

Reporting Requirements: Online Form

Identity and Access Management Service (IdAMS) is the online form used for reporting RPTs.

  • Where a transaction exceeds the £40,000 threshold, trusts must upload supporting evidence to demonstrate how they have adhered to the requirements of the ATH
  • Documents can be uploaded to the relevant page on the academy trust website
  • The ESFA may use the system to request further information where appropriate
  • A decision will be communicated via the system along with an email notification

Transactions, contracts and agreements with related parties for the supply of goods or services to the trust must be reported to the ESFA.

Also transactions must be reported in advance of the contract/agreement commencing, and at the point of renewal.

Support & Best Practice

For information on the support and the best practice to follow in relation to areas such as procurement, internal delegation levels, identity conflicts of interest and many more, please click here.

If you wish to discuss this topic further, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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