Catalogue description Millennium Commission: Awards Scheme Database (AMIS)

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Details of MM 3
Reference: MM 3
Title: Millennium Commission: Awards Scheme Database (AMIS)

The Awards Management Information System (AMIS) dataset is comprised of a relational database whose primary function was to serve as a repository of information related to the administration of the Millennium Awards Scheme; recording core details of each individual project supported by the Scheme. Its main purpose was to provide a Departmental resource that would facilitate the analysis and reporting of data, as generated by the Awards Scheme.

From the first round of Lottery grants distributed in 1996 until the last Award approved in March 2004, the Millennium Awards Scheme gave out a total sum of £92.7 million. During this same period, more than 32,000 successful community projects were undertaken as part of the Millennium Awards Scheme with a standard grant comprising approximately £2,000. The research value of the dataset is apparent in the diverse range and extent of individual grants distributed across the entire voluntary sector and throughout many varied constituencies. The dataset may also provide some important case studies/examples of individual projects which can encourage wider learning and exchange.

Throughout the live administration of this dataset, key users of the data predominantly included the Department itself, particularly the in-house press department; in addition to some external queries for data as submitted by user groups such as researchers, local authorities and Members of Parliament.

Selected details from the contents of the database were made available online. Users were able to make searches through the Millennium Commission website ( and view summary details of Awards Schemes, including associated images related to individual projects. These online details were sourced directly from the Department's related 'PROFESA' database, which received regular exported updates from AMIS for such information sharing purposes. See the Millennium Commission: Grants Database (PROFESA), held at The National Archives under MM4.

The datasets in this series are available to download. Links to individual datasets can be found at piece level.

Date: 1996-2004

Hardware: When the dataset was transferred to NDAD in 2004, the Awards Database was available to members of the Awards department and Communications department of the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) via networked PCs linked to a server.

Operating System: Windows 2000 Professional.

Application Software: Client server application held within a software package called"First Point of Contact". First Point (FP) is a contact management package that uses Microsoft Access.

User Interface: The AMIS database operated using two Microsoft Access databases linked together. One of the databases stored the application, whilst the other stored the data. Data input onto AMIS occurred via the FP application form screen.

Logical structure and schema: The FPDATA access file has 126 tables, 9 queries, 1 report and 1 macro. The FPAPP access file has 252 tables, 1033 queries, 252 forms, 347 reports, 82 macros and 7 modules. While all front-end and back-end data from the original AMIS system is permanently preserved, only a selection of application data is being made available via the online catalogue. In the FPDATA file, 37 tables are empty. In the FPAPP file, 101 tables are merely direct links to the FPDATA database. Many tables in the accession have apparently been generated by users running a query on the FPDATA, and then saving the results as a table in the FPAPP side.

AMIS 2.0 was a bespoke database built in MS Access v2.0. It was replaced by AMIS 3.0 in March 2000 and data transfer was arranged by Computercraft, the designers of First Point.

How data was originally captured and validated: Data was input via the FP application form screen. This included a radio button with options to locate a person/or organisation as well as command buttons with the following options: mailing lists; reports; projects; more options [e.g. addresses; audit alert list; award amounts update; awards panel results; cashflow check]. Overall, the data input module comprised a number of Access forms based upon the core functions available within the contact management system. The interface also provided access to lookup selection lists. In addition to data entry forms, the application provided components for data querying, reporting (bespoke reports; List reports and Statistical/Financial reports) and the ability to activate macros.

All information regarding Award partners and Award schemes was entered into AMIS via the application database within two weeks of Commission approval for the Scheme being given, with the exception of a full breakdown of the approved budget. Data was input from information submitted by partner organisations. Information on individuals was validated via the production of reports and monthly data cleaning exercises.

The database was dynamic, in the sense that updated information about the status of an award scheme could be entered on the system via the regular updates received by DCMS from the Award Partners thereby overwriting data previously received.

Related material:

The National Archives holds records of the Millennium Commission in series MM, including Minutes and papers from 1994 in MM1; a copy of the website in MM2; and case files from 1993 in MM5.

The DCMS copy of the National Lottery Awards database is in: PF 1

The grants database is in: MM 4

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Former reference in The National Archives: CRDA/65
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Millennium Commission, 1993-2006

Physical description: 2 datasets and documentation
Restrictions on use: The Millennium Commission Awards Database and its related documentation are open to the public, apart from certain fields containing personal data defined within the meaning of the Data Protection Act 1998. Under Section 40 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act, these fields will remain closed for 93 years. They will be opened in 2098. Crown Copyright. Some documentation subject to private copyright with Computercraft. Registered under the Data Protection Act, 1998.
Access conditions: Open unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

In 2010 the United Kingdom National Digital Archive of Datasets

Custodial history: Originally transferred from the Millennium Commission. The United Kingdom National Digital Archive of Datasets (NDAD) then held the dataset until 2010 when it was transferred to The National Archives (TNA).
Selection and destruction information: Final form of whole database before the scheme was taken over by UnLtd
Accruals: This series is not accruing.
Publication note:

The Millennium Commission (MC) produced numerous publications about their work which are held at Their collection includes: impact studies, the Commission's annual reports, and copies of Starpeople Magazine. Following the dissolution of the MC, UnLtd assumed responsibility for administering the magazine and the accompanying website.

Unpublished finding aids:

Extent of documentation: 28 documents, Dates of creation of documents: 1996-2004

Administrative / biographical background:

The Millennium Commission was responsible for administering the Millennium Awards Scheme and worked with over 100 established charities and other grant giving organisations known as Award Partners. Each Award Partner managed their own Award Scheme and distributed the Millennium Awards. From its inception until its dissolution on 30 November 2006, the Millennium Commission was dedicated to ensuring that the Awards Scheme became part of its long-term legacy. To this end, the Millennium Commission bestowed a £100 million endowment - the Millennium Awards Trust. UnLtd - The Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs - was chosen to act as a Trustee to continue the work of the Millennium Awards Scheme by ensuring that Awards continue to be made available to future generations.

The Millennium Awards Scheme, administered by the Millennium Commission, was launched in October 1996. As the first programme of its kind, the purpose of the Scheme was to allow individuals to benefit directly from the National Lottery by awarding them small grants known as Millennium Awards. The grants ranged between £2,000 and £5,000 and were distributed to any individuals in the UK who were able to satisfy just two key criteria i.e. the grant had to be used to develop personal skills in order to fulfil a personal goal, and that this goal must have a recognised benefit to the local community. Projects ranged from the setting up of youth groups on inner city estates, to leading neighbourhood clean-up projects and establishing schemes to tackle racism.

The Millennium Commission worked with Award Partners who comprised a number of established charities and other non-governmental grant organisations. Under the broader authority of the Commission, each Award Partner operated their own Award Scheme and was responsible for distributing the Millennium Awards.

Upon successful completion of their project, an Award Winner could then qualify for membership with the Millennium Awards Fellowship. The Fellowship was established to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of Award winners and to encourage the exchange of ideas and experiences. It also provided a means of support for people who wished to continue their projects into the future. A dedicated website was set up to achieve these goals and a regular newsletter provided another forum for networking and sharing information. Previously managed by the Millennium Commission, these resources are now administered by UnLtd.

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