Labour consultation 'Renewing our Bond with the Third Sector': Compact Voice response

Compact Voice responded to the Labour party's consultation into 'Renewing our bond with the Third Sector' in September 2014.

The key recommendations we made are outlined below, and our full response can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

Supporting charities to grow and thrive

  • Ensure cuts in government funding do not impact the VCS disproportionately;
  • Discuss the implications of reductions in funding with the VCS as early as possible and give a minimum of three months’ notice to VCS organisations when changing or ending their funding relationship;
  • Conduct 12 week formal written consultations where appropriate and meaningful and provide a clear explanation and rationale for shorter timeframes or a more informal approach;
  • Ensure greater transparency by making government data and information more accessible to allow the VCS to challenge the existing provision of services, access new markets and hold government to account;
  • Allow local and regional communities to develop their own strategies for the VCS and encourage these communities to share their experiences with each other; and
  • The application of the Social Value Act should be extended to all public service contracts, and steps should be taken to raise awareness of the Act and encourage local partners to agree a shared definition of social value.
Procurement
  • Encourage commissioners and prime contractors to consider a range of funding methods, evaluate and learn from the design of existing Payment by Results contracts, and ensure that risk in contracts is appropriately allocated.
A strong independent voice
  • Ensure transparency in campaigning rules to avoid VCS organisations self-censoring;
  • Confidentiality clauses in contracts with the VCS should be robustly drafted to only cover genuinely confidential information and the next government should clearly communicate its support of the VCS’s right to campaign;
  • Encourage a strong, diverse and independent sector by “Compact proofing” policies, programmes, public services and consultations and promoting awareness and understanding of the Compact;
  • Promote the use of mixed funding models where appropriate; and
  • Protect the ability of VCS organisations to challenge public authority decisions through judicial review and ensure any future reforms to judicial review are properly evidenced.
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Labour consultation response: Compact Voice (.PDF)297.6 KB
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