Monday, June 25, 2007

Third Sector - the DCLG's strategy and the NAO's findings

The Department for Communities & Local Government’s heart is in the right place. Its Third Sector Strategy discussion paper (mentioned here when it was issued) does propose practical ways of making the department more Third Sector friendly as well as developing community asset ownership.

Whether or not the Third Sector Strategy will be enough to protect community and voluntary organisations from the tightening of public finances (and the associated Efficiency Agenda) is more doubtful. Moreover, small Third Sector organisations face many of the regulatory burdens of any other small business.

Last week the National Audit Office issued a report on Local Area Agreements and The Third Sector: Public Service Delivery (pdf available). This noted that the new LAAs which cover an increasing amount of local government funding have not been used to create for “a level playing field” Third Sector organisations competing with other suppliers. Thankfully some of the recommendations are already in DCLG’s Third Sector Strategy document.

No comments: