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Voluntary Organisations

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 23 October 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what guidance has been given to local authorities and primary care trusts on practical aspects of commissioning of services from the voluntary sector, particularly on (a) funding arrangements for a period longer than one financial year and (b) agreeing common reporting mechanisms where more than one public body is commissioning or funding a service. (160225)

The pre-Budget report, published in December, established the expectation that three-year funding would be passed on to third sector organisations as the norm rather than the exception and the comprehensive spending review allocated resources on this basis.

Communities and Local Government will shortly publish for consultation Statutory Guidance on ‘Strong and Prosperous Communities’, which will include guidance on three-year grant funding in line with Government commitments on stable funding for the third sector.

For PCTs, the Commissioning Framework for Health and Wellbeing sets out a vision for commissioning within the NHS that acknowledges the need for fair and open procurement and contractual processes which are proportionate, neutral between different types of providers, transparent on pricing and allows for longer term contracts where appropriate.

‘Guidance to Funders and Purchasers’, published by HM Treasury in May 2006, draws together best practice in funding the third sector. It highlights the roles of common data standards and monitoring requirements and the use of ‘lead funders’ to reduce bureaucracy.