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Health Services: Voluntary Organisations

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress his Department has made towards implementation of the Government’s commitment to introduce full cost recovery for the voluntary sector; and when the commitment will be fully implemented. (221430)

The Department fully supports the principle of full cost recovery (FCR) for the voluntary sector. Its new Third Sector Investment programme, launched on 17 July 2008, has been designed so that Compact principles, including FCR, are embedded from the outset and reflected in the guidance for applicants for grant funding, to support applicants in submitting well costed proposals.

Policy supporting procurement activities for goods and services within the Department signpost staff to the Office of Government Commerce and the Home Office document “Think smart, think voluntary sector” on procurement from the voluntary and community sectors.

Guidance within the “Commissioning Framework for Health and Wellbeing” makes clear that Commissioners should adopt procurement practices that are fair and open—meaning neutral between different types of providers and transparent on pricing—minimising transaction costs and allowing providers to frame realistic economic tenders. We believe this is the most straightforward way to deal with the issue of ‘full cost recovery’.