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Community Projects

Volume 699: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What procedures are in place to monitor, audit and assess the success of local voluntary sector and community projects and initiatives that are funded from central government and government-funded agencies, both during and after their completion; and what procedures are in place to make such information publicly available. [HL1839]

As part of funding voluntary and community sector projects, the Government will set in place routine and proportionate monitoring requirements, in line with guidance set out in the compact, the agreement between the Government and the sector.

The role of the Office of the Third Sector (OTS) in the Cabinet Office is to lead work across government to support a thriving third sector (including voluntary and community sector organisations). The government strategy for the third sector is set out in the July 2007 final report of the third sector review The Future Role of the Third Sector in Social and Economic Regeneration: Final Report which builds on two key action plans published in 2006—Social enterprise action plan—scaling new heights and Partnership in public services—an action plan for third sector involvement. The Government have reported publicly on the progress of the measures in the two action plans one year on from their publication and will do so for the final report of the third sector review. Progress on all third sector programmes run by the Office of the Third Sector is also included in the Cabinet Office annual report and accounts.

The success of the Government's work with the third sector over CSR 07 will be measured through the set of public service agreements (PSA) and the local government performance framework. There are two new third sector indicators within the local government performance framework against which every local authority area will be assessed publicly. PSA 21 “Build more cohesive, empowered and active communities” includes a measure of a thriving third sector, progress on this indicator will be made public.

Of note in this area is that, as announced in the final report of the third sector review, the Government will invest, jointly with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in a new £10 million national research centre to build the evidence base on the nature and work of the third sector.