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Compact Annual Review

Volume 712: debated on Monday 20 July 2009

Statement

My right honourable friend the Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Angela E. Smith) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am today placing in the Library of both Houses of Parliament copies of the report of the annual meeting held on 2 December 2008 and the action plan 2009-10.

The independent Commissioner for the Compact, Sir Bert Massie, spoke about the state of the relationship between government and the sector and the findings from the debate on the future of the Compact:

to keep a values-based and voluntary Compact;

to update the Compact as a single document that takes account of changes over the 10 years since the Compact was first signed; and

to look at changes to the structure of the Commission for the Compact and options to put it on a statutory footing.

We now have the opportunity to renew the Compact for the 21st century, to ensure it is stronger and capable of delivering for both the public and third sectors in a changing economic environment. Simon Blake, the Chair of Compact Voice, and I, as representatives of the two signatories to the Compact, have asked Sir Bert to begin work engaging both sectors on updating the Compact documents, and in making changes to the commission. This will build on work the commission has already achieved to ensure the Compact is better understood and accepted.

The refresh of the Compact is a major piece or work to be done as part of our joint action plan for the next year. The action plan has been developed by the Commission, Compact Voice, Office of the Third Sector and the Local Government Association—taking account of the discussion at the annual review. Along with the report of the annual review meeting I am also placing copies of the Joint Compact Action Plan 2009-10 in both Houses. The action plan is grouped around four themes:

raising the profile of the Compact;

building our knowledge;

embedding in structures, processes and policy; and

maintaining the relevance of the Compact.

At the annual review meeting my predecessor also announced the baseline for annual reporting on the commitment to three-year funding for the third sector by government departments. The percentage of the value of all government grants that have been reported to OTS that are for three years or more is 85.4 per cent. A baseline will also be set in 2009-10 for performance on contracts and performance by NDPBs and agencies.