The five-minute policy manager – October 2013

Egg timerIn this spirit, we’re today launching this new NCVO policy blog to help you stay up-to-date with the latest VCS policy developments, political news, and what our team is up to.

So, what’s new in October?

Public sector procurement rules are set for a shake-up

NCVO has responded to a BIS/Cabinet Office consultation which focusses on standardisation of PQQs across the whole of the public sector. Meanwhile, we’re just beginning to look at new EU legislation that will be transposed into UK law in 2014. This will raise the OJEU procurement threshold to around £600k for ‘social’ services. We’ll keep you posted on this.

The Lobbying Bill kicks off again in the Lords this week

We’ll be seeking further amendments around: what counts as “controlled expenditure”, expenditure thresholds, and protecting your right to campaign as part of coalitions. See our latest briefing materials for more info.

Richer Lives

This new book from Theresa Lloyd and Beth Breeze is essential reading for fundraising charities, giving an insight into the motivations of major donors. We’re taking a look at the policy recommendations, such as lifetime legacies. There are also plenty of practical tips, such as how to thank donors thoughtfully.

The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission

The Commission has published an epic first State of the Nation report, concluding that much more needs to be done to unlock children’s life chances. I’m currently reading through this, but if you want a quick review, read Andrew Rawnsley’s Observer piece: “Letting the social ladder rot away is unjust. It is also a stupid waste.”

Debate erupted this week over ‘benefit tourism’

The Sunday Telegraph claimed that a new EU report demonstrates the ‘true scale of European immigration’ and costs to the UK taxpayer, but Jonathan Portes at NIESR challenged their data analysis.

NCVO’s inquiry into executive pay has launched

Karl Wilding says the inquiry will engage with a wide range of views and seek to make recommendations for charity trustees. All evidence and contributions are welcome at:

After the Cabinet reshuffle earlier this month…

Nick Hurd remains Minister for Civil Society. Opposite him, Lisa Nandy has been appointed by Labour. Chloe Smith has been replaced by Greg Clark at the Cabinet Office, though Andrew Lansley continues to lead on the lobbying bill and Lord Young has been the driving force behind procurement reforms.

Thanks for reading. Do let me know what you think and what the key issues are for you @CharRavenscroft

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Charlotte Ravenscroft was NCVO’s head of policy and public services. Charlotte’s wrote about funding, public service delivery, and strengthening the evidence base for voluntary action. She has also worked at The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Education.

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