NCVO public services round-up: January 2015

Please get involved in the public services news round up. We’re always keen to hear your stories of delivering public services, bidding for contracts, consortium development, partnerships with the statutory sector…good or bad. You can email us your news and stories, or tweet us @NCVO @NJ_Davies

New members of the Public Services Advisory Group wanted!

The Public Services Advisory Group provides expert insight that helps guide the work of NCVO’s public services team. Meeting quarterly, group members act as a crucial sounding board, supporting us to develop policy and influence key policy makers on the role of charities and social enterprises in public services.

We are seeking to recruit new group members. If you would like to become a member or discuss it further please contact Nick Davies.

Need help bidding for public service contracts? Come to one of our commissioning masterclasses being held all over England

If your organisation is looking at bidding for public service contracts, either alone or as part of a consortium, and you feel you need to ‘up your game’ in terms of business practices, NCVO’s  two-day commercial masterclass at locations around England is for you. We also have a series of one-day health commissioning and youth crime commissioning events.

Social value consultation

The government has now finished collecting evidence for its review of the Social Value Act and is due to report on its finding early this year. Our policy officer Paul Winyard has summarised our response to the review along with our recommendations.

Let us know what you think and about your own experiences of commissioning for social value.

Transparency clause in government contracts

NCVO is working with a task group convened by the Institute for government on proposals for a standardised transparency clause that would require companies and charities winning contracts for public services to routinely disclose information about how they are spending taxpayers’ money and their performance against agreed objectives. We want the clause to include information about financial flows to sub-contractors so the public knows which organisation is delivering the frontline service and how much money they are receiving for that purpose.

Funding transparency

Early this month the Centre for Policy Studies, a think tank, published the report ‘Transparency Begins at Home: Why Charities Must State Who Funds Them’. It criticises the largest charities for not being sufficiently transparent about their government funding.

Karl Wilding has written a blog post summarising the report and detailing where NCVO agrees and disagrees with its conclusions.

VCSE health and social care review

NCVO is co-producing with a range of VCS and government bodies a review of how VCSE organisations can work with government to deliver health and social care outcomes, and also how government funding can be used to strengthen the capacity and sustainability of the VCSE sector.

The review will map current challenges and lead to the development of proposals for strategic grants and other funding arrangements, as well as other types of partnerships between government and VCSE sectors.

Your case studies needed!

As ever, the public services team is on the hunt for case studies. Stories of ‘frontline experience’ – both negative and positive – help supplement our work with a ‘human story’ perspective which makes our arguments all the more powerful. This is especially important for our responses to select committee inquiries and government consultations. These are valuable opportunities for change that need to be fully exploited.

Currently, we are particularly interested in examples of gagging clauses being added to contracts and local authorities that are making best use of the Social Value Act.

Don’t worry if you don’t have time to write up a case study in detail yourself: a member of the NCVO would be very happy to do this based on a short phone call. If you’re interested please contact Paul Winyard.

Southwark Early Action Commission

Southwark faces a number of significant challenges: it has the highest obesity rate for 10-11 year olds nationally and suffers from high levels of violent crime. Its citizens are also disproportionately likely to be long term recipients of Jobseekers’ Allowance or permanently admitted into a residential care or nursing homes.

Following a proposal made by Community Action Southwark (CAS), the local Health and Wellbeing Board decided to set up an independent commission to look at how early action could help local people.

Read Compact Voice’s blog post, ‘Southwark Commission gives early action approaches a boost’, to find out more.

Beth Hacche joins NCVO

Finally, we’re excited to welcome our new trainee public services officer, Beth Hacche. She’ll be leading a project for NCVO on the voluntary sector’s experience of community budgets. If you have any direct experience or thoughts on community budgets please get in touch with Beth.

The NCVO Public Services Team

Public services teamFrom left:

  • Victoria Malmlöf (Team Administrator)
  • Neena Bhatti (Senior Policy & Engagement Officer)
  • Nick Davies (Public Services Manager)
  • Lev Pedro (Public Services Senior Officer)
  • Paul Winyard (Policy Officer)
  • Beth Hacche (Trainee Public Services Officer)
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Nick was NCVO's public services manager until March 2017. He is also a trustee of the South London Relief in Sickness Fund.

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