Public services news round-up: December 2018

Things are always a little quiet in the run up to the holidays, but we have a Christmas cracker of a report on contracting to get your teeth into if you’re short of some light festive reading.

What the government buys, and how it can get better at it

The Institute for Government (IfG) has published a landmark report into government procurement, covering the nature and scale of contracting in the UK (authored in part by ex-NCVOer and sideburn advocate Nick Davies). We’re proud to have supported this work with NCVO Almanac data on the extent of government spending on charities, although the reasons this was necessary are less than ideal; as the IfG conclude across a range of different areas, the government’s data quality for charity spend is very patchy, meaning the best estimate available is found through tracking it in charity accounts, not through the government’s own procurement portal.

NHS Long Term Plan delayed

The NHS Long Term Plan has been in the works since the summer. As part of the Health and Wellbeing Alliance, we contributed to the consultation and met with Simon Stevens to explain how the plan could help voluntary organisations work better with the NHS. While we were expecting the Plan to be published in December, it’s been announced that publication has been delayed until after the ‘meaningful vote’ in Parliament on the prime minister’s Brexit deal, now due to take place in the week of 14 January. Keep an eye out in late January for our coverage of how well the Plan articulates a vision for better cross-sector working in the future.

Home Office launches recruitment for domestic violence commissioner

The Home Office has announced it’s launching recruitment for a ‘Designate Domestic Abuse Commissioner’ to help the government transform its response to domestic abuse. The commissioner will be charged with standing up for victims and survivors, providing public leadership on domestic abuse concerns and driving the response to issues. The candidate will give recommendations to the government and local bodies on how provisions could be improved and highlight where best practice is taking place. The Commissioner will also look at the needs of victims and survivors from minority or marginalised groups, and children affected by domestic abuse.

 

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Michael Birtwistle Michael is our senior policy officer, covering issues around charity tax and finance (including social investment) and the impact of the economy on the sector.

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