Acevo commission co-chaired by journalist Will Hutton to examine sector's role in public service delivery

The Remaking the State Commission will focus on failures in public services and suggest ways in which the voluntary sector could make a difference

Will Hutton
Will Hutton

The charity chief executives body Acevo has established a commission to review the role that third sector organisations should play in the delivery of public services.

Acevo published a report in 2003 called Replacing the State, which said that the sector’s potential to bring about public service reform was being diminished by erratic funding.

Now it has has set up the Remaking the State Commission, which will focus on how failures in public services led to specific scandals, such as that of the Winterbourne View care home in Bristol, where adults with learning disabilities were not cared for properly.

It will also look into how the voluntary sector can make a difference in a wide range of public services across the country.

The commission is co-chaired by Will Hutton, an academic and writer, and Rob Owen, head of the offenders charity the St Giles Trust. Other members include the Labour peer Lord Glasman, the Conservative peer Baroness Stedman-Scott and Dan Corry, chief executive of the think tank NPC.

Hutton said: "The next few years are going to prove a crucial period for both the delivery of public services and the involvement of many more charitable and third sector providers in their delivery. Success will mean that we develop an ecosystem of partners that can provide services that are genuinely responsive to citizens’ preferences. This commission will hope to crack that conundrum wide open."

Owen said: "Maybe there is some sense in the expression that every cloud has a silver lining. Possibly the one upside from the terrifying and terrible 2011 riots was the sea change in the public’s view that hard-wired issues facing us as a nation aren’t solely the responsibility of the state."

The commission first met in September and is expected to produce its report in mid-2015.

It is the second commission unveiled by Acevo in as many weeks, with another one, led by Lord Low of Dalston, looking into how the sector is regulated.

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