Public Administration Select Committee to scrutinise civil society policy

Committee will examine National Audit Office report on the Compact, expected in July

Government's civil society policy to be scrutinised
Government's civil society policy to be scrutinised

The Public Administration Select Committee will take on responsibility for scrutinising the government’s policy on civil society.

The Cabinet Office’s draft structural reform plan, published in June 2010, said the department would invite parliament to form a Select Committee for Civil Society by November 2010.

However, the idea is not mentioned in the department’s business plan, published in November as the successor to the structural reform plan.

Asked by Third Sector whether the Cabinet Office had invited parliament to set up the committee, a spokesman confirmed that the function would be carried out by the PASC. 

The committee, a cross-party group of MPs that was set up to examine standards of administration in the civil service, will also scrutinise the work of the Office for Civil Society.

The committee held a meeting earlier this month at which Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, and Thomas Hughes-Hallett, chief executive of Marie Curie Cancer Care, were questioned on the role of the voluntary sector in delivering services.

One of PASC’s tasks will be to examine a report, due to be published in July by the National Audit Office, about the effectiveness of the Compact, the partnership agreement between the government and the voluntary sector.

The PASC will make recommendations to parliament about how the Compact could best be enforced.

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