Changeup boss to run the ICT hub

Tina Jenkins, the head of the entire Changeup programme in the Active Community Unit of the Home Office, has taken direct responsibility for the ICT hub following the departure of Alastair West, the unit's head of ICT development.

West set up the first meeting between Citra and the NCVO-led ICT Consortium, the rival groups of sector umbrella bodies that were competing to develop the plan for the Changeup ICT hub (Third Sector, 29 September).

He has now moved to another ITC-related role within the Home Office and Jenkins has taken direct control of the ICT hub.

Jenkins is listed as an NCVO "observer" in the umbrella body's 2003 annual review. But the Home Office insisted that her role as head of the Changeup programme, which adjudicates on rival bids for Changeup money from groups including the NCVO, did not constitute any conflict of interest.

A spokesman said: "A member of the Active Community Unit has observer status for the NCVO board. This is normal practice for strategic funders and no decision-making power is involved in the status, so there is no conflict of interest."

Some £300,000 of the £5m available for the six hubs has been allocated so far for early development work on hub business plans. The NCVO has been confirmed as the "accountable body" for three of the six hubs - governance, workforce development and ICT. Charity Evaluation Services is the accountable body for the performance improvement hub; the Charities Aid Foundation is accountable for the financing voluntary and community sector activity hub; and Volunteering England for the volunteering hub. Volunteering England will develop a proposal to co-ordinate hub functions.

On the ICT hub, which has been bedevilled by bickering between the rival ICT coalitions, the spokesman said the ICT Consortium was "funded to develop a business plan for an ICT hub, and this was recently submitted to the Active Community Unit".

He said ministers had not yet taken a decision on the bid. The Active Community Unit is believed to be insistent that the sector should sort out any differences and present a united front on the ICT hub before it will release further funding for it.

The ICT Consortium and Citra are still in the process of appointing an independent chair to co-ordinate a joint plan for the hub development.

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