Commissioning programme bids invited

IDeA wants to keep contract to run National Programme for Third Sector Commissioning

The Government is inviting bids to run the second stage of the programme to train public sector commissioners how to deal with voluntary sector organisations.

The Office of the Third Sector has put out a tender for the next phase of the National Programme for Third Sector Commissioning, which has been run by the Improvement and Development Agency since it began in early 2008. The new contract will start in June 2009 and run until March 2011.

A spokeswoman for IDeA said it had trained more than 2,000 people so far through its one-day sessions, and planned to bid for the contract again.

She said: "Our concern is that local government gets all the support it needs in these difficult economic times. It's important that the Office of the Third Sector looks into using the third sector more in the commissioning of public services."

The programme has three strands: identifying which public service commissioners need to be trained, improving the bidding capacity of the third sector and, "winning the hearts and minds of commissioners across public services on the value of using the third sector", according to the advertisement.

The winning organisation will work alongside the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, the Care Services Improvement Partnership, the Local Government Association and the National School of Government to increase the use of the third sector in public service contracts.

Further information on the programme can be found here.

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