Compact draft more than halves in size

Proposed new version contains the "absolute core principles", says Compact Voice


The Compact, which governs relationships between the public and voluntary sectors, has been slimmed down in a new draft version to 37 key principles compared with 95 in its existing form.

The draft new version of the agreement was published yesterday by Compact Voice, which represents the voluntary sector on the Compact, in advance of next month's comprehensive spending review.

The draft maintains the government's commitment to providing three-year funding for voluntary groups. It also maintains pledges to give three months' notice when changing or ending a funding agreement and to carry out 12-week written consultations on issues that affect the sector.

A commitment is also retained that checks and registration with the Criminal Records Bureau and the Independent Safeguarding Authority should be free for volunteers.

However, the draft omits a commitment to support third sector infrastructure bodies that was in the previous version. It also drops a promise to remove barriers that might prevent voluntary organisations from contributing to policy development.

The draft says the government is reviewing a commitment in the previous version that main contractors that give subcontracts to the voluntary sector must abide by the Compact's principles. It says the previous commitment to apply the Compact when distributing European funding is also under review.

A new commitment from the government to "reduce the bureaucratic burden" on the voluntary sector has been added to the document.

A spokesman for Compact Voice said it had been slimmed down because government departments were more likely to observe its principles if they were presented in a clear, straightforward way.

"We wanted to get the absolute core principles into it," he said. "After the comprehensive spending review next month, government departments are likely to make more cuts and we want to make sure they respect the compact if they do so."

Compact Voice has launched a consultation on the new version of the document. The consultation lasts until 29 October and can be found here.

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