Compact 'fails to make its case to state funders'

Compact Plus, the Home Office's latest attempt to improve state funding to voluntary sector organisations, is commendable but for one crucial omission, according to chief executives body Acevo.

"It completely fails to spell out why funders should care about this," said policy head Nick Aldridge.

"The recommendations on what funders should do are spot-on: full-cost recovery, sharing risk, less bureaucracy and so on. But it misses the biggest argument, which is why funders should sign up to it," he said in an interview with Third Sector.

Acevo believes there needs to be a wholesale change of attitude by funders to the idea of better contracts, and that Compact Plus should help to facilitate this.

It wants funders to see Compact Plus as a tool to help them spend money more effectively.

Aldridge said: "We think there should be more incentives, especially the suggestion that they might be wasting money by funding badly.

"It should be stressed that if they sign up to this they might be able to make savings to contribute to the 2.5 per cent per year efficiency savings target set by the 2004 Spending Review."

Acevo plans to use its submission to the Compact Plus consultation to make this point to the Home Office and reiterate some of the arguments made in its Surer Funding report. The NCVO is consulting members before finalising its submission, but spokesman James Georgalakis admitted to some concerns.

"What is needed is rather more consistent compliance across the sector, at a local and national level, and we are not clear how repackaging, renaming and shortening the Compact will achieve that," he said.

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