Compact table of shame

The NCVO is to publish a league table of government departments based on how well they adhere to the Compact.

The table, which is due to be released at the end of this month, is intended to shame the worst offending departments into making improvements.

It will turn the tables on ministers by subjecting them to the kind of performance indicators they demand of others.

The table is likely to reveal that the Department of Health, which was criticised last year over its handling of Section 64 grants for projects that support government health and social care goals, has been transformed into a top performer.

Since last year's criticism, the DoH has pledged to make all Primary Care Trusts Compact-compliant. Saskia Daggett, manager of the Compact Advocacy Programme at the NCVO, hailed the application process for this year's Section 64 grants as "a perfect example of collaborative working.

"The massively important thing is to have the confidence to challenge your funders. People are terrified to do it, but it works."

The Department for Education and Skills, which has been the subject of 10 investigations by the Compact Advocacy Programme, is likely to fare less well.

Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the NCVO, wrote to Alan Johnson, Secretary of State for Education, last month, criticising his department's approach to the voluntary sector. "We have concerns about the way the DfES works with the voluntary and community sector," wrote Etherington. "We are looking for change across your department."

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