Compact updated to include commissioning

New guidance on how to make outsourcing to the sector comply with the agreement

The Commission for the Compact has published guidance on how to make commissioning Compact-compliant.

The Compact, the agreement that sets out how voluntary organisations and government should behave towards one another, was written 11 years ago before commissioning became widespread in the voluntary sector.

Last year, then third sector minister Phil Hope asked Sir Bert Massie, Commissioner for the Compact, to address this gap by producing the guidance.

Richard Williams, a policy adviser at the commission, described the guidance as a "translation of current Compact principles and how they can be applied to commissioning".

He added: "We are not telling commissioners how to do their jobs. We are saying Compact principles are relevant and can add value to how they commission."

He said the commission would publish further guidance on how the Compact related to specific issues, such as independence, as part of a plan "to move the policy and principles behind the Compact into practice".

The commissioning guide breaks the process down into four stages: analysis, planning, sourcing and monitoring, and review, and explains how the Compact can be applied during each stage.

Bob Ricketts, director of system management and new enterprise at the Department of Health, has pledged to draw on the guidance when it reviews its NHS principles and rules for cooperation and competition later this year.

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Compact for the Commission

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