Consultants to persuade councils to use Compact

Commission for the Compact hires accountancy firm Grant Thornton to point out financial benefits of using the agreement

The Commission for the Compact has hired consultants to try to persuade local authorities of the business benefits of supporting the Compact.

Accountancy firm Grant Thornton has been commissioned to carry out research to identify the economic and social benefits of applying Compact principles.

A new version of the Compact, which outlines how the voluntary and public sectors should behave towards each other, was published last month.

The commission wants the public sector to take it more seriously than the old version and hopes to convince councils that there are financial benefits to adhering to it.

Grant Thornton will provide case studies demonstrating the benefits and create an electronic toolkit that will allow local authorities to calculate the benefits themselves.

"It is hoped this study will reveal the importance of the Compact for good working relations to both local authorities and third sector organisations," said a commission spokeswoman.

The commission has also published the findings of research it carried out last year on whether European structural funding is compliant with the Compact.

The Compact applies only in England, but the UK's government departments and agencies that distribute European funding are Compact signatories.

The report, Compact Application and the Administration of European Structural Funding, reveals that European funding timetables do not always adhere to the Compact.

"We want to use the evidence in this research to push for better practice so that more third sector organisations have a positive experience accessing European funding," said Sir Bert Massie, Commissioner for the Compact.

Auriga Consultants, whose project team included Simon Hebditch, former chief executive of Capacitybuilders, and Jo Durning, the former civil servant who wrote the 2006 report into the ChangeUp infrastructure programme, was paid £39,000 to carry out the research.


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