DCMS sets out third sector strategy

Promises include action on the Compact and three-year funding

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has admitted that it and its 55 non-departmental public bodies and agencies need to take the Compact more seriously.

In its third sector strategy, which was published on Wednesday, the DCMS pledged to work with voluntary organisations to identify challenges in commissioning, grants and procurement. "There is definite scope to improve awareness and understanding of the Compact," the strategy says.

"All non-departmental public bodies are signatories to the Compact and we will encourage them to strive to adhere to its best practice wherever possible."

The strategy says the annual DCMS finance directors' conference for non-departmental public bodies will stress the importance of three-year funding, full cost recovery and three months' notice of the withdrawal of funding.

All of its non-departmental public bodies will have to report by 31 October this year how much of their funding is for three years.

Olympics minister Tessa Jowell will host a volunteering summit this year to discuss ways of promoting volunteering across the country during the 2012 Games, the strategy says.

Mike Locke, director of public affairs at Volunteering England, said he was pleased to see the focus on developing volunteering outside the Olympic Park but wanted to see more details.

Robin Osterley, who chairs chief executives body Acevo's special interest group on arts and heritage, said he welcomed the strategy because arts, cultural and heritage organisations were often not recognised as part of the third sector.

Graham Turnock, DCMS director and third sector champion, described the strategy as the "first step in the process of developing a new and mutually supportive relationship between the department and its third sector colleagues".

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