Department for Work and Pensions wins Compact Award for its Merlin Standard

Code of conduct for delivery of Work Programme honoured by Commission for Compact, which is due to be abolished

Department for Work and Pensions wins award
Department for Work and Pensions wins award

The Department for Work and Pensions was among the winners in last night’s Compact Awards for its efforts to involve the voluntary sector in its new Work Programme.

The DWP won the national partnership award for developing the Merlin Standard, which is a code of conduct for contractors and subcontractors delivering the programme on behalf of the government. Failure to comply can lead to contracts being revoked.

The awards, which were the last to be held by the Commission for the Compact before its abolition in the spring, recognise partnership working across local and national government and the voluntary sector.

The local partnership award went to Rutland Joint Action Group, a cross-sector partnership to tackle anti-social behaviour.

The London borough of Merton’s Compact won local Compact of the year, and Cath Cook of Voluntary Action Oldham was named Compact champion of the year.

The commissioner’s award for a partnership that has progressed over the past 12 months went to Thurrock Council.

Sir Bert Massie, the Commissioner for the Compact, said: "In times of economic adversity, it is particularly gratifying to see so much excellent practice taking place."

Compact Voice, which represents the voluntary sector on Compact issues, and the Office for Civil Society will organise the awards next year.

The Compact is currently being renewed. Simon Blake, the chair of Compact Voice, said it was vital to sustain good partnerships and the renewed version of the Compact would play a crucial role in achieving this.

The awards were the highlight of Compact Week, which ends on Sunday.

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