Justice ministry consults the sector

The Ministry of Justice is planning to set up an advisory group to measure how well it collaborates with the voluntary sector, according to a consultation paper released by the department yesterday.

The consultation will feed into the development of a third sector strategy intended to enhance the contribution of voluntary and community organisations to the department's policy development and service provision.

Yesterday's announcement said the advisory group will meet twice a year to assess progress against the strategy and will provide a forum for "all parties to be challenged".

Justice minister Bridget Prentice said: "The Government wants to improve the public's understanding of the justice system by working more closely with voluntary groups and community organisations. Real change can be achieved by the voluntary sector and the state working together at all levels."

The voluntary sector is being invited to comment on the proposals in the paper. Several workshops will be held during the consultation period.

The final strategy will be published in April 2008.

The consultation paper is at http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/cp3307.htm

The deadline for comments is 20 March 2008.

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