Office for Civil Society consults on new infrastructure programme

Government wants to invest in 'strategic interventions', says consultation document

Office for Civil Society report
Office for Civil Society report

The Office for Civil Society has indicated that it hopes to invest in a new infrastructure programme for the voluntary sector, and has launched a consultation that asks charities and social enterprises how they would like the government to support them.

The consultation document, published by the Office for Civil Society yesterday, says the government "wants to invest in a new programme of strategic interventions which will help organisations modernise and become more efficient and more entrepreneurial in order to take advantage of the opportunities ahead".

It says improving infrastructure could involve making better use of online support, encouraging better connections between small charities and mentors from businesses or larger charities, rationalising existing infrastructure bodies and directing support to front-line organisations.

"In the past, the government’s approach to building the capacity and skills of civil society focused on a limited range of providers, primarily charities and social enterprises such as local councils for voluntary service," the consultation document says. "The current government wants to encourage better connections both among civil society organisations and with the public and private sectors."

A strategy document outlining the government’s approach to the voluntary sector, published alongside the consultation document, says that the government will set out detailed plans early next year that will make it easier for charities and social enterprises to deliver public services.

The plans will include enabling commissioners to take into account the social, environmental and economic value of the organisations they commission services from, the document says.

The Cabinet Office announced yesterday that the infrastructure body Capacitybuilders would be abolished in March 2011.

The consultation will close in January.

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