Guidelines to Ensure Charities are used fairly for public contracts
- 11 Apr
Guidelines have been released to ensure that contractors for public services use charities too.
For services such as the work programme, charities have found problems in delivering the government contract, and less financially secure charities need supporting.
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and Serco have publish a best-practice public services contracting code to try and keep contractors and charities working smoothly together.
There have been problems experienced so far with charities being at a disadvantage, and the guidelines are intended to help improve relationships between private and voluntary sector.
Contractors have been found to 'cherry-pick' clients in some of the schemes, and subcontract others to charities and voluntary organisations, which is unfair for outsourcing public service contracts.
The guidelines also warn that charity subcontrators must not be used as 'bid candy' on public service contracts for schemes such as the Work Programme.
The new code of practice is split into five sections and provides advice on issues including setting reasonable expectations, having mechanisms for open dialogue between contractors and developing financially sustainable models.
It also says prime contractors should take measures to support the less financially secure members of their supply chain - there have been complaints by several charities and social enterprises about the length of time it has taken to receive payments from prime contractors.
From a Public Accounts Committee report on the Work Programme in February, the government's back-to-work scheme found evidence of prime contractors finding work for the easiest to place candidates, and then giving those who would require more effort and have a more difficult history to charity subcontractors, or 'parking' them.
Another report by the Third Sector Research Centre, found that charities had encountered numerous problems with the back-to-work scheme.
Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the NCVO, said:
There has been a major growth in subcontracting, but the NCVO's members have had very mixed experiences of it. This joint guidance is part of our attempt to raise standards in subcontracting.
We are certainly not saying that subcontracting is always the right way in which to deliver public services.
But where services are delivered in this way, we want to make sure that they are delivered well and that subcontractors are treated fairly.
Serco has pledged to follow the guidance and will encourage other outsourcing companies to sign up to the document.
Jeremy Stafford, chief executive of Serco UK & Europe, said:
This code sets the bar high for how companies such as Serco should work alongside their partners in the voluntary sector - and rightly so.
Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/342379
- 20 Apr
CHARITY WORKS TOWARDS A NATIONAL PLAN TO END HOMELESSNESS
Prime minister, Theresa May and the first ministers of Scotland and Wales congratulated "Crisis" on its anniversary and gave an assurance to work hand in hand with them while on a quest to eradicate...
- 30 Jan
THE FATE OF EU-FUNDED PROJECTS AND ITS EFFECT ON CHARITY SERVICES
In March 2016, forecasts of growth were low and the government's own estimates put the Treasury's coffers £122bn poorer by 2020.The supreme court has also determined that MPs must approve the...
- 15 Jun
INCREASE IN THREATS OF EVICTIONS FROM HOMES
After analysing statistics from the Ministry of Justice, the housing charity (Shelter) found the following:In the past year, the number of people seeking advice from 'Shelter' on their eviction...
- 07 Jun
CHARITIES, THEIR BRANDS, BENEFICIARIES AND HOW TO EFFECT CHANGE
"Most charities exist because their founders believed the future could be different if they mobilised supporters", but Mandy Johnson of the Guardian believes"This vision is being lost."Charities are...
- 17 Apr
Support for veterans to return to work
Places for People hopes to support veterans into the workplace and also benefit from the skills and experience they have to offer, reports 24dash.All veterans applying for jobs in Places for People's...
- 26 Jan
Charity registers as social landlord
It has now registered its housing department as a housing association, Inside Housing reports.The charity set up Golden Lane Housing (GLH) in 1998, which has now registered to be a social landlord...
- 14 Jan
Charity to develop app for people with disabilities
The funding will enable the charity to develop and test the free app, called FlyCatcher, which could be on the market by 2016.The app uses iBeacon technology to send information through smartphones...
- 14 Jan
Young people’s health harmed by fuel poverty
The Department of Energy and Climate Change have reported that 10% of households in England were in fuel poverty.The charity, Turn2us have stated that 75% of the 2,060 adults in the PRS who were...
- 08 Jan
Homelessness in Scotland
Shelter Scotland stated that this percentage is ‘disproportionate' to the sector's size which makes up 13% of all housing in Scotland, Inside Housing reports. It was also mentioned that the number...
- 07 Jan
Homelessness an ‘increasing trend’ in Wales
Cais blames the lack of options available to individuals due to the change in the type of support that can be offered.The Chief Executive of Cais, Clive Wolfendale has described the problem of...
Revenue Optimisation "Coventry Mind has recently worked through a programme of Housing Benefit optimisation with Support Solutions and in particular their specialist Danny Key. Throughout the whole process Danny demonstrated that he has excellent knowledge of the subject and was able to put forward a convincing case for the increase in funding to the Housing Benefit team. Coventry Mind has already and will continue to recommend Support Solutions and in particular this service to other organisations." Steven Hill - Director of Central Services