Valuing the independent voice of charities

The final report from The Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector has been published, saying that it is “time to rebuild trust between government and the voluntary sector”, with a new settlement between them.

“This means government working with the sector, listening and involving it in decision making through genuine consultation. It also means charities and the Charity Commission taking the lead and ensuring that legitimate freedoms to speak and to act are protected.”

The Baring Foundation, which sponsored the panel, is to fundraise to establish a new Commission on the future of the voluntary sector to help lay the foundations for this new settlement. NCVO has already pledged £100,000 for this.

Read the Panel’s press release at http://www.independencepanel.org.uk/time-to-rebuild-trust-new-settlement-urged-between-government-and-charity-sector. Its chair writes in The Guardian ‘Loss of an independent voluntary sector puts society at serious risk’ at http://www.theguardian.com/voluntary-sector-network/2015/feb/11/loss-independent-voluntary-sector-society-risk. Or Civil Society News coverage at http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/governance/news/content/19034/final_report_concludes_charity_sector_independence_has_continued_to_worsen

‘An Independent Mission: the voluntary sector in 2015 – The fourth and final annual assessment’ can be downloaded (pdf, 2.3MB) via http://www.independencepanel.org.uk/publications.

Note: the new Commission should not be confused with the recently concluded Inquiry into the Future of Voluntary Services, run by the National Coalition for Independent Action. Or the, also recent, Independent Commission on the Future of Local Infrastructure set up by NAVCA.