Charities held back in public service contracts

Charity Finance Group has produced the results of its benchmarking tool for charities, Finance Count 2016. The tool was used by over 120 charities and covered a range of issues including procurement, expenses, budgeting, cash management and external reporting.

One of the notable findings was that charities are struggling to generate income from public service agreements and contracts, with many large charities making significant losses on contracts.

See Civil Society News article or CFG news release. There is also a discussion paper on how the current structure of public service delivery is holding charities back. Download ‘Whither Value? Voluntary organisations and the delivery of public services’ via CFG’s Briefings page (pdf, 238KB).

Barriers to sector contracting – NAO

Separately, the National Audit Office has published a report analysing the government’s record in contracting with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Nearly all charities fall within the SME definition, and the report goes further,

setting out some specific barriers faced by voluntary sector SMEs, including poor alignment between government aims and charitable mission, being used as ‘bid candy’ by prime contractors, disproportionate loss of funding and a perception that the government does not respect voluntary sector intellectual property.

As discussed in an NCVO article.