Welcome moves to transparency in public grants and contracts

Sector umbrella NCVO has welcomed new government commitments to use open contracting and to improve the data it publishes on grant making. The 2016-18 Open Government National Action Plan (NAP) was launched during the recent Anti-Corruption Summit.

NCVO’s article says:

We believe that this exciting transparency development could improve public services in a number of ways.  It will increase government accountability for its spending decisions by making it easier for citizens, voluntary sector organisations and parliament to monitor where funding goes.

 » Continue reading news item ... “Welcome moves to transparency in public grants and contracts”

New powers and new sector minister for Scotland’s government

New minister for Scottish voluntary sector

The new secretary for communities, social security and equalities in the Scottish Government is Angela Constance. Third Force News coverage on her appointment, and the rest of the new cabinet, points out that as well as being responsible for the third sector she will also be overseeing the large task of implementing the new welfare powers being devolved to Scotland. » Continue reading news item ... “New powers and new sector minister for Scotland’s government”

Government moves on anti-advocacy clause, grant scrutiny

The government is “pausing on implementation” of the anti-advocacy clause in grant agreements. It also attacks “irresponsible and immoral practices” at some large fundraising organisations in response to a parliamentary committee report, and promises greater scrutiny of charity grants.

Paused clause

The Westminster government has announced that is “continuing to consider the comments of all interested parties”, ahead of the introduction of the ‘anti-advocacy’ clause into grant agreements. » Continue reading news item ... “Government moves on anti-advocacy clause, grant scrutiny”

Government urges sector voice on referendum, but not elsewhere

As reported by Civil Society News, the government has indicated that it will exempt researchers and academics from the anti-advocacy clause in grant contracts, but not charities. See previous VoluntaryNews coverage on grant lobbying restrictions for background.

Separately, the civil society minister has urged charities to speak up in the EU referendum debate. Report in The Guardian, where NCVO’s director of policy pointed out that “his remarks set a notably different tone from that of the Charity Commission”, which had said that charities should only get involved in exceptional circumstances. » Continue reading news item ... “Government urges sector voice on referendum, but not elsewhere”

Further sector analysis of Budget 2016

Further voluntary sector analysis and commentary on the government’s latest Budget. Also see the original VoluntaryNews coverage ‘Charities and Budget 2016‘.

From Charity Finance Group, ‘Budget Focus: What was hidden in the numbers for charities?‘ delves into the detail in the Office for Budget Responsibility’s ‘Economic and Fiscal Outlook‘. The focus is on how the economy might impact government and household resources, and hence charity services. » Continue reading news item ... “Further sector analysis of Budget 2016”

Welsh response on grant lobbying restrictions

Welsh sector umbrella body WCVA has added its voice to concerns around the anti-advocacy clauses being added to government grant agreements:

We have issued a briefing paper (pdf, 48KB) on the UK Government’s guidelines to prohibit organisations who receive grant funding from using it to lobby. We have also launched a survey for the sector to tell us the impact this guidance will have on them.

 » Continue reading news item ... “Welsh response on grant lobbying restrictions”