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The national Compact. Tom Elkins Compact Voice Manager 23rd April 2013. What is the Compact?. Agreement between government and the voluntary and community sector Sets out principles and commitments for both the voluntary sector and government Applies only to England

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The national Compact

Tom Elkins

Compact Voice Manager

23rd April 2013


What is the compact

What is the Compact?

Agreement between government and the voluntary and community sector

Sets out principles and commitments for both the voluntary sector and government

Applies only to England

Based on engagement with government and the voluntary sector


History of the compact

History of the Compact

First published in 1998, based on recommendations set out in a report from the Deakin Commission into relationships between sectors.

Initially accompanied by five Compact codes

Local Compacts introduced in 2000

Commission for the Compact established in 2007

Compact refreshed in 2009 – consolidated codes into one document

In 2010, change in government announced renewal of the Compact, and closure of the Commission

December 2010 – renewed Compact launched


Who is signed up to the compact

  • The Compact is signed by the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Civil Society representing government

  • It is signed by Simon Blake OBE on behalf of the voluntary and community sector

  • Every government department is signed up to following the principles of the Compact

  • The Compact extends to all organisations distributing funds on the government’s behalf – including NDPBs and prime/sub contractors

Who is signed up to the Compact?


Compact voice

Compact Voice Minister, Minister for Civil Society representing government

Small team

Membership organisation – 2850 members

Representative board

Provides training and support for Compacts both locally and nationally

Shares examples of good practice

Annual comprehensive membership survey

Organises and promotes Compact Week and Awards


What does the compact say

What does the Compact say? Minister, Minister for Civil Society representing government

Covers a number of key topics:

Independence and the right to campaign

Consulting with charities when developing policies

Supporting charities to deliver projects and services

Understanding the impact of changes to funding and other forms of support

Protecting and considering disadvantaged groups


How is the compact supported

How is the Compact supported? Minister, Minister for Civil Society representing government

Since renewed government introduced in 2010, central government has strengthened its use in a variety of ways:

Voluntary agreement but government departments are expected to follow it

National Audit Office report into compliance and implementation - NAO’s findings highlighted high levels of support in government

Included in department business plans

Supported through other policies – Best Value Guidance, JSNA guidance

Ombudsmen can investigate and enforce

Referenced in various policy documents


What did nao s report say

What did NAO’s report say? Minister, Minister for Civil Society representing government

Five key principles

Leadership and ownership of the Compact’s implementation should be supported by proper arrangements

Arrangements should support internal and external reporting on the Compact’s implementation

Arrangements should support the identification and dissemination of good practice to help improve performance

Arrangements should support the evaluation of the Compact’s implementation

Arrangements should encourage transparent relationships with Civil Society


What did nao s report say1

What did NAO’s report say? Minister, Minister for Civil Society representing government

Specific Recommendations:

A senior responsible officer is a visible contact point for civil society

Cross-departmental groups/ cross government groups focusing on the Compact

Advisory Boards including representatives of the sector

Annual Report disclosures concerning the Compact

Communications with Non-Departmental Public Bodies about the Compact

Events for supply chain providers about the department’s policy agenda and expectations

Peer reviews and Internal Audits of Compact implementation

Internal events and guidance on Compact working

Strategic Partners Programme (focusing on the sector)

Incorporating the Compact into new policy and guidance

Compact kitemark: accredited by Compact Voice or internal self assessment


Department business plans

Department Business Plans Minister, Minister for Civil Society representing government

Ensure compliance with the Civil Society Compact, including collaborative working with the civil society sector.


Senior responsible officer

Senior Responsible Officer role profile (Grade 3 Civil Servant or above)

To be a visible point of contact for the department’s engagement with the VCS sector and the Compact.

Be in regular contact with Compact Voice.

To recruit and work with the Responsible Officer.

To oversee the championing and promoting The Compact across the department.

To regularly identify and share best practice examples.

To ensure the department’s activities are Compact compliant.

To lead and be accountable for the department’s implementation of the NAO report recommendations on the Compact.

Senior Responsible Officer


Responsible officer 1

Responsible Officer role profile (Grade 7 or 8 Civil Servant):

To disseminate best practice and case studies provided by Compact Voice.

To disseminate insights from local engagement work provided by Compact Voice.

Share and identify good working between the VCS sector and central government and share with the Responsible Officers in other departments.

To monitor consultations taking place in the department, and ensure the Compact guidance is adhered to.

To look into and where possible resolve potential breaches of the Compact, and work with relevant departmental representatives and Compact Voice or OCS in investigating these.

To keep track of major policy announcements / speeches or other relevant policy opportunities where the Compact / VCS sector is relevant.

Responsible Officer 1


Responsible officer 2

To coordinate up-to-date website content and information on the department’s work on partnerships with the VCS and the Compact, supported by Compact Voice.

To inform all members of staff in their department about the commitments of the Compact. Example activities:

Regular training sessions for the department on the Compact and working with the VCS sector for Civil Servants.

Sharing best practice examples with colleagues.

Disseminating insights provided by Compact Voice’s engagement work around the department.

Let Compact Voice and OCS know about potential opportunities for the VCS sector in the department

Responsible Officer 2


Local Compacts the department’s work on partnerships with the VCS and the Compact, supported by Compact Voice.

Tom Elkins

Compact Voice Manager

14th December 2012


Local compacts

Local Compacts the department’s work on partnerships with the VCS and the Compact, supported by Compact Voice.

172 active local Compactsacross England

Most areas have a local Compact - 9 areas not covered by a local Compact

3local Compacts are inactive

Use similar principles to National Compact

High levels of support for local Compacts

Local Compact groups support local partnerships

Government priorities around localism – key role for local groups


Local support for compact

Local support for Compact the department’s work on partnerships with the VCS and the Compact, supported by Compact Voice.

82% respondents agree that effort needs to be made to implement it in full

52% “agreed strongly”


What do local areas say

What do local areas say? the department’s work on partnerships with the VCS and the Compact, supported by Compact Voice.


Divided sectors

Public Sector the department’s work on partnerships with the VCS and the Compact, supported by Compact Voice.

VCS

Divided sectors


Policy context

Policy Context the department’s work on partnerships with the VCS and the Compact, supported by Compact Voice.

Best Value Statutory Guidance

“Authorities should be responsive to the benefits and needs of voluntary and community sector organisations of all sizes (honouring the commitments set out in Local Compacts) and small businesses.

Government Procurement Pledge

“The commitments set out in the Procurement Pledge will make public procurement more accessible to civil society organisations looking to be involved in the design and/or delivery of public goods and services and will help to successfully implement the procurement related principles of the Compact.”

Code of Practice on Consultation

“…longer and more detailed consultation will be needed in situations where smaller, more vulnerable organisations such as small charities could be affected. The principles of the Compact between government and the voluntary and community sector will continue to be respected.”


Impact of central government initiatives

Impact of central Government initiatives the department’s work on partnerships with the VCS and the Compact, supported by Compact Voice.


How compact voice supports local compact groups

How Compact Voice supports local Compact groups the department’s work on partnerships with the VCS and the Compact, supported by Compact Voice.

Priority Areas Programme

Case studies

Briefings and guidance

Training and speaking

Freedom of Information campaigns

Compact Week and Awards

Annual local Compact survey


www.compactvoice.org.uk the department’s work on partnerships with the VCS and the Compact, supported by Compact Voice.


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