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Pre-Budget report: plan for third sector role in public services and interim third sector review published

6 December 2006

Alongside today's Pre-Budget Report two reports were published to strengthen the partnership between government and the third sector.

Partnership in Public Services: an Action Plan for Third Sector Involvement, which will remove barriers to third sector organisations wishing to become involved in delivering and designing public services, was published today alongside the Chancellor's pre-budget report (PBR).

From the national offender management service to Jobcentre Plus, the plan brings together the opportunities for the third sector to play an enhanced role in public services. Actions include, a national programme to train 2,000 of those who commission public services on how to involve the third sector in services and £30 million funding for community groups to work with Local Authorities to take over management or ownership of local assets.

Also today, the interim report on review of the future role of the third sector is published. The report makes clear a commitment to passing on the stability of three-year funding to third sector organisations as the norm rather than the exception. As a next step, the third sector review will undertake further work on five key themes - enabling voice and campaigning, strengthening communities, encouraging social enterprise, transforming public services and creating the environment for the third sector to thrive - to set out a common vision for the partnership between Government and the sector.

Ed Miliband, Minister for the Third Sector said:

“Where government is commissioning services, we are determined to break down the barriers to the third sector involvement. With training for the key commissioners, a commitment to standard contracts and a clear timetable for reducing the administrative burden on third sector organisations, this plan represents a major step forward.

“The greater involvement of the third sector in delivery must not be about government abdicating its responsibility to fund public services. Instead, it is about ensuring that, in the right circumstances, the sector can deliver services where it is best placed to do so.

“It is supported by the commitments in the interim report of the third sector review, including that in the forthcoming comprehensive spending review, three-year funding should be the norm not the exception.”

Other important actions of the Public Services Action plan include:

Notes to Editors

  1. Copies of Partnership in Public Services: an Action Plan for Third Sector Involvement are available on the Office of the Third Sector website.
  2. Copies of the interim report of the Third Sector review are available on the HMT website.
  3. In recognition of the increasingly important role the third sector plays in both society and the economy, the Prime Minister created the Office of the Third Sector (OTS) in May 2006 to drive forward the Government's role in supporting a thriving third sector, and join up sector-related work across government. Office of the Third Sector website.

Cabinet Office Press Office, Press Officer: Stephen Coomber
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