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Home > People and Sustainable Communities > Third Sector > The Compact

The contents of this website are under review following the formation of a new HM Government. Current information may be found at

The Compact

The Compact on relations between Government and the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) was adopted in 1998. It consists of a series of undertakings to which the Government (central and Government Offices) and the VCS both agree. It recognises the contribution the VCS makes to our society. It was inspired by The Deakin Commission report on the Future of the VCS, which recommends partnership between Government and the VCS to lay down basic principles of future relations.

Five codes of Good Practice underpin the Compact, setting out in detail the principles and commitments guiding particular aspects of the relationship between Government and the voluntary and community sector.

They are:

  • Funding Code
  • Consultation and Policy Appraisal Code
  • Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations Code
  • Volunteering Code
  • Community Groups Code

Agreed undertakings set within the five codes include the Government making payments, wherever possible, in advance to the sector, and consulting early on policies which affect the sector (standard 12 weeks consultation period). In return, the sector undertakes to operate through open and accountable organisations, involve all stakeholders and embrace diversity.

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Government Office for the East of England
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