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Refreshed National Compact

Published: Fri, 18 Dec 2009 13:06:28

A refreshed national Compact was published on Wednesday 16 December 2009.

This new version has been developed following extensive debate and consultation. It has been agreed by representatives of Government and the third sector, with Compact Voice and the Office of the Third Sector confirming the policy and the ‘commitments’ content. It was signed by Simon Blake, Chair of Compact Voice, on behalf of the third sector and the Rt. Hon Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, on behalf of Government. The Commission for the Compact’s role has been to manage the process and to make sure that the commitments by Government and the third sector are able to be fully implemented in practice.

The agreement is accompanied by a smaller publication entitled ‘An introduction to the Compact'. This contains general information about the Compact, explaining who it applies to, how to implement the Compact and resolve differences.

Simon Blake, Chair of Compact Voice, the independent body which represents the voluntary and community sector on taking forward the Compact, said:
“The refreshed Compact is clearer, more effective and had the support of the majority of consultation responses. With so many different perspectives across sectors, there have been inevitable challenges getting to launch stage and some important issues still need addressing through implementation. Effective use of the Compact by both the third and public sectors will be vital in the coming period and success will depend on both commitment and resource. Refreshed Compact, renewed commitment, real opportunity - lets grasp it.”

Angela Smith MP, Minister for the Third Sector, said:
“More than ever, a strong relationship based on trust between the third and public sector is crucial for supporting communities and delivering strong public services. The refreshed Compact builds on the lessons of the last 10 years and sets out a clear agenda for future partnership.”

Sir Bert Massie CBE, Commissioner for the Compact, said:
“It was never going to be easy to refresh and update a document that is 10 years old and is highly valued by both national and local government and by the third sector. However, the original principles are as important today as they ever were and remain an integral part of the refreshed Compact.
“The process of refreshing the Compact has been challenging - the process of reconciling often diverse points of view is never easy - but it demonstrates to me the importance of this agreement because it is the result of so much animated and positive discussion. This Compact places a greater emphasis on government and public bodies to explain and justify the decisions they make. It reaffirms the independence of third sector organizations.

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