Refreshed Compact is published

The Compact is the longstanding agreement that sets out shared commitments and guidelines for effective partnership working between government and the third sector in England. The original Compact was agreed in November 1998. A new, refreshed and simplied version was published today  (15/12/09) following extensive debate and consultation.

This Compact highlights the shared principles which Compact partners should follow when engaging in partnership working, and records all the Compact commitments. These commitments cover three key areas:

  • Involvement in policy development
  • Allocating resources
  • Advancing equality

The Compact is a voluntary agreement between Government and the third sector.  The Compact was inspired by the Deakin Commission report on the Future of the Voluntary Sector.  It is an agreement that provides an overall framework for promoting effective partnership working between the Government and the third sector.

The refreshed compact is shorter, clearer and more accessible than the original. The revised Compact does not contain any substantial comments that were not in the original Compact.  The refreshed Compact is made up of two parts, an “Introduction to the Compact” (PDF 301 KB) and “The Compact” (PDF 395KB) itself.

As a Department, Defra remains highly committed to the principles in the Compact.  Our third sector strategy “One Year On” report which was launched by Huw Irranca-Davies on 6/11/09 noted how we have been embedding the Compact principles into Defra’s ways of working.

We are working to improve the consistent application of the Government’s eight principles of good commissioning and Compact principles in Defra’s grant funding and procurement processes. The third sector team is promoting the use of the Compact principles across Defra and operating according to them, and we are working to make sure that the Compact principles are embedded into the new Defra Policy Cycle guidance, which sets out a framework for consistent policy making across Defra. In addition we have encouraged our NDPBs and agencies to produce third sector statements, setting out how they will improve relations with the third sector.   The Compact sets out some excellent guidelines to working effectively with the third sector, and Defra remains highly committed to working with its principles.

The Compact will have different implications for different parts of the sector, but wherever a third sector organisation has dealings with public bodies the Compact will frame the relationship. This is as true for organisations with a funding relationship with Government as informal organisations struggling to be heard on a policy question that they care passionately about.  By signing up to the Compact, Government (through the Office of the Third Sector) and third sector organisations (through Compact Voice) agree to take responsibility for implementing the Compact and for operating in accordance with it in their relations with each other. The independent Commission for the Compact oversees the operation of the Compact from an impartial position equidistant between Government and the third sector.

Please see this link for other posts on this blog relating to the Compact.

The Compact has a dedicated website: and today’s press release can be found here.

This entry was posted in 1 Advocacy voice campaigning policy, 10 Enabling our delivery bodies, 11 Better commissioning, 3 Public services, 7 Understanding the sector, 8 Joining things up, 9 Better partnerships, Embedding sustainable development and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>