Friday, 24 September 2010

The Bonfire

So the inevitable has been almost confirmed. The bonfire of the Quangos will, according to a leaked list published by the Telegraph, consume both Capacitybuilders and the Commission for the Compact.

No one can be very surprised by this decision, and the sector should resist its natural urge for outcry. Both organisations have done good things over the last few years, but what matters now is how their functions are delivered in new architecture, and how effectively the sector is supported as a result.

There is no doubt that the sector will need ongoing capacity building support if our potential in building strong communities and delivering public services is going to be realized. ACEVO has for many months been arguing for a more demand led approach, and we will be making this case strongly in the forthcoming OCS consultation. Our focus therefore must not be on institutions but on the quality and impact of the support which is provided.

Similarly with the Commission for the Compact, what matters is better partnership working between statutory bodies and the sector. There is a promotion role there which must still be done, although others like Compact Voice are well placed to do that. And there is the accountability role too, which the Commission, because of its lack of statutory power, has never been able to deliver. Greater accountability measures are part of the deal for the new compact, on which Compact Voice is currently consulting.

There is so much still to be decided over the coming months, so it’s vital that we all concentrate on what matters and getting the right outcomes to support the sector.