Archives for February 22nd, 2002

CONFLICT OF INTEREST CHALLENGING VOLUNTARY SECTOR

Headlines, PublicNet: 22 February, 2002

The Government’s clearly signaled intention to make greater use of the voluntary sector as a partner in the delivery of public services is causing concern about the impact on the independence of the sector. The risk is that the dual role of charities and voluntary organisations in keeping a check on government whilst simultaneously co-operating with it to deliver services could be compromised. This is a key finding from a survey of 250 of the United Kingdom’s largest voluntary organisations by Ashridge, a leading business school, and the National Council of Voluntary Organisations.The Cabinet Office’s review of the voluntary sector is due in the Spring and it is widely expected that it will recommend a much wider role in public service delivery. The sector is already expanding with a total income of 15.6 billion pounds and a workforce of more than 563,000. The large organizations in the sector have seen a 77% real terms increase in their income over the period 1991-2001.

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PRIME MINISTER OFFERS MEETING ON PUBLIC SERVICE CONCERNS

Headlines, PublicNet: 22 February, 2002

Prime Minister Tony Blair, responding to the open letter from senior public service figures urging him to give greater support to public servants, see Publicnet Briefing 21.02.02, has offered a meeting to discuss the issues raised in the letter. While claiming that the Government is addressing issues such as recruitment with thousands more doctors, nurses, teachers and police officers, and pay, with public sector pay is rising faster than pay in the private sector, he acknowledged that there is much more to do.He supported the letter writers’ concerns about negative media coverage of public services and recognized the demoralizing impact of unfair media coverage.

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