Headlines: July 4th, 2006

A new guide is being launched this month to help voluntary organisations through the public service procurement process. ‘Before signing on the dotted line’ is designed as step by step guide from finding the contract, to preparing a tender.It has been produced by the newly established Public Service Delivery Network, in partnership with Futurebuilders England and will be launched at its first seminar next week. Key information in the guide includes how organisations should decide whether to bid, details of contract regulations and management, types of agreement, instructions on how to prepare a tender and what an organisation should do when it learns that it has been successful or unsuccessful. It also gives case studies of organisations that have tendered for public service contracts.

Claire Glossop, Head of Sustainable Funding at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations said the new Delivery Network was about giving organisations the tools to deliver public services efficiently and to share experiences with each other about what had gone well and not so well. It also has suggestions for the future as well as warnings about some of the pitfalls organisations should avoid.

Paul Barasi, Development Officer for the Compact Working Group, said, “Improving funding practice and enabling voluntary organisations to raise their game on contracting are crucial to boosting the voluntary sector’s public service delivery.”

Next Tuesday’s seminar is being held in conjunction with the Compact Working Group and in partnership with Futurebuilders. Punita Goodfellow, from the Office of Charity and Third Sector Finance at the Treasury will give an update on the latest developments from the Third Sector review. Other speakers will include representatives from Voluntary Action Leicester, Community Links, Portsmouth City Council and Relate, Portsmouth. Government bodies and voluntary bodies who are involved in reforming public services will also share their experiences.