Headlines: June 28th, 2007



The woman who will head the third sector commissioning programme at the Improvement and Development Agency, set up to work with service commissioners from the public sector, has been named. She is Sarah Wood who has extensive experience working in local government in both England and Scotland. She will direct the programme, which is funded by the Office for the Third Sector (OTS) in the Cabinet Office.

Earlier this year the OTS asked the IDeA to host, develop and manage the programme, which aims to increase understanding at a local level of the unique circumstances of third sector organisations and of the benefits they can bring to service design and delivery. The Agency will work with 2,000 commissioners from across the public sector, including staff from Jobcentre Plus, health authorities, the national Offender Management Service and local councils.

It will operate in conjunction with current training and support for commissioners and will be supported by a steering committee drawing its members from relevant government departments, local authorities, regional centres of excellence and the third sector.

Sarah Wood’s career has included posts as Senior Deputy Director of Social Care in Strathclyde, Deputy Chief Executive of Glasgow and Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Resources for Birmingham. For two years until the middle of last year she was Director of Policy for the Local Government Association. She has also been a Commissioner of the Public Works Loan Board a member of the Futurebuilders Advisory Panel, a trustee of the National Association of Voluntary and Community Associations and a council member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accounting.

Lucy de Groot, IDeA’s Executive Director, said “Councils and the wider public sector know that the third sector is crucial to meeting the ambitions local communities have for their future. That’s why the IDeA is so pleased to be partnering with the Office of the Third Sector to improve our capacity to deliver that future together.”