The new Right to Challenge
The Government has launched a new community rights website giving details of four new rights, including the Right to Challenge which is due to come into effect in May or June.
The Right to Challenge enables non-profit organisations to express an interest in running a local service. The council would then consider these proposals and if accepted, hold a procurement exercise which the initial challenger may or may not win.
Local payment by results
The Audit Commission has published a briefing on payment by results (PbR) for local services. Their review of research evidence found 'few rigorous evaluations of PbR and no complete, systematic analysis of its effectiveness'.
They also recommend 'PbR is not the only contract type that rewards good performance, and commissioners should always consider other options alongside PbR to choose the most suitable approach'.
VAT on grants & contracts guidance
A new leaflet by the Charity Tax Group called 'Grants and Contracts, Outsourcing by public sector bodies: VAT implications for charities' outlines the main VAT implications for organisations and public bodies taking on grants and contracts.
Its a good and (relatively) simple introduction to VAT and at only 8 pages long more than digestible helping organisations to think about where VAT will be liable.
Responsible Reform: Open Public Services for All Report
A new research report by Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES), North West Infrastructure Partnership (NWIP) and Voluntary Sector North West (VSNW) questions the coalition government's public service reforms and proposes a manifesto for the continued consideration of equality in public service reform.
The report states that 'While the Big State has failed to create resilient communities, the evidence shows that the Small State is destroying what remains'.
It concludes that equality should be a core theme of the government's reform and contains a number of recommendations.
Work Programme Merlin assessments booked in
Assessments for prime contractors on the DWP's Work Programme are scheduled to take place in May and June. Dates for each prime contractor are listed on the Merlin Standard website.
Interviews will be the focus of evidence collection and if you are an organisation that would like to request the opportunity to be involved in one of the prime's assessment then EMQC (who run the standard) are inviting you to contact them.