charity leaders call for independent scrutiny of spending decisions
Over 170 charity chief executives have written to the Chancellor and Chief Secretary to the Treasury urging them to introduce an element of independent scrutiny for future major spending decisions such as Budgets and spending reviews.
The letter (which you can read here) follows a report by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, which found that during the 2010 Spending Review the Government did not take full account of the potential impact of a number of key decisions on some disadvantaged groups. It also follows warnings by ACEVO's chief executive, Sir Stephen Bubb, that a combination of long-term spending cuts and a "scrutiny deficit" could lead to a "forgotten Britain" of disadvantaged groups facing increasingly acute problems, and doing so under the national radar.
The letter argues that the Government should put spending options to independent scrutiny to assess their potential impact on more vulnerable groups, and says that this role could be carried out by a "Fairness Panel" of independent experts or by the Office for Budget Responsibility.
The letter has been reported in the Times and in Third Sector.