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Commissioning & public services

Working to ensure bidding and commissioning practices are fair and inclusive.

Charities across the country are delivering vital public services for local authorities and national government, meeting complex needs and maintaining trust with communities. However, this does not come without challenges. Members report unfair and opaque commissioning that is focused on a race to the bottom line; problems with competitive procurement practices and larger, more generic contracts; and an environment in which all these problems have been compounded by over a decade of austerity.

Providing public services is tough for charities, both because of the external environment and because of a lack of trust and co-operation between organisations working within it. We want to see:

  • Bidding and commissioning practices that are fair and inclusive.
  • Greater collaboration and a more positive working relationship between charities themselves, and between charities and local or national governments, so that high-quality services are accessible to all and the creation of an environment that ensures a range of good, trusted organisations can serve the communities they work with.
  • A commissioning environment where organisations of all sizes and types, from across civil society, can play their part in getting the best services to communities and people.
  • Commissioning decisions being made in consultation with service users to empower them to choose the services that they want, and to provide a range of services to meet a range of needs.
  • A commissioning process which allows sufficient time for collaborative submissions and relationship building.
  • Social value being properly considered through the Social Value Act, where the unique added value of organisations like charities which are established for public benefit is recognised.
  • Charities effectively collaborating to actively create an environment that ensures a range of good, trusted organisations can serve the communities they work with.

Read our joint research report with NCVO and the Lloyds Bank Foundation. It focused on helping charities work more effectively with other organisations to deliver quality services.

ACEVO will continue to work with other sector partners to influence local and national government for changes to procurement and commissioning practices. We run events discussing collaboration and competition and our partners also regularly deliver surgeries and webinars on legal implications and agreements, approaches to mergers, and more.


Not an ACEVO member?

If you have any queries please email or call 020 7014 4600.

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