Holding Government to Account

In a time where the coalition Government is introducing and implementing new policies and programmes and making funding cuts, it is essential that decision are made using due process and in a transparent and open manner.

To ensure consistent and stronger implementation of the Compact across Government, accountability measures have been introduced. The new accountability guide outlines steps to take at national and local level where you feel government is not complying with the Compact, including dispute resolution, internal complaints procedures and ombudsmen functions.

Specifically under the measures:

  1. The National Audit Office will carry out a one-off study into the operation of the Compact across government and its agencies. Their report will be made to Parliament in 2012.
  2. From 2012-13, government departments will be required to include a statement on how the Compact is being implemented in their business plans.
  3. The Informal Ministerial Group on the Big Society and Localism will be instrumental in monitoring the progress of the renewed Compact as well as being a key forum for raising concerns or dealing with breaches.
  4. The Parliamentary Ombudsman will investigate on behalf of complainants in cases in which the Compact has not been upheld. If the complaint is upheld the Ombudsman will make recommendations for the appropriate remedy to the relevant department.


Voice4Change England can help you challenge a decision or poor practice

If you feel you have been unfairly treated or that a public body has failed to comply with any commitments within the Compact then you may be able to challenge. We can help you to identify, investigate and pursue any breach of the Compact.

We work very closely with the Compact Advocacy Programme (CAP), based at NCVO. CAP helps Compact partners negotiate and support better outcomes for local groups in their dealings with public bodies, by identifying breaches of the Compact and Public Law and representing VCOs in challenging a decision. V4CE also works with the Public Law Project, which offers free support and legal advice for VCOs in cases where a public body has breached public law.

We have already successfully helped a number of BME VCOs to challenge the decisions of public bodies that they are working with, on a range of issues including:

  • Withdrawal of funding with lack of notice;
  • Consultation on new policies and programmes being less then 12 weeks long;
  • Poor consultation practice where relevant parties are not engaged.

If you feel you have a case to take forward why not use our Compact Referral Service.