Funding and Commissioning

Charities are important providers of public services. At present charities face significant barriers at each stage of the process - from tendering, to contract negotiation and delivering services.

In 2010, the CFG Manifesto set out what needs to be done to improve the process. CFG proposed that the Government should:

  • Involve charities and third sector organisations in the design of service specifications and tender processes;
  • Adopt a commonly accepted definition of commissioning;
  • Review and simplify tendering processes for public services in order to level the playing field for charities;
  • Support consortia in public service tendering;
  • Commit to full cost recovery across central and local Government.

The difficult operating environment has been compounded by the effects of the recession and the public spending cuts.


Related policy developments

The Cabinet Office published the Open Public Services White Paper in July 2011.  This White Paper outlines the Governments approach to reforming public services, highlighting 5 key principles:

  • Choice
  • Decentralisation
  • Diversity
  • Fairness
  • Accountability

Prior to the White Paper the Cabinet Office had published the Modernising Commissioning Green Paper.  In this paper the Government re-stated its commitment to introduce more in the way of payment by results and in particular referenced the Social Impact Bond being piloted at HMP Peterborough.   

The short consultation period for this important Green Paper urged CFG to send a joint letter to the Cabinet Office with NCVO.  For more information on this consultation and CFG's response, please click here to be directed to the relevant page in our consultation section.

CFG and NCVO - joint letter to the Cabinet Office 
Ministry of Justice press release - Social impact bond pilot 

The Public Services (Social Enterprise and Social Value Bill)is a Private Member's Bill tabled by Chris White MP, that received it's second reading on 19th November 2010 and is now at Committee stage. 

This Bill has attracted a great deal of interest both in the sector and in Government.  CFG support aspects of this bill that encourage commissioners to consider procurement of services in terms of 'best value for money' over 'lowest cost'.

The progress of this Bill can be tracked here.

CFG is interested in hearing from our members about problems they face in accounting for this type of funding and in the general commissioning process.  If you would like to discuss this with the CFG policy team please email to or on 020 7250 8347.

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