PUBLIC SECTOR: Voluntary sector to lobby government

The National Council For Voluntary Organisations is to launch a PR and lobbying drive this summer as two key Government reviews are concluded.

Within the next two months the Treasury is to complete its spending review, which includes looking at the role of the voluntary sector in public service delivery. At the same time the Cabinet Office's Performance and Innovation Unit completes its study into regulation of the sector.

Newly appointed head of campaigns Chris Stalker will lead all lobbying and media relations.

The Treasury review is expected to recommend that the voluntary sector has more involvement in public service delivery. The NCVO is arguing that if this happens the Treasury should give charities tax benefits, such as exemption from VAT, to help them compete with the private sector for public sector contracts.

Regarding the PIU review the NCVO is urging the Government to scrap the current 400-year-old rules on charitable status and create a public benefit test. The NCVO is also backing a move to greater self-regulation.

James Georgalakis, NCVO PRO said: 'We have an agenda to raise awareness that public service delivery is not just about the public and private sectors - it's about the voluntary sector as well.'

Stalker joined the NCVO last week from Amnesty international where he was campaigns programme manager. Previously he was a campaigns officer with Oxfam, working on issues such as debt relief and landmines.

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