Cutting the Quangos

So Capacitybuilders gets the chop in March 2011, as does the Compact Commission.

Well it seems to me that the Compact has been largely ignored and inadequately enforced in Local Government and also by central government departments.  It never had teeth, and whilst it was a good idea, if it couldn’t be enforced then it was simply an expensive (and cuttable) quango.  I doubt its passing will be mourned.

Capacitybuilders on the other hand funded a lot of good work …. though their unnecessarily cumbersome monitoring arrangements have been criticised in many places including this blog.  Capacitybuilders employs 42 full-time staff, and has handed out approximately £150 million through Change-Up and the more recent Modernisation Grants. 

Change-Up was serious money that has gone to strengthen voluntary sector infrastructure around the country – often to the enormous benefit of the local VCOs that rely on their infrastructure.   The Modernisation Grants have been invaluable for enabling frontline VCOs to identify for themselves the issues they need to address, and enabling targetted support to be provided by expert external consultants. 

I’m sure admin costs could have been lower at Capacitybuilders.  I certainly think that the monitoring processes could have benefitted from streamlining.  But in the main they have achieved the aims of their funding programmes by strengthening regional and local infrastructure support services, improving the reach of those services to excluded communities, and enabling VCOs to modernise and re-position themselves to better avoid the axe that has, ironically, fallen on Capacitybuilders.

©  Tamara Essex 2010

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