Quiet news day?

Maybe it’s because it’s an otherwise quiet news day, but there are two interesting — if somewhat arcane — stories covered by Third Sector Online today.

The first relates to the current consultation exercise being undertaken to inform future policy directions for the BIG Lottery Fund. The consultation runs until 18th November 2011 but the consultation document published yesterday has apparently rung alarm bells regarding the Lottery’s independence and longstanding commitment to ‘additionality’ — i.e. the principle that its funding is separate from, additional to, and not a replacement for government funding. Some fear that this additionality principle will be watered if the replacement clause proposed by the government is adopted. This reads, “ADDITIONALITY AND COMPLEMENTARITY – the development of programmes and funding of projects should complement and add value to the plans of action and activity of other funders and parties working towards the Fund’s goals, including Government funding.”

The second involves an amendment to the Treasury’s so-called ‘Green Book‘, the government’s guidance on policy evaluation and appraisal. This sets out — amongst many other things — the factors that should considered in making policy and spending decisions. The new amendment, which NAVCA has welcomed, says that the social impacts and costs of such decisions must also be considered . The guidance is contained in a new annexe (pp57-58) and for those who like to follow this kind of thing, Treasury officials have helpfully instructed that the relevant addition is printed in red…

Personally, I can’t quite follow it, but I can see NAVCA’s reasoning that an official Treasury to social, non-market values in addition to market values is theoretically a good thing for social enterprise and the wider third sector.


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