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Welsh government to reshape its funding of the charity sector

Carl Sargeant, minister for local government and communities in Wales
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Welsh government to reshape its funding of the charity sector

Governance | Vibeka Mair | 4 Feb 2013

The Welsh government is reviewing its funding of the civil society sector in Wales.

Last week, Carl Sargeant, minister for local government and communities, issued a statement announcing that the Welsh government would “look afresh” at its relationship with sector organisations, including the charity sector in Wales.

The statement announced plans to update several documents, including the Third Sector Scheme and Code of Practice for Funding the Sector.

Last year, the Wales Audit Office said the Welsh government had to change its grant management processes following a report which finds it was ‘often weak’ in its management of funding to defunct equality charity Awema. Awema, which received £8.4m in public funding, courted controversy last November, when allegations of financial irregularity were made against its CEO. Six trustees, including the vice-chair, then resigned in protest, before the funds were finally severed.

The minister (pictured) said: “I believe there is scope to improve the ways that the Welsh government and the sector work together.

He continued: "I want this to be a collaborative and open process. There will be a formal consultation process later this year. A reference group of people from the sector, key stakeholders and officials will be formed to inform that process, and a number of informal workshops will be hosted across Wales to seek views.

“The outcomes will help shape the future of the working and funding relationship between Welsh government and the civil society sector in Wales.”

Interim funding and support

The minister also said that he had approved an interim partnership agreement and funding to cover the transitional period from January 2013 to March 2014, until the outcome of the consultation is known.

Graham Benfield, chief executive of Wales Council for Voluntary Action, said: “We look forward to this fresh look leading to practical improvements in the way that Welsh government works with and supports the third sector.

“We hope that organisations will engage fully with this process, and take this opportunity to identify how government can better assist their work into the future.”

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