By Andrew Holt
A new Crown Representative role for the voluntary sector has been created, as part of the Government’s commitment to enable charities and social enterprises to do more.
This new role will open up more public sector business opportunities for these types of organisations, and help improve the relationship between government and the sector.
Michael O’Toole has been appointed to ensure the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector (VCSE) voice is heard at the highest levels.
Michael O’Toole has a strong background for this role, and was previously chief executive of 3SC, which manages bids and delivery consortia for large public sector contracts on behalf of civil society delivery organisations.
His appointment will focus on improving government’s business relationship with the VCSE sector, and make it easier for these organisations to tender for public contracts.
Michael O’Toole will also help Government to engage more widely on VCSE issues, and find ways to enable VCSEs to bring their innovative solutions to the public sector market.
Nick Hurd, minister for Civil Society, said: “This new appointment shows how serious we are about enabling the voluntary sector to win more public contracts, and give them the tools they need to achieve this.
"This is a really important role for the sector and Michael O’Toole, who has shown he can deliver real change through his achievements at 3SC, is a welcome appointment.”
Michael O’Toole, the Government’s new Crown Representative for the VCSE sector, added:
“I am delighted to be taking up this new role as Crown Representative for the VCSE sector. In this crucial post I aim to play my part in opening up public sector business to VCSEs.
"I passionately believe that the sector offers a huge contribution to public services delivery, which is still largely untapped. Their passion, innovation, and huge voluntary resource can offer government an efficient and effective public services delivery option.”
Contrasting sector evidence suggests the fundraising environment is tougher than it has ever been while other data suggests it is indeed tough but equally ripe with opportunity. Hugh Wilson unravels the debate
Andrew Holt searches through the maze that is the Big Society for meaning
Impact measurement is the current sector zeitgeist. Hugh Wilson finds charities embracing it to keep funders happy and arguments over the measurement of data, but ultimately, the benefits of good impact measurement are significant and the idea is here to stay
What is the role of charities? Are they unique? Or do charities increasingly ape what other organisations can do just as well? Hugh Wilson investigates