06 November 2007 | Andy Allen
Government procurement spending with voluntary sector organisations has soared by more than £6 billion over the past six years, driving growth in employment.
According to figures from the National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) in 1995 the amount of income the voluntary sector received from government procurement was just under £500,000. By 2005 that had jumped to more than £6.6 billion.
During the same period the total income of the voluntary sector, adjusted for inflation, had increased from £3 billion to £27 billion, and the number of people employed in the voluntary sector increased by a quarter.
Oliver Reichardt, research officer for the NCVO, said the fact the number of employees had risen less sharply than income indicated the voluntary sector was becoming more efficient.
Earlier this year the National Audit Office warned that complicated procurement relationships between government and the third sector could be harming the delivery of services (Web news, 8 August).