23 June 2008 | Jake Kanter
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is to improve its purchasing of third sector services.
The department wants to better its identification of suitable vendors, advertising of tenders and contract arrangements. Payment times and monitoring of contract performance will also be strengthened.
The plans form part of the MoJ's Third Sector Strategy report, which suggests better collaboration between buyers and voluntary or community groups as a method to improve the way services are delivered.
It follows a consultation paper earlier this year that received 50 responses, and the strategy incorporates advice and recommendations from third sector providers.
MP Bridget Prentice, parliamentary under secretary of state at the MoJ, said in a statement: "We want the third sector to have the opportunity to contribute to improve both policy-making and public service delivery, to help us protect the public through better management of offenders, and to provide a range of pathways to justice."
The department spends more than £100 million with the third sector annually on schemes including support for victims of crime and legal advice services.