Transforming Rehabilitation – The Risks for the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector in Engaging in Commercial Contracts with Tier 1 Providers

Published 11/12/2013
Type Article
Author(s) Dr Rebecca Marples
Corresponding Authors Dr Rebecca Marples, Access2Advice

The Minister for Justice has outlined his aspiration for the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector to be involved in the supply chain for the services offered in the Transforming Rehabilitation programme and as a result the sector will enter into commercial contracts with Tier 1 providers. Involvement in commercial contracts will raise many questions for the voluntary sector and may involve risks on a number of levels. These include the financial risk of having to deal with contracts in a commercial environment, where payment may include a Payment by Results element, the outcome of which could be a shortfall in payment if targets are not met. There are also issues relating to how moving into the commercial sector and working with ‘for-profits’ companies could impact on the values and status of ‘not for profit’ organisations. Organisations can take steps to help mitigate some of the risk and the Ministry of Justice is proposing a number of safeguards to help smaller organisations, but how reliable these will be requires examination. By examining other Payment by Results schemes with particular reference to the Work programme, the impact on the voluntary sector can be shown.