8 Mar 2016

Survey issued to gather impact on sector - deadline coming soon!

We have issued a briefing paper on the UK Government's guidelines to prohibit organisations who receive grant funding from using it to lobby.

The guidance from the UK Cabinet Office states that 'payments that support activity intended to influence or attempt to influence Parliament, Government or political parties' is not 'eligible expenditure'. In short, money received from UK Government may not be used for influencing purposes.

In our briefing, we reject the notion that government funding should not be used to resource lobbying, campaigning or informing public policy, and say that voluntary organisations have a duty to do exactly that. We believe that all funding should make provision for advocacy and input to improve policy openly and transparently, and that the Electoral Commission and Charity Commission provide adequate safety checks to prevent charities campaigning on behalf of political parties.

UK charities operating in Wales will be affected by this, and shared learning facilitated across the UK will be limited. We are also concerned that organisations would be unable to improve services by discussing and sharing what they have learned from government grant-aided work, which would undermine consultations from Parliament as they seek evidence to inform legislation.

We believe this is a threat to civil society's role within a democracy.

We are surveying our members to clarify the extent of this threat to them. You can find the survey here. Please complete it by 16 March 2016.

And you can read the full briefing paper here.