National Citizen Service Bill [Lords]

Part of Bill Presented – in the House of Commons at 3:43 pm on 16th January 2017.

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Photo of Karen Bradley Karen Bradley The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 3:43 pm, 16th January 2017

I know that the Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, my hon. Friend Mr Wilson, who has responsibility for civil society, has had discussions with the hon. Lady about precisely that point. We are looking at mentoring programmes and, of course, the #iwill programme is an important part of making sure that there are places for young people to continue developing the work that NCS starts.

It is vital that any expenditure of public money is transparent, accountable and proper, so the bulk of the Bill is a series of measures on that front. The NCS Trust must prepare annual accounts, which the National Audit Office will audit before they are laid before Parliament. At the start of every year, the trust must publish an annual business plan setting out its strategic priorities and annual objectives. At the end of each year, the trust will produce an annual report, which will be laid before Parliament, outlining how the trust has fulfilled its priorities and main functions. Furthermore, the Bill lists specific metrics that that report must assess, including value for money and the extent to which NCS has mixed people from different backgrounds, which my hon. Friend Suella Fernandes mentioned. The Bill requires the trust to notify the Government in the event that a breach of contract has serious financial consequences, if a provider is in serious financial difficulty, or if a staff member commits fraud, which will allow the Government to take rapid steps to minimise the loss of public money.