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National Citizen Service Trust

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 29th October 2019.

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Photo of Chuka Umunna Chuka Umunna Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Trade), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress NCS Trust has made on addressing the governance issues raised in reports by the Public Accounts Committtee and National Audit Office.

Photo of Nicky Morgan Nicky Morgan The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

In response to the governance issues raised in reports by the Public Accounts Committee and the National Audit Office, DCMS, together with the NCS Trust, have made the following progress:

  • The NCS Trust transitioned from a Community Interest Company to a Royal Charter body (RCB), in accordance with the NCS Act, on 01 December 2018. This made the NCS Trust an Arm’s Length Body (ALB) of DCMS. The ALB relationship means that the NCS Trust have a higher level of accountability to Parliament and the taxpayer, and ensures that Government have the power to appropriately scrutinise the NCS Trust as they see fit.
  • As a Government ALB, the NCS Trust is now subject to the following Government scrutiny: the National Audit Office (NAO) audits the NCS annual report and accounts; NAO submit all accounts to the Committee of Public Accounts (PAC); The NCS Act requires the NCS Trust to lay Ministerially-approved annual business plans, annual reports and accounts in Parliament; The NCS Royal Charter states that a representative of the Government must sit on the NCS Trust’s Remuneration and Audit and Risk committees; The NCS Trust is subject to all Cabinet Office Spend Controls
  • As a Government ALB, the NCS Trust must abide by all principles laid out in HMT’s Managing Public Money document.
  • As the Sponsor Department, DCMS exercises its governance scrutiny over the NCS Trust through: bi-annual Sponsor meetings between the DCMS Permanent Secretary, as Principal Accounting Officer, and the NCS Trust CEO and Board Chair; a high level of Senior Civil Servant involvement in the NCS Trust’s activities, including regular meetings between NCS Trust and DCMS Senior Sponsor and Sponsor Director; and through specialist-level meetings with officials from across DCMS.

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