The National Audit Office said today charities delivering social care and other public services were being hampered by overly complex public funding arrangements.
In a report, based on the experiences of 12 large national charities, including Leonard Cheshire, Mencap, NCH and Scope, the NAO found that they received money from between 95 and 4,000 different public sector sources.
The report concluded that complex funding structures deter charities from bidding for public funds and prevent them from influencing the design of services.
Charities with multiple sources of income faced problems setting up viable and sustainable services, and funding could be terminated at short notice, the NAO said.
They told the NAO that funding complexity restricted their involvement in public services, posed risks to the quality of their services and limited their ability to develop services and innovate.
Director of business development at the National Audit Office Joe Cavanagh said: “Public bodies need to work together to bring coherence and consistency to their funding practices, to ensure that charities’ valuable work is not hampered by bureaucracy.”
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