Dear HM Government,
Thank you for your recent application requesting that we join you as partners in building the “Big Society”, as outlined in your open letter to us, dated 12 November [pdf document].
Unfortunately we are unable to progress your application for a number of reasons.
1. While you clearly understand your vision, you unfortunately did not articulate your vision with reference to the wider context of your planned work. By way of example, a number of our assessors raised questions such as “but how big is society now, and how big do they plan to make it?” and “their policy decisions are being presented as based on fact and evidence, when they clearly are not”. They also expressed concerns that the mechanism by which you intend to provide “opportunities” (contracting services) means every opportunity offered to the voluntary sector is simultaneously (and legally required to be) offered to the private sector, and loaded with other risks. Failure to acknowledge and reference potential competitors and include a realistic risk analysis lost you significant marks.