chapter  16
31 Pages

THE GOVERNANCE OF CONTRACTING RELATIONSHIPS: “KILLING THE GOLDEN GOOSE”: A third-sector perspective

Throughout the world, the role of third-sector organizations in providing public services is increasing, primarily through a sharp rise in government contracting with these organizations.1 The result is profound changes in their governance, including the role of staff and boards, their programmatic focus and their internal operations. Moreover, some changes are fundamental and raise fears that through contracting governments may be “killing the golden goose”. Contracting can also affect the motivation and characteristics of staff and board members and their accountability to stakeholders, including funders and service users. In many countries, the difference between traditional grants and contracts is declining as government commissioners increase the specificity and performance expectations on their grants, creating new governance and accountability challenges for third-sector organizations and their staff and volunteers.