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Roundtable discussion with Minister Simon Hamilton

On Wednesday 28 January 2015, CO3 hosted one of a series of roundtable discussions under the broad theme of Third Sector and political leadership with Simon Hamilton MLA, Minister for the Department of Finance and Personnel.

The event was attended by a group of CO3 members and was hosted and chaired by John McMullan, CEO of Bryson Charitable Group.

Issues discussed included:

  • The importance of valuing the work of the Third Sector. Recognising its role as central to the economy and changing the view that it is a discretionary spend. 
  • Preparing for at least a decade of austerity and possibility beyond
  • Public Sector Reform and the role of the Third Sector
  • Public Sector Reform and the need for Government Departments to think differently
  • Measuring Wellbeing NI, The Carnegie Trust
  • The Change Fund
  • The Social Innovation Fund
  • The organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) National public governance review
  • An opportunity for OECD to contribute to the OECD review.
  • Crisis creates opportunity
  • Placing citizens at the heart of service delivery
  • Placing a stronger focus on preventative work
  • Moving away from short-termism
  • Public Sector job losses – how do we mitigate losing skills, talent and expertise?
  • The Social Value Act
  • Robust CPD guidelines to protect social value clauses
  • Leadership and co-production
  • Innovation labs - developing a clear understanding of the issues, challenges and a range of perspectives
  • The role of Ministers in changing the culture of government officials to become less risk averse
  • The Public Accounts Committee
  • The role of the media
  • The importance of focusing on the peoples’ priorities – health and education. In particular, the need to have a national conversation on health. Do we want/need to spend 50% of our budget on health?
  • Corporation Tax – the big idea for the private sector, public sector reform – the big idea for the public sector. What is the big idea for the Third Sector?
  • The role and the opportunities for the third sector in the public sector 
  • Third Sector and service delivery, is this the compromise to outsourcing more public services?
  • Remodelling the Programme for Government
  • Young people need strong leaders


Our sincere thanks to Simon Hamilton MLA, Minister for the Department of Finance and Personnel for his participation and to John McMullan, CEO of Bryson Charitable Group for hosting and chairing the session.