HMRC internal manual

VAT Government and Public Bodies

VATGPB6100 - Local government partnership programmes: introduction

It has become increasingly common for government initiatives to be delivered through what are termed ‘partnership programmes’. However, references to ‘partners’ or ‘partnership’ do not mean that the initiative will be delivered by a single entity, for example a legal partnership or an incorporated body.

In fact the term ‘ partnership’ has no VAT significance in these circumstances if it merely reflects that the partners have some shared objectives. In the majority of cases the partnership is restricted to the formation a management board or committee. This does not amount to a single legal entity to deliver the programme; rather the partners have come together to achieve a single aim with the individual members being responsible for specific tasks.

Membership of these partnership programmes commonly comprises representatives from bodies as diverse as local authorities, police authorities, NHS trusts, doctors, parents, local businesses men and charities. Such a broad membership often reflects the aim of the project to involve the local community in activities that will directly affect them. Although the members may be diverse ranging from large local authorities to parents, all parties have an equal say in policy development.

Amongst the most common initiatives are Connexions, Sure Start programmes and Crime and Disorder partnerships (sometimes referred to as crime reduction programmes or strategies) (see VATGPB6630). There are special rules for Local authority Joint Equipment stores and NHS Joint Equipment Stores (see VATGPB6700).