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Commons Library Analysis of the National Citizen Service Bill [HL] 2016-17

Published Friday, March 10, 2017

This Commons Library Briefing Paper has been prepared for the remaining stages of the National Citizen Service Bill [HL] 2016-17 on 15 March 2017.

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The National Citizen Service

The National Citizen Service (NCS) consists of courses for young people in England and Northern Ireland, mostly aged 16 and 17. The courses take place during school holidays and involve a mixture of activities - adventures, life skills and social action - to encourage young people to engage with their community and develop for the future. The NCS is currently administered by the NCS Trust, a community interest company.

The National Citizen Service Bill [HL] 2016-17

The National Citizen Service Bill [HL] 2016-17 was introduced in the House of Commons on 14 December 2016. 

The Bill had its second reading on 16 January 2017 where it received cross-party support. It was considered in Public Bill Committee on 24 January 2017 where a number of drafting and technical amendments were moved by the Government.

The Bill will have its remaining stages in the House of Commons on 15 March 2017.

The Bill, in combination with a Royal Charter, would place the NCS on a permanent statutory footing. The Bill’s Explanatory Notes state that the Bill:

  • Incorporates the new NCS Trust as a Charter body and creates a legislative mechanism to transfer the business of the Company to the new Trust. This creates a legislative framework for the NCS, with the aim of making it a national institution while preserving its independent ethos;
  • Aims to secure that the administrative and funding arrangements for the NCS Trust are appropriate for the increased level of public funds the Trust will manage, with proper accountability to government and Parliament; and
  • Aims to impose on the NCS Trust an appropriate level of government control for a body in receipt of public funds

In addition, the Bill would enable HMRC to send information about the Trust and its work to young people who are eligible for NCS and invite them to take part.

The Bill and Explanatory Notes are available from the Bill pages on the parliamentary website. A draft Royal Charter for the National Citizen Service Trust (Cm 9393, January 2017) is also available.

The Bill would extend to England and Wales but would only apply to England.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-7853

Author: John Woodhouse

Topic: Voluntary organisations

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