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Funding Guidelines

Current Consultation on Funding Contracts

As part of the development of the SA Not-for-Profit funding guidelines, draft templates for all new funding contracts have now been released.

SACOSS believes the proposed contracts are an improvement on our current Master Agreement (which will become redundant) and many of the contracts currently in use. However, we remain concerned about a number of issues (eg. unexpended funds, intellectual property, and other clauses).

Download the SACOSS Contract Comparison to see some of the major differences between the proposed contracts and the current DCSI Master Agreement (noting that this is only an aide and all organisations will have to assess the proposed changes against their own current funding arrangements).

We need you to tell us if there are any other alarm bells or issues for your organisation, and how concerned we should be about the issues identified.

In mid-November there were a series of consultation meetings across key sectors to explain the funding reforms and get feedback. There was also a webinar, the content of which is available here for those who missed the sessions.

This consultation will be the only time you get to argue over these terms and conditions - once they are agreed they will be in all future funding contracts and won't be able to be changed for your particular needs.

Submissions are due by 20 December 2017, and as this is a co-designed process we ask you to send your feedback to greg [at] sacoss.org.au  as well as to the Department of Treasury and Finance (as per the DTF Fact Sheet above).

Background

The development of State Grant Guidelines (that is, guidelines and rules for government funding of not-for-profit organisations) is a goal of both government and the South Australian community services sector, particularly in light of the increased outsourcing in recent years of services to the community that were previously provided directly by the government.

In the lead-up to the South Australian state election in 2014, SACOSS – in consultation with the Health and Community Services Sector– developed a 20-point Better Contracting and Red Tape Reduction Plan. One of the key initiatives proposed was the development of State Grant Guidelines similar to the Commonwealth guidelines, through which we hoped to get more uniformity across government and to mandate simpler grant processes.

The government also recognised the value of such guidelines and in its Modern Public Service policy document, it promised that:

"Grant guidelines will be developed with the not-for-profit sector to reduce red tape and take greater account of social value and responsibility."

A joint government/not -for profit (NFP) working group under the auspices of the Human Services Partnership Forum began working on this project in September 2013.

A preliminary workshop was held with not-for-profit organisations to test what issues might be included in any guidelines, while SACOSS and others in government and our sector have navigated through the complexities of the State Procurement Act and the Public Finance and Audit Act to secure a recommended scope and mechanism for the proposed Guidelines. It is intended that the Guidelines will cover almost all funding of non-government organisations (including service contracts and one-off grants).

In 2016 the Department of Treasury and Finance took over leadership within government on this work and initiated a new process broadly in line with the policies of the State Procurement Board. An overarching principles document has been developed and was agreed to by Cabinet as DPC Circular 044, and discussion has begun on a new standardised contract for all not-for-profit funding.

For further information about the Guidelines, email greg(at)sacoss.org.au

Published Date: 
Wednesday, 7 January 2015