LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS
committee recommends that the Department of Social Services publish its recent
analysis of service delivery gaps, to promote transparency and to encourage
informed discussion of a strategy that ensures vulnerable people are properly
supported right across Australia with no gaps.
committee recommends that future tendering processes should be planned
strategically, with a clear sense of the service gaps and areas of geographic
need, and be based on an assessment of how the tendering process would enhance
the capacity of the sector to meet these needs. The committee acknowledges that
in some circumstances, competitive tendering processes may not meet the needs
of the community sector, and recommends the adoption of alternative processes
to ensure there are no gaps in service provision in the future.
committee recommends that the selection criteria for future tender rounds
should consider a mechanism such as a weighting on the contribution small,
community-based organisations provide to their community beyond the service
they are directly funded to provide.
committee recommends that the Department of Social Services ensure that if organisations
are not awarded a grant, any subcontract or consortium arrangement offered for
the same service must be on comparable terms to those which would have been
offered in a funding agreement.
committee recommends that where possible, five-year contracts should be awarded
to ensure stability so the sector can plan and deliver sustainable services.
committee recommends that the privacy concerns raised in relation to the
department's data exchange protocols should be resolved as a matter of
committee recommends that advocacy support be considered a vital component of
community services in future funding arrangements and is given appropriate
weighting in funding assessments.
committee recommends that community sector funding should include consistent
and adequate indexation of funding (to wage price index).
committee recommends that the Minister authorise publication of the final
report of the NOUS review on the Department of Social Services website.
committee recommends that an urgent review is conducted of where critical
service gaps continue to exist, that this review is made public and that these
gaps be filled immediately to make sure that very vulnerable people get the
support they need.
committee recommends that after 18 months of operation, an independent
evaluation be undertaken to determine if the outcome of the tender process has
been an improvement of services, and that this review is made public.
committee recommends that the Auditor-General conduct its own review into the
tendering process, including examining:
- The Department of
Social Services' work pre-tender in identifying service needs by region;
- The extent to which
successful tenderers have sub-contracted their work to local and regional
providers, job losses that have resulted from the tendering process and
outcomes, and the extent to which Department of Social Services has oversight
over these subcontracts;
- The extent to which
the capacity for community-based service delivery (particularly the capacity to
provide services to CALD and indigenous communities) was factored into the
tender selection process;
- The impact on service
delivery, advocacy and the support available to vulnerable people and
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