Human Services Agreement Update and NSW Benchmarking Tool
From 1 August 2017, all government agencies are required to use the new NSW Human Services Agreement, which is a standard contract, when procuring human services from NGOs and for-profit organisations. Agencies will also use the Agreement as existing contracts expire. This means that any organisation that has, or will tender for, a contract with any NSW agency will be subject to this contract. If you have not yet read the agreement, you may find it here.
Illawarra Forum Members have raised numerous concerns with both the process, and the final document including the limited consultation process which did not provide feedback on original submissions, and which resulted in the delivery of a final document with limited opportunity for comment.
The Illawarra Forum has pursued the matter directly with NCOSS – as co-chair of the Social Innovation Council and with the Dept Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI). This is what we have achieved.
- The Human Services Agreement is currently being reviewed by Justice Connect, and will then go to a more thorough review. Both NCOSS and DFSI have agreed that the Forum can participate in the review process. Of course, when the review happens we I will share it with our membership and invite more comment.
- Furthermore, DFSI have agreed to come to the Illawarra on a quarterly basis to discuss the various projects that the Social Innovation Council (SIC) are working on. This will be an open meeting with all members invited to attend. We hope to hold the first session before the end of the year.
- The membership of the Social Innovation Council will be reviewed late this year, and we have requested that a broader representation from the sector be included.
The new Benchmarking Tool is currently open, and the date for completion has been extended to 9th October. We urge local service providers to complete it, and to give feedback. Any organisation which completes the Tool will not only receive a report, but will be eligible for free training on Commissioning, Outcomes Measurement and/or Design Thinking. If we can get enough people locally to complete, DFSI have agreed to bring the training to our region. The Benchmarking Tool is available here.