Online Forum to Discuss Draft Principles of NFP National Compact
3 August 2009 at 4:26 pm
Not for Profits will be able to begin discussing the Federal Government’s Draft Principles for a National Compact at an Online Forum from today (August 3rd, 2009) however the full details of the draft will not be released until the end of the week.
The draft principles of the National Compact – aimed at improving the relationship between Government and the Third Sector were finalised during a workshop gathering in Canberra recently with over 70 NFP leaders and government representatives.
Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector Senator Ursula Stephens says the sector has envisaged a compact that provides a framework for growth and evolution including regulatory and legislative reform and initiatives to enhance the security and viability of the sector.
A spokesperson for the Senator says the draft paper on the Compact Principals will be available by the end of the week.
In a report on the Compacts consultation process by ACOSS, participants identified the primary benefits of developing a National Compact as:
– To provide a framework for building an improved relationship between the Not-for-Profit Sector and the Commonwealth Government, characterised by trust and collaboration, and with space for robust dialogue;
– To improve policy making through the development of a framework document that can provide strategic coordination of the many initiatives currently being pursued in the social policy arena and create space at the table for the Sector to contribute to these;
– To improve the standing of the Not-for-Profit Sector in the community by acknowledging its contribution, by improving understanding of the Sector within Government and by reaffirming its independence; and,
– To provide a framework for growth and evolution in the Sector including regulatory and legislative reform and initiatives to enhance the financial security and viability of the Sector.
Participants have identified that the Sector must be prepared to "step up to the plate" to provide leadership to increase the Not for Profit Sector’s ability to improve the lives of Australians. This includes striving for best practice in relation to governance and accountability and ensuring the inclusion of disadvantaged people in the Sector’s own practices. The Sector has also identified a number of innovations that can form the basis of consultations about the Sector’s contribution to a compact. These relate to improved cooperation and collaboration within the Sector and to improved efficiency and effectiveness.
At the most general level, support for a compact is conditional on the Sector being certain that the effort that is put into developing a compact is proportional to the resulting benefits. The consultations have identified a core set of conditions upon which the Sector would be prepared to negotiate a compact. Some regions identified additional conditions that reflected the specific environment in those areas.
Broadly these conditions relate to the Government providing a clear commitment to achieving across government changes to the way it relates to the Sector.
Priority areas to be addressed in a compact include:
– Sector viability;
– Reduced red tape;
– Supporting democratic dialogue and improved policy development;
– Increasing cooperation and consistency across and between Governments;
– Improving relationships between the Government and the Sector; and,
– Improving the focus on community needs.
More information and to join the Online Forum go to www.socialinclusion.gov.au/compact