Govt System Crashes as Funding Applications Flood In
Wednesday, 23rd July 2014 at 1:13 pm
The Department of Social Services has had to extend its Not for Profit application deadline after a flood of funding applications caused chaos to its online system late Tuesday.
A statement from the Department sent to Not for Profit organisations today said “due to the high volume of applications being submitted, the Department is experiencing technical issues”.
“As a result, the application period has been extended by 24 hours to accommodate the demand. Applications must be submitted by 2:00pm AEST Thursday 24 July 2014.”
According to DSS, the department had received 4,379 online applications over the past four weeks.
Not for Profits have told Pro Bono Australia News that the DSS system wasn’t issuing receipts confirming their applications late yesterday and when they called the Department to report the problem the voicemail inbox was full and they couldn’t leave a message or get through.
The DSS statement said that “if submitting an application using the online form, you will receive a system generated receipt to confirm your application has been successfully submitted. If you have attempted to submit your application this morning and haven't received a system generated receipt, please resubmit your application form”.
“If submitting your application to firstname.lastname@example.org you will receive an email from the Department confirming your application has been received. The confirmation email may take a few hours. Please keep a copy of your email for your records.”
Pro Bono Australia News reported yesterday that tens of thousands of grant applications were expected to flood the Federal Department of Social Services as its new $800 million grants program applications closed today.
Peak welfare body ACOSS said it understood that a large number of Not for Profits had been impacted by the application process and the short time frame for submissions.
“We have concerns given the short time frame and that the application process encouraged partnerships and consortiums with other organisations,” an ACOSS spokesperson said.
“The ability to develop these collaborations have been quite challenging. With so many funding streams opening at the same time there has been significant pressure on organisations to complete their submission.”
The new grants arrangements, announced in May, collapsed the original 18 grant programs into seven larger programs. According to Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews, the new grants would include longer-term agreements that would provide greater certainty for the planning of services.
The Minister said as part of the new arrangements, the Government would roll out a streamlined system that added three newly broad-banded programs – Families and Communities, Housing and Homelessness, Disability, Mental Health and Carers – to complement those already existing in Ageing and Aged Care.
Not for Profits still experiencing problems can call 1800 625 136 (option 2).