DSS to Negotiate NFP Funding Deals in January
6 January 2015 at 10:21 am
The Department of Social Services, under the new Federal Minister Scott Morrison, says it will begin negotiating formal funding offers with the successful Not for Profit applicants throughout January.
The Government said on Christmas eve that the successful providers and their formal funding offers will be made public once these negotiations have been finalised.
In the week leading up to Christmas many advocacy and Not for Profit peak bodies were told their funding would not be continued including homelessness advocacy organisation National Shelter as well as Deaf Australia and Alzheimer's Australia.
Morrison said these decisions related to funding advocacy services as opposed to front line support services in the community.
"There has been no impact on the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) and National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH), which are the primary sources of Commonwealth funding provided to State and Territory Governments to deliver housing assistance and specialist homelessness services," Morrison said.
"So not one bed place is changed on homelessness, nothing of that nature is contemplated under these funding round changes and these are things that the previous Minister and department have been working through for some time.
"This is a process that has been running now for some time as a follow on from the decision to reduce funding in that area by some $240 million dollars and they were savings that were going to the budget.
"Some 700 organisations have been funded to do this work in the community. It was part of an exhaustive, competitive tender round and there will be some cases where organisations that receive funding are no longer but there will be other organisations, over 100 in fact which are new organisations which are now undertaking programmes in the community.
"Some organisations applied for grants that now, due to Budget considerations, will not be going ahead.
"The Department will work with affected organisations through the transition to minimise any impacts on services, staff and clients.”
Morrison said the Department of Social Services has advised applicants of the outcomes of the grant funding and it will be negotiating formal funding offers with the successful applicants throughout January with an announcement of the preferred providers and their funding offers to be made once these negotiations have been finalised.
"The Government is committed to ensuring grants funding supports the area of greatest need for the community and the most vulnerable people and families in Australia are looked after," he said.
"The response to funding under the New Way of Working for Grants was overwhelming.
"The Department received more than 5,500 applications for grants worth more than $3.9 billion, with approximately $800 million in grants funding available when the new grant rounds were announced.
"Grant funding will support a broad range of vital services that assist families, seniors, cultural and linguistically diverse Australians, Indigenous and mainstream communities and vulnerable people across Australia.
"The New Way of Working for Grants will result in more streamlined reporting for organisations, enabling them to focus on delivering important services in the community.
"Funding has been allocated to specified locations according to the identified level of need and disadvantage.”
The Department said that as a result of developments in the background law and the recent High Court’s Pape and Williams decisions, some programs will require redesign to ensure conformity with the law.
"Some grant agreements will be of two years duration as that redesign process takes place. This will also help to ensure service providers have the scope and flexibility to be responsive, innovative and creative in meeting the needs of the community,” the Department said.
More information about these rounds is available at www.dss.gov.au/grants