Dunlea Centre
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
NEWS  |  Politics

Senate to Probe Social Services Funding Process


Thursday, 12th February 2015 at 3:48 pm
Xavier Smerdon, Journalist
The Australian Senate has voted to hold an inquiry into how the Department of Social Services provides funding grants to community services.

Thursday, 12th February 2015
at 3:48 pm
Xavier Smerdon, Journalist


1 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Senate to Probe Social Services Funding Process
Thursday, 12th February 2015 at 3:48 pm

The Australian Senate has voted to hold an inquiry into how the Department of Social Services provides funding grants to community services.

The Greens spokesperson on family and community services, Senator Rachel Siewert, said the inquiry would address the “shambolic” grants process that she claimed was leaving essential services across the sector without funding.

“The grants application process introduced by the Government is a debacle that has left seismic shockwaves through community services,” Siewert said.

“There is a great deal of uncertainty and confusion about the grants process with community organisations nation-wide receiving notice from the Federal Government that their funding hasn't been renewed or their applications haven't been successful or are being required to sign onerous contracts. This undermines the ability of the community sector to support their clients and to delivers services to the community.”

Siewert said that funding cuts and a difficult grants process were making life difficult for community organisations.

"The budget saw cuts of $240 million to programs funded under the Department of Social Services, the subsequent grants process has made cuts throughout the sector and it is important that we get an understanding of where and why cuts have been made. There needs to be accountability and transparency in this process,” she said.

"The process culminated in some organisations being told just days before Christmas that their grants had been rejected and their funding discontinued, in some cases as soon as this month.”

"The inquiry will thoroughly examine the Government's decision making process and the way they have gone about delivering these significant and harmful cuts. The inquiry will examine the impact of these cuts on the service quality, efficiency and sustainability of the sector, as well as the ability of organisations to properly advocate on behalf of their clients. Consultation, time-frames and the decision making processes used by the Government will also be examined.

"Community organisations and those who access their services were unnerved at the prospect of reducing or losing their funding and will be relieved by news of this inquiry.”

Last month Social Services Minister, Scott Morrison, ended a period of particular uncertainty when he made a surprise announcement that he would provide bridging funding to organisations that had previously been told they had lost funding.

“Social services grants support front line services being delivered in our communities, by our communities. My highest priority as we transition to new arrangements is that access to critical frontline services is not interrupted and we avoid unintended consequences,” Morrison said.

“The bridging funding is about ensuring we don’t allow front line service gaps to emerge in critical areas.

“Providers of ongoing frontline services under the grants program will have their funding extended to 30 June 2015 while new services are properly established and clients are appropriately referred.  For emergency relief service providers we expect a more rapid transition process and will extend current funding arrangements for these services to 31 March 2015.”

 


Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.


Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

One Comment

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Entries Open for 2018 Workplace Giving Excellence Awards

Luke Michael

Thursday, 2nd August 2018 at 8:25 am

Cashless Welfare Card Effectiveness Questioned by New Report

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 18th July 2018 at 4:12 pm

Insights From Australia’s Annual Welfare Snapshot

Paul Carter

Wednesday, 4th July 2018 at 3:57 pm

Deliveroo Brings Jobs to DSS-Funded Work Program

Paul Carter

Monday, 2nd July 2018 at 10:46 am

POPULAR

Concerns Raised Over NDIS Barriers for Homeless People With Disability

Maggie Coggan

Tuesday, 7th August 2018 at 8:24 am

NFPs Urged to Focus on Purpose

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 7th August 2018 at 8:27 am

Coordinated Care at Risk Under Marketisation of the NDIS

Luke Michael

Thursday, 9th August 2018 at 8:20 am

New NDIS Quarterly Report Revives Call to Lift NDIA Staff Cap

Luke Michael

Thursday, 16th August 2018 at 8:44 am

Dunlea Centre
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!