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Negotiations Begin Over New SA NFP Funding Contracts


15 November 2017 at 12:18 pm
Lina Caneva
Consultation has begun over government funding contracts for all not-for-profit organisations in South Australia – the first changes to terms and conditions in nearly a decade.


Lina Caneva | 15 November 2017 at 12:18 pm


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Negotiations Begin Over New SA NFP Funding Contracts
15 November 2017 at 12:18 pm

Consultation has begun over government funding contracts for all not-for-profit organisations in South Australia – the first changes to terms and conditions in nearly a decade.

The contracts cover hundreds of millions of dollars in government funding across arts, sport, environment, child protection, family welfare, low income support, drug and alcohol and gambling rehabilitation and other social services.

SACOSS CEO Ross Womersley said that for many organisations the consultations would see the first major change in the terms and conditions of their funding in nearly a decade.

“The aim is to have standard contracts regardless of what department or program is supplying the funding, and to make the funding agreements simple and less onerous on community organisations,” Womersley said.

“This consultation and the potential to change funding arrangements is long overdue. For many community sector organisations, the current funding contracts are unclear, onerous and do not reflect a model of partnership with government to build better communities.

“In the preliminary discussions between government and our sector we have made considerable progress in removing problematic clauses and establishing a partnership approach, but the real test will be in the feedback we [hear] in the consultations over the coming days.”

Womersley told Pro Bono News he was hoping for robust discussion “so that we can shape funding arrangements that allow both government and our sector to get on with what we do best”.

“I think this is enormously significant. It was one of things we argued for, [in the] pre-election of the Labor government, and its taken this long to get to this point. We are now within five months of another election and we now have a new format for the sector to give serious consideration to,” Womersley said.

“So it is really important that the sector understands that, and that they come out and examine this and hopefully negotiate some real changes in the way that the relationship with the government has been over many years.

“The biggest challenges have been for the sector to maintain its independent spirit and its independent thought in a context where they are being bound up by all sorts of regulatory processes, all sorts of contract obligations.

“At one level every time someone in government had an idea about ‘this would be a good thing for the sector to be obliged to do’ it would suddenly appear in people’s contracts and they would have no legitimate discussion with the sector and there would be no serious negotiation about whether or not this was a desirable thing or how it might be implemented and what support might be required to do it and indeed the costs involved in actually taking and implementing those measures.”

Womersley said he was optimistic there would be positive change.

“So this is a real chance for the sector to actually start with a new product, to think carefully about it and of course we are now squeezed into a very unfriendly consultation period because it’s taken this long for us to get to this point,” he said.

“I think if the sector pays attention and they see the merits in what we have been able to negotiate to this point I think there is every chance that it could proceed and would be, with some potential amendments and support for the sector, a great step forward.”

Consultation meetings are being run by the relevant peak bodies (SACOSS, Volunteering SA and NT, Arts Industry Council SA, Conservation Council of SA, and Sport SA) in conjunction the South Australian Department of Treasury and Finance and Department of Communities and Social Inclusion.

Consultations will take place:

Wednesday 15 November 1.30 pm – 4.30 pm

Arts/Environment SANFRAG Consultation

St Paul Creative Centre, Pulteney & Flinders Streets Adelaide

Registrations

Thursday 16 November 9.30 am – 12.30 pm

SACOSS SANFRAG Consultation Level 4, 182 Victoria Square Adelaide

Registrations

Thursday 16 November 1.30 pm – 4.30 pm

SACOSS SANFRAG Consultation Level 4, 182 Victoria Square Adelaide

Registrations

Friday 17 November 9.30 am – 12.30 pm

Sports SA SANFRAG Consultation Military Road West Beach

Registrations

Monday 20 November 1pm – 4 pm

Volunteering SA and NT webinar – for all NFP sectors and organisations who can’t attend face-to-face sessions.

Register here to receive webinar invitation


Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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