While both ACOSS and ADCA support the purpose of the National Compact, ADCA considers the proposed implementation mechanisms to be highly superficial and says the government must directly address key questions such as:
- How the actual interaction between Government and the third sector will occur,
- How decisions will be made,
- Whether money will be allocated to support this partnership,
- Who would monitor the progress of the National Compact?
Clare Martin, ACOSS CEO said: “A Compact provides an opportunity to address vital issues facing non-profit, community and social services, including establishing mutual respect and understanding between government and our sector.
“A Compact could address key shortfalls that threaten a viable, healthy social services sector, such as cutting red tape on contracts and ensuring consistency across funding and tendering agreements.”
The COSS Network* supports a Compact that:
- Is based on an ongoing commitment to building trust between both parties,
- Listens to people affected about the role and effect of the Compact,
- Encourages a competitive tendering process that allows small organisations to deliver locally relevant, responsive and innovative service models,
- Cuts red tape to address the complex mass of reporting standards, including standardising performance measures,
- Is developed with a robust dialogue and strong representation in the development phase,
- Has dedicated resources committed upfront by government to ensure its successful implementation,
- Recognises the importance of consistent annual indexation of government funding for workers in the community and social services sector,
- Ensures existing state-based Compacts work in the national context.
ADCA supports a Compact that:
- Sees the establishment of an over-arching governance body in order to allow for the National Compact to be effective,
- Sees formation of a governing body representing the third sector as a whole, comprising the peak organisation for each of the nine subdivisions of the sector as identified by the ABS,
- Involves national peak organisations from the Third Sector in defining governance arrangements and implementation strategies,
- Moves towards a partnership model and away from a purchaser-provider relationship which sees Governments projecting their legislative responsibilities onto not-for-profit agencies,
- Includes ‘health’ in the list of specified outcomes, given the large number of not-for-profit organisations that are welfare and health service providers.
*The COSS Network is comprised of: Australian Council of Social Service; ACT Council of Social Service; NSW Council of Social Service; South Australian Council of Social Service; Northern Territory Council of Social Service; Queensland Council of Social Service; Tasmanian Council of Social Service; Victorian Council of Social Service and Western Australia Council of Social Service.