Reducing the administrative burden
A key principle of the Delivering Community Services in Partnership Policy is the reduction of the administrative burden traditionally placed on contracted service providers. Previously, the reporting and accountability requirements on service agreements were onerous, time consuming, and sometimes pointless. Meeting burdensome reporting conditions often deflected valuable times and resources away from the important business of servicing clients.
To reverse this trend, the DCSP Policy does three major things:
1. A switch to outcomes based reporting This change will provide community service organisations with more flexibility in the way in which they provide information to government agencies, and only to report information that is relevant to actually achieving the agreed service agreement outcomes. The introduction of outcomes based reporting is to date at an early stage. To what extent outcomes based reporting will reduce any administrative burden placed on community service providers is uncertain, but will be closely monitored by WACOSS.
2. The establishment of master agreements. If a community service organisation has a number of different contracts with a department, a master agreement is meant to preface all of these agreements, and ensure that the organisation does not have to repeat information in different contracts.
3. The implementation of a number of template documents. With the standardisation of documents across departments, service providers will be able to transfer already provided information from one government agency to the next without having to fill in new forms. This process will make it easier for organisations to understand what is expected of them, and make it easier to respond to requests. More information about the template documents, and the actual templates, can be found at The Department of Finance website
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