What does it mean for me?
Are you funded by a government department?
If yes, then you need to find out if you are funded through a service agreement, or through another form of funding, such as a grant. If you are funded through a service agreement, then your agreement will be coming up for renewal at some stage. Depending on the cost of your contract, there are a number of options for what happens and how it affects you. See the Funding & Contracting Tender Process overview for more information.
Did your government department purchase services from you to a maximum amount of $5000?
If so, then the government department would have purchased these services directly from you, without any tendering process necessary. The only action you would need to take is to talk to your department to see if they require those same services at the end of your agreement, and to make sure that you are involved in any discussions around the community needs and outcomes that you are meeting.
See the Direct Purchase up to $5000
factsheet for more information.
Did your government department purchase services from you for an amount between $5,000 - $150,000?
Similarly, there would have been no need for a tendering process. Your government department would have gotten a number of verbal and/or written quotes, but ultimately chose your organisation to deliver the service. As per above, your only action would be to talk to your department to see if they require those same services at the end of your agreement, and to make sure that you are involved in any discussions around the community needs and outcomes that you are meeting. See factsheets below for more information.
Direct Purchase up to $5000 - $20,000
Direct Purchase up to $20,000 - $150,000
Is your contract worth more than $150,000?
If yes, there are three likely scenarios (although there will be a number of situations that do not fit neatly into one of these scenarios).
Scenario 1: You and your government agency decide to ‘roll-over’ your contract.
This basically means that very few changes will occur to the contract, and the ‘roll-over’ will usually be for another year. This is to ensure that you and your government department have the time to prepare for a negotiation that is in the context of the DCSP Policy.
Generally, this is good. It means that your government department, and yourself, will be able to put the time and resources necessary into the agreement to make sure that it is properly adhering to the principles and behaviours of the policy.
The only time that it is not good is if you are currently delivering a service under your agreement on which you are making a loss on as an organisation. This could happen because you are absorbing overheads which should be allocated to the project that is covered under your funding agreement. In this circumstance sometimes it is best to try and re-negotiate your agreement rather than rolling it over.
This is because under the DCSP Policy you are truly costing your services, and the government department is then funding you accordingly.
You also need to remember that the ‘roll-over’ option will only be relevant in this current transitionary period. This will not be a normal option.
Scenario 2: Your government agency has identified you as a preferred service provider and you are renegotiating your contract.
This means you are re-negotiating a new contract with your government agency but you are not going out to a competitive tendering process. If this is where you are sitting, then you need to: •Fully understand the impact of the DCSP Policy;
•Ensure that you have a very comprehensive understanding of your organisation, and of the outcome you are tendering for;
•Ensure that you and your government agency are communicating around what the outcome should be, and how it should be measured;
•Ensure that you are fully and accurately costing your services, including all overheads
•Call WACOSS for any assistance you feel you may need
See the factsheet Preferred Service Provider for more information.
Scenario 3: You are not a preferred service provider, or you want to bid for a contract that is going out for tender.
This means that either your contract has ended or your government agency has decided that you are not a preferred service provider, OR you want to tender for a contract that you have not tendered for before. This is a competitive tender process.
See factsheet Open Tenders for Purchases over $150,000 for more information.
Is your funding through some other mechanism (i.e. a grant)?
If yes, you still need to ensure that your line agency is abiding by the spirit of the policy. A collaborative partnership is not just for contractual relationships, it’s for funding relationships such as grants as well. You have every right to be involved in the process of identifying community outcomes and needs, in fact you should make sure you are involved.
Your only other action would be to be on top of your reporting requirements, and to be speaking to your government department if you feel that your reporting requirements are particularly onerous. Again, reducing the administrative burden is not only limited to contractual relationships. It applies to grant recipients too.
Are you not funded by government at all?
If you are not funded by government at all, then quite honestly at the moment this policy has little impact on you. However, it is important to keep in mind what the policy is trying to do here. If, in the future, you plan on receiving grants or tenders from the government then you do need to be aware of, and understanding the policy. If you deal with government in any capacity at all (and the vast majority of organisations do), then you need to be aware of the significant changes in the nature of the relationship, and expecting that collaborative partnership in all your dealings with government.
In the next resource you will find the Surviving and Thriving Under the DCSP Policy workshop presentation and videos