Navigation Begin
Content Begin

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequentlyasked questions have been developed to answer most of your inquiries, however if you need something clarified or have another question please email the team.

1. What is Procurement?

Procurement is a formal name for buying or purchasing something. In relation to the DCSP Policy, procurement refers to the way government agencies buy or contract out services.

2. What is sustainability?

Sustainability in relation to the DCSP Policy relates to community service organisational sustainability which in turn has an impact on sustainable funding from Government agencies.

3. What is collaboration?

Collaboration is the way that individuals or organisations ‘work together’ to address problems and deliver outcomes. Collaborative relationships are usually formed to combine resources, expertise and/or skills and knowledge. Collaborations can be formal or informal (ie bound together by a contract, like a consortium OR just networking and sharing ideas with other organisations).

4. What is a consortium?

A consortium is a formal sort of collaboration, where a number of organisations develop a Memorandum of Understanding/s (MoU) with each other and nominate a “lead agency” to play the major role in developing the agreement with the Government agency.  
The consortium then works together to deliver the outcomes in the contract or agreement they have with the government department.
Please see here for more information. (Fact sheet coming soon)

5. What is a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)?

A Memorandum of Understanding is a contract with terms and conditions that outlines people’s, or organisations, roles and responsibilities.  
Usually MoU’s are between organisations that may be able to work together to provide a better quality service.

 6. What is consumer engagement?

Consumer engagement is when government agencies engage with the community and/or other organisations to get input on their desired outcomes. This can involve any type of interaction between people from consultation, communication, education or public participation.

 7. What is service design?

Service design is the planning and organising of people, infrastructure, communication and material parts of a service. It may be to design a new service, or to improve the quality of an existing service.

8. What is difference between outcomes and outputs?

An outcome refers to the result you are trying to achieve whereas an output is the way you go about measuring that you have achieved the outcome.
For example, an outcome of a service would be “People with mental health issues have better access to housing and employment”. The output for this may be the participation rates by people with mental illness of working age in employment and the percentage of mental health consumers living in stable housing.

9. What is involved in needs analysis?

Needs analysis is looking at who will be using the services, defining what they need, what information they want, and understanding how they think the service should work. The main purpose of needs analysis is to make sure that the needs of the community are met, and that they are satisfied with what is being provided to them.
A needs analysis template (coming soon).

10. What is building capacity, in terms of the DCSP policy?

Building capacity, the way that it is mentioned in the policy refers to being able to give an organisation more funds in order to extend their existing service delivery or provide additional related services.
This is only the way that capacity building is referred to in the DCSP policy in the policy flow chart. We will be releasing more information on capacity building soon.

11. What is the difference between grants and services agreements?

A grant is a one-off payment for a particular purpose and period, paid either as a lump sum or as instalments.  Grants are usually associated with start-ups or pilot initiatives and generally have few reporting and compliance requirements.
Service agreements are created to support the ongoing delivery of services and are usually for a longer period of time (ie 3-5 years) with clear reporting requirements. Service agreements are the main funding source being examined and changed in the DCSP policy.

12. Why is the nature of the relationship so important?

The nature of the relationship is one of the most important aspects as it represents is a major change in thinking and culture. It is a huge opportunity for all parties involved to meet the desired community outcomes.
The idea of the policy is to ensure that there is a true partnership between government agencies and community service organisations. It means rather than a one way, more directive relationship, CSOs come to the table as an equal partner with really valuable information and input to provide to the process.

13. Service Pricing

When you are pricing your new service agreement, you need to ensure your quoted price includes your total costs (all on costs, building expenses, staff wages, training and professional development) so that your organisation remains viable in the long term.

14. What is transparency?

Transparency is operating in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are being performed, and why particular decision or actions are being taken.  It implies open communication and accountability.

15. Under what circumstances would a conflict of interest arise?

A conflict of interest can arise if you are in a position where your actions or decisions could be influenced by, or seen to be influenced by personal considerations and/or a relationship with another party.
For example if a board member of a small not-for-profit organisation also ran their own private consultancy business and they were both applying for the same tender, this conflict of interest would need to be disclosed.

16. What is mandatory briefing?

A mandatory briefing is a meeting with the department that you must attend in order to be able to submit tender documents.  If you do not attend you will be ineligible for further consideration. If you cannot attend a proxy representative is allowed to attend on your behalf as long as the department is aware of the arrangement.