NCOSS welcomes end of competitive tendering process
21 September 2001
The Council of Social Service of NSW (NCOSS) has welcomed the announcement by the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care of the cancellation of the competitive tendering process for disability advocacy and information services.

"NCOSS and disability advocacy groups had identified a number of problems with the process. These problems were also highlighted by the recent Legislative Council Inquiry into the process. We are therefore pleased that the Minister and Department have heard our concerns and halted the process," said Alan Kirkland, Director of NCOSS.

"Having met with the new Director General of the Department this week, we are hopeful that this decision signals the beginning of more effective, open relationships between the Department and non-government organisations.

"NCOSS will now be seeking a process of dialogue between the Department and non-government organisations to address:

  • a NSW Disability Advocacy and Information Plan, which sets out how information and individual and systemic advocacy should be provided across NSW;
  • roll-out of $1 million in growth funding as a matter of urgency, focusing on locational and cultural gaps;
  • a period of consolidation for existing services, before beginning consultations on any improvement strategies within the information and advocacy program.

"We hope that this process signals to other Government agencies the danger of poorly planned, wholesale reforms to funding programs without genuine participation of the people and services affected. We remain committed to improving services available to all people in NSW, but can only assist Government agencies when we are given genuine opportunities to participate," Kirkland concluded.