The NSW Health Non-Government Organisation (NGO) Program provides funding to eligible organisations for the provision of specified health services and projects in NSW.
The Program accounts for over two-thirds (69%) of all NSW Health funding allocated to the NGO sector. In 2012-13, funding through the NGO Grant Program is around $149 million. A further $67 million in additional funding is provided to NGOs on an ad-hoc basis. Funding is allocated by the NSW Ministry of Health and by Local Health Districts.
The NGO Grant Program funds a wide range of health and related services that include direct health services, health promotion, community development, social research, and advocacy. It spans a number of program areas, including Aboriginal health, mental health, drug and alcohol, AIDS and infectious diseases, oral health, women’s health, youth health, and chronic illness.
The NGO Grant Program is governed by the NSW Health NGO Policy Framework and NSW Health Operational Guidelines Non-Government Organisation Grant Program (under review).
The Ministry of Health commenced a Grant Management Improvement Program (GMIP) in 2012 to improve grants administration and introduce opportunities for new partnerships with non-government organisations (NGOs) and other community providers. The GMIP will introduce a new granting policy in 2013 (see below).
About the GMIP
NSW Health is introducing a new Grant Management Improvement Program (GMIP) to improve grants administration and introduce opportunities for new partnerships with non-government organisations (NGOs) and other community providers. The GMIP will also be used to give effect to the NSW Government’s 2012-13 budget efficiency savings.
A taskforce, chaired by Chris Puplick AM, conducted a review of the NGO Grants Program in 2012.The final Taskforce recommendations report on funding and administration of the Health NGO Program is now available on the NSW Health website. See: Grant Management Improvement Program (GMIP) Taskforce report.
NSW Health funding advice to the sector
11 March 2013
NCOSS has today advised the NSW Ministry of Health that we will take public action on behalf of the sector if it does not provide advice to funded organisations by 28 March 2013. In response to our letter on 14 February raising concerns about the funding uncertainty, Dr Hammett, Deputy Director-General stated the March/April timeframe is indicative only. However, he noted the NSW Ministry of Health is working hard to provide advice to NGOs about their future funding as soon as possible.
NGO funding advice by 31 March 2013
1 March 2013
Health NGOs will receive funding advice from NSW Health by the end of this month. NCOSS met with the NSW Health Minister's advisors on Thursday 28 February 2013. We raised concerns about the on-going delays with the GMIP review, lack of communication with the sector, and impending expiry of roll-over grants. Andrew Kirk, Chief of Staff committed that funding advice will be sent to organisations by 31 March.
Report from February NSW Health NGO Advisory Committee meeting
14 February 2013
Rohan Hammett, Deputy Director-General NSW Health advised the Committee today that a decision about future NGO funding is unlikely to be finalised until March 2013. NGO members reiterated their strong concerns about the need for funding certainty and advice to organisations as soon as possible.
Dr Hammett indicated the Government has yet to formalise its response to the Grants Management Improvement Taskforce report. The Ministry of Health is still determining the implementation considerations. NGO members again requested the public release of the Taskforce Report and the Government’s response. Dr Hammett agreed to seek advice from Government in the next week.
It appears likely the GMIP will be implemented through a phased approach, although the exact process and timeframes have not been identified. A high-level GMIP Implementation Group comprised of NSW Health senior executives has been established to oversee the introduction of the new system for funding and procuring NGO services. Dr Hammett committed that the Implementation Group will consult with the NGO Advisory Committee, although the extent and nature of this consultation is unclear.
The NSW Health NGO Advisory Committee will meet again in March.
Update from NSW Health NGO Advisory Committee meeting
10 January 2013
The NSW Health NGO Advisory Committee met on 10 January to discuss the Grants Management Improvement Program and funding review. Rohan Hammett, Deputy Director-General advised the Taskforce report is still being reviewed and assessed by the Ministry of Health. The report contains 47 recommendations to improve the NGO Program. If accepted by Government, it will require further work to articulate how the recommendations can be implemented before the transition to a new program and/or funding model. Dr Hammett indicated the Ministry of Health will provide advice to NGO’s about the future of their current roll-over funding as soon as possible.
The Government is still considering whether it will publically release the report and its response to the recommendations.
The NSW Health NGO Advisory Committee will meet again in mid-February.
Update on NSW Health NGO Program funding review
19 December 2012
There is still no indication of when the NSW Government will announce its decision on the future of the Health NGO Program. The Ministry of Health has today advised the Final Report of the Grants Management Improvement Taskforce is under consideration and advice will be provided 'in due course'. The Taskforce provided its recommendations report to the Director-General in mid-November. An update was anticipated at the NSW Health NGO Advisory Committee meeting scheduled for 14 December, however the meeting was cancelled. The Ministry of Health is re-scheduling a meeting for early January 2013.
NCOSS wrote to the Director-General, Dr Mary Foley, on 13 December seeking urgent advice about the likely timeframe for the Government's response to the GMIP Taskforce Report and the proposed next steps, as well as seeking the Report's public release. The Director, Inter Government and Funding Strategies & Integrated Care has indicated to NCOSS that the NGO Advisory Committee will be given advice on timeframes and next steps at the next meeting, where possible.
Grants Management Improvement Taskforce draft review directions document
5 November 2012
NSW Health Grants Management Improvement Taskforce has released a draft review directions document for further consultation. Feedback is due by 5pm on Friday 9 November to email@example.com
NCOSS Submission to the Health NGO Grants Management Improvement Taskforce
4 October 2012
The NCOSS submission focuses on the funding policy framework for the NSW Health NGO Program. The submission argues that NSW Health must take a strategic approach to developing the funding policy, and that it must not undermine the broad community outcomes provided by the community sector.
Grants Management Improvement Program Discussion Paper
19 September 2012
NSW Health has released a discussion paper on the Grants Management Improvement Program. The closing date for submissions is 26 September 2012. Submissions to the Taskforce can be made via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
New Grants Management Improvement Program (GMIP) for Health NGOs
21 August 2012
NSW Health is introducing a new Grants Management Improvement Program (GMIP) to improve grants administration and introduce opportunities for new partnerships with non-government organisations (NGOs) and other community providers.
The GMIP will introduce a new granting policy. The historically based rolling triennial granting process will be replaced. The new GMIP will introduce contestability and a purchaser-provider funding model where LHD's can purchase services directly from NGOs rather than provide grant funding. The recommendations from the NGO Program Review (2010) will also be incorporated and implemented as part of the GMIP.
The Ministry of Health and Local Health Districts will assess all grants during 2012-13 to consider whether changes are needed to grants to achieve the objectives of the GMIP. A transition and implementation plan will be developed and commence in the first half of 2013.
A Taskforce is being established to consult with the NGO sector on opportunities for new partnerships between NSW Health and NGOs. Mr Chris Puplick AM will chair the Taskforce and undertake consultation with the NGO sector in the North Coast, in Mid Western NSW and Western Sydney. NGOs will be advised of further details when they are available.
Further information about the GMIP is available in the NSW Health Information Paper. If you have any questions about the Grants Management Improvement Program (GMIP), please contact Joanne Young, A/Associate Director NGO Unit on email@example.com or (02) 9391 9026.
Extension of NGO roll-over funding
7 August 2012
The NSW Ministry of Health has agreed to the health NGO peaks' request to extend roll-over funding for NGOs for 12 months until 30 June 2013. The Ministry had previously only committed to six months funding for NGO’s without a current fixed-term contract. The peaks argued that more time was necessary for consultation with the sector and to provide organisations with time to prepare for possible funding and service changes.
Dr Rohan Hammett, Deputy Director-General advised the Health NGO Advisory Committee at the meeting on 27 July 2012 that:
- NGOs whose funding agreements ceased on 30 June 2011 or 30 June 2012 will have their roll-over funding extended until 30 June 2013. The Ministry of Health will send letters of advice to affected NGOs soon.
- The Grant Management Improvement Program will be in place by the end of 2012.
- A taskforce chaired by Chris Publick will be established to pursue a market sounding exercise to assess areas where NGOs may have opportunities to provide services. The taskforce will hold a series of consultations with NGOs in coming months.
The next meeting of the Health NGO Advisory Committee will be in early October.
Update on Health NGO Grants funding
12 July 2012
The Health NGO Advisory Committee met on 11 July 2012. The Committee discussed the Grant Management Improvement Program and the future of the NGO program. It is clear from the meeting that the Ministry of Health is looking to make financial savings from the NGO program. The Ministry has not stated a savings target for the program but will be considering the options. The meeting agreed that there should not be a blanket percentage cut for all NGOs from the program. While NCOSS will continue to argue that the NGO program should be enhanced because such investment will lead to longer term savings (see NCOSS PBS 2012-13), in light of the Ministry's position we believe that any changes, including any reduction in funding, should be based on sound principles and in accordance with the recommendations of the NGO review. The NGO Advisory Committee will meet again on 25 July 2012.
Meeting re future of the Health NGO Grants funding
26 June 2012
On 26 June 2012, NCOSS and some NSW NGO health peak bodies met with Dr Rohan Hammett (Deputy Director General) and staff regarding the future of the NGO Health Program.
NCOSS was informed that a process will commence to implement a Grants Management Improvement Program. This will be completed by 30 September 2012. The purpose is to contribute to the savings required by the Ministry of Health as announced in the 2012-13 Budget.
Non-government organisations whose funding agreements with the Ministry of Health or their Local Health District ceased on 30 June 2011 or will cease on 30 June 2012 will have their funding rolled-over for six months. Those organisations whose funding agreements cease on 30 June 2013 will have their funding continued until 30 June 2013. Decisions regarding future funding will be made as part of the Grants Management Improvement Program.
The NSW Ministry of Health has convened a meeting of the NGO Advisory Committee to further discuss how these changes can be made, including savings within the department by reducing 'red-tape'. NCOSS and the other peaks have indicated our disappointment with both the decision and process to date given our longstanding commitment to work with the Ministry to improve the administration and effectiveness of the Health grants program. We will continue discussions through the NGO Advisory Committee process to ensure the best possible outcome for the sector's clients and NGOs affected by the Government's decision.
Ministerial Health NGO Grants Program 2012-13 tri-annual funding cycle
21 June 2012
NCOSS and the peak health NGOs wrote to the Health Minister on 21 June regarding funding for organisations whose tri-annual funding agreement expires on 30 June this year.
The Ministry of Health has yet to advise organisations about the next funding cycle or whether funding will be available beyond 30 June. The Ministry of Health has advised NCOSS that funding information will be sent to NGOs shortly. However, there has been no confirmation about the renewal of fixed term contracts.
NCOSS understands that there will be funding changes as part of 2012-13 program expense savings across the health portfolio. The health NGO peaks believe that a minimum of 12 month roll-over funding is required to provide time for appropriate consultation with the sector, and provide organisations with time to prepare for possible funding and service changes.
The health NGO peaks welcome the opportunity to improve grants administration and previous commitments from the Ministry of Health to work in partnership with the sector. However, we are very disappointed that there has not been any communication with the sector about the funding delay.