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NCOSS CEO Tracy Howe gave evidence at the Legislative Council Social Affairs Committee Inquiry into Service Co-ordination in communities with high social needs on 28 August 2015.

Drawing on insights gained through extensive regional consultation with its members around the NCOSS pre-budget submission, she emphasised that the sector works together in a co-ordinated way to respond to need in the communities they work in.

However, the capacity of services to do this effectively is made difficult by funding constraints, insecure funding and the competitive tendering model.

These factors threaten to undermine trusting relationships between local communities and services.

The core recommendations of NCOSS were that:

  • Government consider alternatives to competitive tender processes for situations where analysis suggests this method may impact negatively on collaborative service delivery.
  • In tender processes, a weighting should be given to an organisation’s knowledge, relationship and understanding of their community, as well as its ability to respond to the diverse needs of their community

The Committee acknowledged the sector’s concerted push for longer funding terms (preferably 5 year terms) and was responsive to the idea of a weighting for an organisation’s local knowledge.

NCOSS looks forward to the committee’s report, and to our future work with government to get a fair deal for our community services here in NSW.