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Last week, the Government released its response to the Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Needs inquiry into Service coordination in communities with high social needs. NCOSS made a submission to this inquiry last year, and CEO Tracy Howe gave evidence before the Committee.

The response provides in-principle support to a range of measures, we hope this a first step towards substantive change.

Positive aspects of the response include:

  • Support for a review of competitive tendering, a process which NCOSS emphasised can threaten relationships of trust in the sector. This work is being done by the Social Innovation Council, on which NCOSS sits.
  • Agreement for longer lead times for tenders in recognition that effective collaboration between organisations is a complex process which takes time.
  • A commitment to publishing whole-of-Government on community wellbeing based on Community Indicators Victoria, which will strengthen the evidence base of our work.

We are pleased to see in-principle support for the development of Privacy Guidelines to facilitate information sharing and collaboration between organisations, as well as ongoing consideration of a national centre to evaluate and promote best practice.

 We are disappointed that Government did not support minimum funding periods of 5 years The NCOSS Fair Deal Campaign emphasises that funding certainty is crucial for services to be properly co-ordinated, and we urge this be recognised by Government.

The response is available here.