Budget Fact Sheet - Grants for social service providers

Charities and not-for-profit organisations play a crucial role in responding to issues in communities across Australia. The Australian Government is making sure their vital role continues to strengthen and grow by getting rid of useless red tape; helping them become more innovative and collaborative, sharing benchmarking and service delivery trends over time; cleaning up government processes to stop duplication and reducing administrative waste; and providing greater flexibility to drive local solutions to local issues.

What was announced in the 2014 Budget?

The Budget is part of the Australian Government’s Economic Action Strategy to build a strong, prosperous economy and a safe, secure Australia.

Close to one-third of 12,900 discretionary grants will expire on 30 June 2014. From 1 July 2014, to ensure essential services continue while improvements to grant arrangements are being implemented, the Australian Government will provide:

  • six-month extensions for the majority of existing grants
  • 12-month extensions for grants transitioning into longer-term initiatives such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Aged Care Commonwealth Home Support Programme
  • five-year grant agreements for Family and Relationship Services, Communities for Children Facilitating Partners and Family Law Services. This delivers on the Government’s pre-election commitment to provide longer-term agreements to the sector for these critical services.

Improvements to social services grant programmes align with the Government’s civil society agenda, deliver significant benefits to the sector and promote community input to drive local solutions to local problems.

Improvements to grant funding arrangements include:

  • new grant programmes that are better suited to what communities need and want
  • a single, coherent structure that streamlines 18 discretionary grant programmes into seven
  • longer-term agreements that increase certainty and make planning easier
  • working towards one consolidated agreement for each provider
  • simpler financial and performance reporting.

Applications will open soon for funding under these new arrangements, to ensure new agreements are in place from 1 January 2015.

Key facts

  • The Government is implementing improvements to grants that will provide more stable, sustainable and efficient arrangements for providers.
  • The grant improvement process will ease regulatory, reporting and administrative burdens and reduce inefficiencies and duplication. 
  • To ensure essential services continue while improvements are being implemented, the Government will provide six-month or 12-month extensions from 1 July 2014 for existing, eligible grant recipients.
  • Five-year funding agreements totalling $1.5 billion will be offered to more than 250 service providers that deliver Communities for Children Facilitating Partner Services, Family and Relationship Services and Family Law Services.
  • As part of the grant improvement process, programmes have been streamlined from 18 discretionary grant programmes into seven.
  • Applications will open soon for funding under these new arrangements. 
  • The new way of working contributes to the Government’s aim to reduce red tape and regulation by at least $1 billion a year.

More information

The Department of Social Services will provide more information to funded organisations shortly. In the meantime, providers can visit www.dss.gov.au/grants or call the Department of Social Services on 1800 625 136.

For more information about other Department of Social Services’ Budget measures, go to www.dss.gov.au.

For information about the 2014 Budget, go to www.budget.gov.au.

 

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