Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) - Questions and Answers - Issue 6

Q&A Issue no. 6 (Friday 14 December 2012)

PHaMs Employment

Q. Selection Criterion 2 on the Application Form for PHaMs Employment service asks that organisations identify what outcomes they expect to achieve.  Does DSS expect organisations to set targets – e.g. XX% of participants to achieve XX – or simply to state the nature of outcomes to be achieved?

A.  It is up to Applicants to determine what information they wish to provide in responses to the Core Selection Criteria.

Coverage Areas

Q.  If we are applying for more than one Coverage Area (or LGA), do we need to complete a separate Application Form or just the relevant section? 

A.  Applicants must submit a separate Application Form for each site/Coverage Area, which can comprise multiple LGAs 

Q.  I am just enquiring to see who the new PHaMs provider will be in the Hobson Bay area.

A.   Successful Applicants will not be announced until 2013.

Q.  In the table of Service Locations, Service Types and Funding Amounts, there is a column outlining PHaMs sites/Coverage Areas. Are the PHaMs sites restricted to those listed? What happens when there are two sites listed, or where the site listed is not an actual suburb (eg Plenty)? Are we free to nominate a site that falls within the specified LGA (eg Craigieburn and not Broadmeadows for the Hume LGA)? Can we suggest two part-time sites in the one LGA that will share the service?

A. ‘Site’ refers to the DSS-designated name of a PHaMs service and is not intended to indicate the suburb in which the service is physically located.  Applicants are required to indicate on the Application Form where they are intending to physically locate their PHaMs service outlets.  Service providers are permitted to have multiple service outlets in a single PHaMs site.  Service providers are expected to service participants from all LGAs within their Coverage Area.

Application Form

Q.  Apart from Question 12 in the Application Form, do sub-contractors have to provide any other information? For other questions, is information about the lead agency sufficient or do you need organisational information on the sub-contractors?

A. Question12 in the Application Form is the only question which requires information about sub-contractors.

Q.  In relation to the question about past DSS funding in Part 4 of the Application Form – do you need this information about the lead agency only or about sub-contractors as well?

A.  Information about past DSS funding is only required in relation to the lead agency.

Q.  My question relates to the budget section in Part 6 of the Application Form.  I am having trouble completing the "staff costs" section. In particular, if I add in the total of the service delivery staff, this double counts the amount in the staff costs sub-total and in the total, thus greatly overstating the budget.  Should this field therefore be left blank?

A.  Yes, the salaries and on costs line item should be left blank – the line items below it are sub-categories of salaries and on costs.

Q.  In question 20 of Part 5  (Financial Viability and Governance) of the Application Form, could you please advise if answering these 3 questions is all that is required to enable DSS  to undertake a financial viability assessment?

A.  In addition to the questions in the Application Form, DSS may request further information from Applicants to complete financial viability assessments.  DSS will advise Applicants in writing of any additional requirements.

Q.  We are an Australian Disability Enterprise that already receives ongoing funding from DSS. Does question 17 on the Application Form relate to this kind of funding or is it specifically NEW funding applications in the last 12 months?

A.  Question 17 relates only to new funding applications in the last 12 months.

Q.  Part 5 of the Application Form (Financial Viability) asks whether documents such as minutes of board meetings, business plans/strategic plans etc are in place and available on request within 7 days. Our organisation produces these documents, however, these are commercially sensitive and we would not be willing to provide these in full form.  Can you please clarify the purpose of requesting these documents and whether DSS would accept redacted versions of these documents bearing information only relevant to this tender?

A.  If requested, sufficient information must be provided to enable DSS to conduct a financial viability assessment.  DSS will accept redacted versions of documents, but if it deems the information provided to be insufficient to conduct a financial viability assessment, this may affect the outcome of your application.  In this case, additional information may be requested.

Other Issues

Q.  Can you please confirm that Applicants do not need to attach copies of their insurance certificates with their application?

A.   DSS can confirm that Applicants are not required to attach copies of their insurance certificates to their application.

Q.  When will we find out about the establishment funding, and what items it covers?  Establishment funding will be provided to successful applicants for new PHaMs services. The amount of establishment funding to be provided has not yet been determined and will depend on a range of factors, such as location of services and service type.

A. Establishment funding is intended to be used for one-off set-up costs such as purchase/lease of vehicles, office refurbishment, recruitment costs etc.

Q.  The Department has advised there will be funding for set-up costs in addition to the recurrent funding - does this include the purchase of motor vehicles?

A.  Establishment funding is intended to be used for one-off set-up costs such as purchase/lease of vehicles, office refurbishment, recruitment costs etc.  Successful Applicants will be required, under their resulting Funding Agreements, to seek approval from DSS to purchase assets worth more than $9,999.

Q.  We are hoping to apply for the targeted service – culturally linguistically diverse PHaMs. Can you please advise if this is possible for the current round? If not, please advise when the next tender opens for this category.  We operate in the Greater Brisbane region (including Moreton Bay region, Ipswich, and West Moreton-Oxley areas)

A. DSS is not seeking to establish targeted PHaMs services (as defined in section 4.1.2 of Part C1 of the Program Guidelines) in this funding round.  As such, there will be no new PHaMs services with an exclusive focus on people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

As detailed in section 4.5.1 of Part C1 of the Program Guidelines, all PHaMs services are required to prioritise and actively target special needs groups (including people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds) for which there are significant populations in their PHaMs Coverage Area, or which are poorly serviced.  Targets for special needs groups will be negotiated with service providers on a case-by-case basis and specified in funding agreements.

The timing of future funding rounds for PHaMs has not yet been determined. Future funding rounds will be advertised in the media and on the DSS website.

Q.  Our organisation uses a substituted accounting period (1 April – 31st March) to align with our parent company's accounting period.  Can DSS please confirm that it will accept financial statements for a substituted accounting period?

A.  DSS can confirm that it will accept financial statements for a substituted accounting period.

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