Table of contents
- 1 Program Overview
- 2 Activity Overview
- 3 Application Process
- 4 Special conditions applying to this Activity
- 5 Contact information
The Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA or the Department) has a suite of documents (the Program Guideline Suite) which provide information relating to the program. They provide the key starting point for parties considering whether to participate in the program and form the basis for the business relationship between FaHCSIA and the funding recipient.
- Part A: Program Guidelines which provides an overview of Program and the Activities relating to the program.
- Part B: Information for Applicants which provides information on the Application, Assessment, Eligibility, Selection and Complaints processes; Financial and Funding Agreement arrangements.
- Part C: Application Information provides specific information on the Activity, Selection Criteria, Performance Management and Reporting. This part should be read in conjunction with the Draft Funding Agreement for the Activity and the Standard Terms and Conditions.
- The Application Form which is completed by applicants applying for funding during a selection process.
FaHCSIA reserves the right to amend these documents from time to time by whatever means it may determine in its absolute discretion and will provide reasonable notice of these amendments.
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1 Program Overview
1.1 Program Outcomes
Services and Support for People with Disability Program Objective
The Services and Support for People with Disability Program aims to provide supported employment and improve access to information, advocacy and services for people with disability so they can develop their capabilities and actively participate in community and economic life.
1.2 Aims and objectives
Services for People with Disability
The program component Services for People with Disability provides social support and community-based care for people with disability, their carers and their families, to promote independence, self reliance and participation in the community. This is achieved through providing supported employment services, improving access to information and advocacy (including through peak bodies), and assistance to practical services.
Services for People with Disability (Special Account)
The purpose of the Services for People with Disability (Special Account) is to manage receipts and expenses on projects which relate to the National Disability Agreement.
Activities include a booking service for Auslan interpreting services, employment assistance, advocacy, print disability services, postal concessions for the blind, respite and outside school hours care, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) early intervention services, education and support services, ASD playgroups and ASD website, accessible communities and supported accommodation for people with disability.
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2 Activity Overview
Accessible Communities is an initiative under the National Disability Strategy to achieve more accessible public buildings and spaces for people with disabilities. This includes, but is not exclusive to, accessible playgrounds, swimming pools and public toilets.
The objective is progressed by providing small infrastructure grants of funding to local governments with matched funding from local government contributions.
The activity will provide small infrastructure funding grants of up to $100,000 GST Exclusive (total $5 million GST Exclusive) to local governments (or ‘service providers’) for improvements to community infrastructure, including new construction, major renovations or refurbishment of assets.
Each local government which is successful in gaining a funding agreement will:
- Match the FaHCSIA funding amount via a local government contribution towards the intended project;
- Commence all improvements within 6 months, and complete them within 12 months of signing the funding agreement;
- Improve accessibility to public buildings and spaces for people with disability (as approved via funding agreement);
- Report on outcomes of the project to FaHCSIA.
2.1 Aims and objectives
The activity aims to contribute to meeting the principles and core outcomes of the National Disability Strategy, namely, that better accessibility to public buildings and spaces will increase opportunities for people with disability to achieve social inclusion, enjoy choice, wellbeing and an increased opportunity to live as independently as possible.
2.2 Participants/clients/recipients/target group
The target group for the activity are people of all ages with any type of disability for which issues of accessibility apply. Disability refers to all kinds of impairment from birth or acquired through illness, accident or the ageing process. It includes cognitive impairment as well as physical, sensory and psycho-social disability.
2.3 Applicant eligibility
Applications will only be accepted from local government areas, or consortia comprised of multiple local government areas. In a consortium, one local government area must act as the lead agency.
For the purposes of Accessible Communities initiative, local government is defined as:
- An authority created by state/territory law to provide municipal services to a defined area; or
- A democratically-elected body which oversees provision of equivalent services to an area which is not geographically part of another local government area, and which does not receive the services from another source (i.e. the relevant state/territory government).
The following eligibility criteria apply to applicants for Accessible Communities initiative:
- The organisation must be a local government area;
- The organisation’s legal status must be consistent with the list provided in the program guidelines; and
- The project particulars must be satisfied (i.e. budget and timeframes limitations as detailed in section 3.2 of this Part of the program guidelines).
2.4 Funding for the activity
Funding of up to $100,000 GST Exclusive is available to local governments (the ACT Government is considered to be a local government entity for the purposes of this initiative), which must match the level of funding provided by FaHCSIA, to make buildings and public spaces accessible for people with disabilities (for example: playgrounds, swimming pools, public toilets).
The total amount of funding available for the activity is $5 million GST Exclusive in 2010-11.
2.5 Eligible and in-eligible activities
Eligible projects will focus on activities that aim for better community access by people with disability, including improvements to community infrastructure, new construction, major renovations or refurbishment of assets such as:
- Social and cultural infrastructure (e.g. art spaces, gardens, public spaces, public toilets);
- Recreational facilities (e.g. swimming pools, sporting arenas);
- Children, youth and senior facilities (e.g. playgroup centres, senior citizen centres);
- Access facilities (e.g. footpaths, bridges, ramps);
- Playground facilities (e.g. ramps, accessible public toilets, accessible equipment);
- Installation or upgrades to disability equipment that allows for participation in activities that would otherwise preclude people with disability, particularly children and young people (e.g. swimming pool hoists).
Funding cannot be used for:
- Projects which support council operations (e.g. upgrade to council offices);
- Projects which provide direct benefit to private businesses, other than those which provide a direct community service;
- Information Technology and Communications hardware or software;
- Ongoing costs (e.g. operational costs (including staffing), and ongoing maintenance);
- Roads or related infrastructure covered by the Roads to Recovery or Black Spot Programs;
- Non-fixed infrastructure that is not part of a building structure (e.g. above ground irrigation systems);
- Project management costs.
Notwithstanding Part B of the Program Guidelines, each applicant/consortium is permitted to submit up to two applications. Applicants are also permitted to apply for funding for a project with several components, e.g. a local swimming pool may require a hoist, a ramp and an accessible toilet. The funding applied for may be used for the project as a whole or for a specific component of a larger project. The amount contributed by the applicant may exceed the Commonwealth funding.
The Department has the discretion to award funding to components of a proposal.
2.6 Activity links and working with other agencies and services
The local government will be required to consult with local disability groups.
2.7 Specialist requirements (e.g. Legislative requirements)
The local government must comply with:
- Principles and Objectives of the Disability Services Act 1986 (Cth) in performing obligations outlined in the Funding Agreement;
- The Building Code of Australia and referenced Australian Standards applicable to the particular work such as:
- Australian Standard: Design for Access and Mobility – general requirements for access – new building work 1428.1 (Edition 2009);
- Australian Standard: Adaptable Housing Standard 4299 (Edition 1995)
- The Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) in performing obligations outlined in the Funding Agreement;
- The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) in performing obligations outlined in the Funding Agreement;
- United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
2.8 Information technology
Local governments are expected to have systems in place to allow them to meet their data collection and reporting obligations.
2.9 Activity performance and reporting
Performance indicators will focus on the following three questions:
1. Overall activity: how much is being done?
- The number of works completed
- The total cost of the works undertaken
- Locations of projects
- Types of projects
2. How well is it being done?
- The work was completed before or within the required timeframe (by end June 2012)
- The work was conducted in full compliance with all required legislation, regulations, codes and standards applicable to accessibility, building, safety requirements in the relevant state or territory jurisdiction
- The work was completed in full and fit for purpose
3. Is it achieving what was expected?
- The completed work was promoted to the community in ways that heightened awareness about the new access
- The completed work made access better for people with disability in the local community
The local government will report on:
- How they have met the objectives and performance indicators of the funding agreement (a template is provided with the Funding Agreement)
- Include copies of the applications/specifications/drawings/diagrams/process maps and any other written approvals for the specified works
- Comment on future works that could be done in the community to make it more accessible for people with disability
An evaluation of the activity will be conducted as follows:
- Commence in March 2012
- Be completed prior to August 2012
- Give consideration to each of the performance indicators
- Identify recommendations for future planning in relation to making communities more accessible, based on outcomes of the activity
- Feedback will be provided to each funded local government on the outcomes of the evaluation.
Evaluation questions may include:
- How well was consultation with disability groups conducted and decision made about appropriate projects?
- What works, in what circumstances for which clients/communities?
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3 Application Process
3.1 Overview of the Application Process
The process will be an open competitive selection process assessed by panels comprising two people. Open Competitive selection processes are open to all providers operating in the market place. Open processes are advertised through the media, the FAHCSIA Internet site and other sources in order to attract as much interest as possible.
Panel members will add their final ratings for each selection criterion to obtain a total score out of 10. Applications that have a combined score of 3 or less (out of the possible score of 10) for any selection criterion will not be considered suitable for selection.
Notwithstanding Part A of the Program Guidelines, the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs has overall responsibility for the Program. The final decision about locations, sites and proposals (for most activities) will be made by the Minister or the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers on advice provided by FaHCSIA.
3.2 Applicant and project eligibility summary
Applicants and proposed projects must satisfy the following conditions to be eligible:
- All applicants, whether applying individually or as part of a consortium, must be Local Government Areas (see 2.3);
- The funding amount sought from the Commonwealth must not exceed $100,000; Applicants may apply for any amount equal to, or less than, $100,000;
- Successful applicants must match the amount funded by the Commonwealth. Successful applicants may contribute any amount equal to, or greater than, the Commonwealth amount; and
- Successful applicants must commence work within six months of signing a funding agreement (by 31 December 2011). Work must be completed by 30 June 2012.
In order to ensure a wide distribution of successful applications across each state and territory, the Department may also consider the geographical location of applications in determining whether to provide funding for a project.
3.3 Selection Criteria
A limit of 2000 characters will be used for each selection criterion. The application form will not allow more than 2000 characters to be entered in any criterion. Some attachments are required as per the detail set out in the application form under selection criteria. Attachments other than those required will not be considered as part of the application.
The selection criteria are:
1 Description of your proposed project and how this will be made operational to achieve outcomes for the Accessible Communities target group within your proposed budget.
Service addresses need
2 Demonstrated need for the specific project in the local community for the target group and how the project will achieve the intended outcomes for the Accessible Communities target group.
3 Demonstrated experience in developing, delivering, managing and monitoring effective projects as evidence of the organisation’s ability to achieve positive outcomes for the Accessible Communities target group.
4 Demonstrated ability of your organisation to manage projects to a high standard and to achieve quality outcomes for the Accessible Communities target group.
5 Demonstrated commitment to the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Applicants should note that further detail on the information sought for each selection criterion is set out in the application form.
3.4 Financial viability checks
Notwithstanding anything in Part A: Services for People with Disability Program Guidelines, or Part B: Information for Applicants, the Department will not conduct financial viability checks of applicants.
3.5 How to submit an application
To apply for selection under this process, applicants will need to complete the application form and respond to selection criteria as detailed at above. Applications must be received by the closing date and time as detailed at 3.6. Each applicant/consortium is permitted to submit two applications (for more information see 2.5).
3.6 Questions and Answers during the Application period
The Department will only individually respond to requests for information that seek clarification of issues to allow them to better understand the requirements of the Application Form and Program Guidelines.
Answers to all questions will be made available to all potential applicants through the web address specified in the online Application Form. Commercial-in-confidence matters will be taken into account and responded to appropriately.
Applicants should regularly check for new questions and answers posted on the web address specified in the online Application Form.
3.7 Questions after the application period
The Department will not accept or respond to any applicant’s requests for information or correspondence about the status or progress of their application during the assessment phase.
3.8 Closing date and time
The notice for applications will be posted on 24 January 2011. Applications will close 25 March 2011 at 2pm AEDST.
The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs’ (FaHCSIA’s) Accessible Communities initiative is currently open for applications. Applications for funding were due to close at 2.00pm AEDST Friday 25 February 2011.
In response to the communities affected by recent disasters and extreme weather events which have impacted on the ability of these local governments to develop and lodge an application, FaHCSIA has been asked to consider extending the closing date for Accessible Communities applications.
To ensure that the process is fair and equitable the extension will be offered to all applicants. Therefore the application period will now be extended to 2.00pm AEDST Friday 25 March 2011. Local governments that have already completed an application will be given the opportunity to resubmit by the closing date at 2.00pm AEDST Friday 25 March 2011.
In order to be considered the applications must be received by FAHCSIA within the application period.
3.9 Application Acknowledgement
Unless prior agreement has been reached with FaHCSIA an application will not be considered lodged until it is received by FaHCSIA. The applicant will receive email notification from FaHCSIA within 24 hours of an application being lodged correctly. If the applicant has not received notification in this timeframe, the applicant should contact FaHCSIA to confirm that the form has been lodged correctly.
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4 Special Conditions applying to this Activity
There are no special conditions applicable to this activity.
5 Contact information
Disability and Carers Programs Branch
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
DE2.20 Tuggeranong Office Park
PO Box 7576,
Canberra Business Centre ACT 2600