National Homelessness Research Partnership Agreements Application Guidelines
Table of contents
- Closing Date
- Questions and Answers
- Section1 - Overview National Homelessness Research partnership agreements
- 1 Introduction
- Section 3 - Terms and Conditions of Application
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National Relay Service (NRS)
If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can use the NRS to contact any of the Department's listed phone numbers. To access a 1800 DSS number NRS users should phone 1800 555 677 or visit the NRS Website.
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Section 2 - Selection Process
All applicants are required to submit an application in the form of the Application Form and include all information requested on the form. A separate application form is required fro each proposal.
Following the application Closing Date, the Department will conduct an assessment of all applications.
To enable a comprehensive and accurate assessment of applications against the Selection Criteria, applicants must provide the information required in the format, and to the extent specified in the Application Guidelines and Application Form.
The Department of Social Services (DSS) will assess applicants for funding primarily on the basis of the information provided in the Application Form. DSS may use information about an applicant that is, or becomes known to DSS in the course of DSS's business, as well as any publicly available information.
Decisions on the parameters and methodology for assessment of applications will be final.
The overriding principle guiding the Selection Process is value in social service delivery (see Section 4 Glossary) to the Australian Government. The funding principles outlined in the National Homelessness Research Agenda 2009-2013 will also guide the Selection Processes.
The process will be an open competitive selection process.
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Stage 2 - Assessment of applications against selection criteria
Assessment Teams will assess applications primarily on the information provided in the Application Form and will consider the applicant's response to each Selection Criterion against a 6-point (0 to 5) scale (see Table below). During this process nominated referees may be contacted to support claims against the Selection Criteria.
DSS may use information about an applicant that is, or becomes known to DSS in the course of DSS's business, as well as any publicly available information.
Table 1: Six-point rating scale for selection criteria Rating Score Excellent quality -excellent claims against the criterion, exceeds expectations, supporting information confirms consistent superior performance 5 Very good quality -very good claims against the criterion, meets all expectations to a high standard with complete and comprehensive supporting information 4 Good quality -good claims against the criterion, meets all expectations with convincing supporting information 3 Satisfactory quality -adequate claims against the criterion, mostly meets expectations, but may be lacking detail and/or supporting information 2 Marginal or poor quality -poor claims against the criterion, does not meet expectations, has deficient supporting information 1 Does not meet criterion at all 0
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Stage 5 - Entering into Funding Agreements
Successful applicants are then invited to enter into Funding Agreements with the Department. The Funding Agreement will contain the entire agreement between the parties. There is no binding agreement on any parties until the Funding Agreement is agreed to and signed by the Delegate and the applicant's Authorised Representative.
The Funding Agreement is the legal agreement between the Department and the service provider over the funding period. In managing funding provided, the service provider must comply with all the requirements of the Funding Agreement.
Funded service providers are responsible for ensuring that:
- the terms and conditions of the Funding Agreement are met;
- service provision is effective, efficient, and appropriately targeted;
- highest standards of duty of care are applied; and
- services are operated in line with, and comply with the requirements as set out within all State and Territory and Commonwealth legislation and regulations.
Unsuccessful applicants will be offered feedback on their application.
Any or none of the applications under this selection process may be accepted.
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3.3 Checks of Applicants
As a part of the Selection Process, the Department may undertake further checks of applicants. The Department may also conduct checks for non-disclosure of any relevant information.
In addition, any debts that the applicant has accrued to the Department or other Australian Government agencies may be taken into account when making a decision to offer funding.
The Department reserves the right to use information from:
- the Department's databases;
- other Australian Government agencies, such as the Australian Taxation Office and Australian Securities and Investments Commission;
- State or Territory agencies;
- law enforcement agencies;
- credit reference agencies;
- courts or tribunals; or
- any other appropriate organisation or person reasonably required as part of these checks.
Information obtained from checks on applicants described in this section, may be taken into account during the assessment of applications or in making the final decision to offer funding.
3.4 Applicant's Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their application is complete and accurate.
Make sure you keep a copy of your application and any supporting papers, either electronically or in hard copy, for your own records.
3.5 Liability Issues
The Department is not liable to the applicant in relation to the Selection Process, including without limitation, when the Department:
- varies or terminates all or any part of the Selection Process or any negotiations with the Applicant;
- decides not to acquire any or all of the services sought through the Selection Process;
- varies the Selection Process; or
- exercises or fails to exercise any of its other rights under, or in relation to the Application Guidelines.
Department's Fraud Control Policy Statement which also underpins their respective fraud and risk minimisation responsibilities when dealing with the department. One key responsibility is to report all suspected fraud to the relevant contact officer and Fraud Control Manager within DSS.
3.9 Personal Information
Any personal information you provide is protected under the Privacy Act 1988. The department will not use any personal information for any other purposes unless required by law or you provide your consent to do so. The department will not disclose any personal information to any other organisation or to any individual unless required by law or you provide your consent to do so.
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Means information in the Application Form that the applicant clearly identifies as confidential and is not information that is:
a) in the public domain; or
b) already known to the Department other than through an obligation of confidence.
DSS will only contract with individual providers. Applicants may determine that efficient or effective service delivery is best achieved through the use of a network of providers through a sub-contracting arrangement. This can be recorded in responses to the Selection Criteria. A successful provider who utilizes an authorised sub-contracting arrangement will be held liable for all obligations contained in the terms and conditions of the Funding Agreement. This includes monitoring, management, financial performance, service outcomes, and specifically insurance coverage.
The Minister or his/her delegate will approve all projects and successful applicants, with reference to a report on the Selection Process outcomes provided by the Department.
Means the Australian Government Department of Social Services.
The Funding Agreement is the agreement that is signed by the Departmental Delegate and the Applicant's Authorised Representative. The Department's standard Funding Agreements are performance based, legally enforceable agreements between the Commonwealth and the funding recipients that set out the terms and conditions governing the funding. Funding Agreements are used where the Department is providing funding to another party to deliver services or undertake certain activities, on behalf of the Department, to the community.
Means the Selection Criteria for assessing applications as outlined in the National Homelessness Research Partnership Agreements Application Guidelines
Means the process for the selection of funding recipients outlined in the Application Guidelines and the Application Form.
The Selection Process will result in a short list of preferred applicants. The short list will be forwarded to the Decision Maker for their consideration. Successful applicants will be advised of their success or otherwise. The decision by the Department regarding successful applicants is final.
Value in Social Services Delivery
Value in Social Services Delivery is the optimum combination of quality and cost with minimal risk to the Australian Government. The Department seeks best Value in Social Service Delivery. Best value does not mean monetary value alone or lowest cost. A funding proposal that represents best value for the program will:
- meet the objectives of the department - such as strong and resilient communities;
- meet the aims of the program;
- meet community requirements; and
- be delivered in an efficient and effective way.