Community Services Bulletin

This is Community Services Procurement Policy Bulletin – October Edition.

General Manager: Lara Connor

October marks the start of the Noongar Season Kambarang with the return of warm weather and the arrival of native wildflowers blooming. Our Social Procurement Team is also thriving with their work delivering the Aboriginal Procurement Policy providing increased opportunities for Aboriginal Businesses. You can read about our success in this area in the recently released Aboriginal Procurement Policy 2021-22 Performance Report or more information can be found in the media statement.

We are also working hard on the implementation plan for the State Commissioning Strategy for Community Services and are currently engaging with executive and senior leadership teams within government agencies to raise awareness of the system change needed for effective commissioning.

On a personal note, I have recently returned from a rewarding and enlightening six weeks with the South West Aboriginal Medical Service participating in the Jawun program. The Jawun program pairs skilled people from Australia’s leading companies and government agencies with Aboriginal organisations to support place-based capacity building. You can read more about my experience below.

Until next time.

Training Modules

Government agency representatives and not-for-profit service providers looking to improve their understanding of community service procurement processes, can now access online training modules that can be completed anytime.

Introduction to purchasing community services training – for government agency representatives working in the community services space.

Supplying community services for government training – for not-for-profit service providers who are tendering for community services.

If you have further questions or need help, please contact the CSPP team.

Outcomes Based Tendering

A Community Services Request for Tender document typically contains community and service level outcomes, developed by government in consultation with key stakeholders including the community services sector. While we often refer to community services procurement as being outcomes based, it’s important to differentiate between types of outcomes and to understand who is responsible for achieving these outcomes.

Community outcomes:

  • are long term, often taking much longer than the term of a service agreement to achieve
  • are population based, meaning they reflect the experiences of a wider group than the target cohort of a service agreement
  • are contributed to by multiple service providers delivering a range of services across the community
  • an be influenced by factors outside of the government or service provider’s control, e.g. economic factors

Service level outcomes:

  • are achievable within the term of a service agreement
  • are limited to the target cohort of that service
  • contribute to the achievement of the community outcomes

While effective community services may help to achieve community outcomes, service providers are only responsible for achieving service level outcomes through their delivery of services (outputs or deliverables) under a service agreement.

Please contact the CSPP team if you need assistance with developing outcomes for community services.

100 Families WA

The 100 Families WA project is an excellent online resource for government agencies and community service providers looking to improve their social support systems through codesign.

By working alongside families experiencing entrenched disadvantage over a two-and-a-half-year period, 100 Families WA has created a fully downloadable evidence base, presented in a variety of formats.

By using this strong evidence base and supporting resources, government agencies and community service providers will be better equipped to respond to the needs of those being impacted by their work.

The self-managed e-learning can be completed in full or in part to fit your agency or organisational needs.

Preferred Service Provider

While extending an existing service agreement by a preferred service provider variation is an efficient and useful option to have, government agencies must take care to ensure that service providers are able to negotiate updates to service agreements as part of this process.

Service providers need to have an opportunity to update pricing, their service model, reporting and key performance indicators, as well as any other relevant details of their service agreement, before agreeing to a variation to extend the term of the agreement. This enables service agreements to undergo continuous improvement, and pricing to remain sustainable.

For further information please contact the CSPP team.

Jawun Secondment

South West Aboriginal Medical Service on Wardandi Boodja: Lara Connor shares her experience.

Jawun means ‘friend’ in the Kuku Yalanji language of Cape York, Queensland, the language of Noel Pearson one of the founders of the Jawun Program that I recently had the honour of attending for six weeks in Bunbury.

The program started with meeting with the Noongar Boodjar Language Cultural Aboriginal Corporation and the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council and visiting Kaarta Koomba (Kings Park).

We then spent some time at Roelands Village and learnt about how the small, dedicated team there are focused on turning the ex-mission into a place of healing. We were fortunate to yarn with a number of Aboriginal people who shared their own personal experiences of life at Roelands when it was a mission.

I was then placed with the South West Aboriginal Medical Service (SWAMS) on Wardandi Boodjar (Bunbury country), supporting their team with procurement activities, drafting an implementation plan and service level agreement, and providing advice on a business case.

The other attendees and I were also invited to participate in various community events and cultural competency building activities organised by SWAMS and I am very grateful to SWAMS who were incredibly welcoming; to Jawun; to the people I met throughout the program and for the valuable perspectives I can share with the people around me from both a work and personal angle.

I would like to thank all the people who were willing to share their stories, often of their own challenges and hardship but also of achievement and amazing strength in adversity.

Thank you to Finance for supporting me to fully step out of my role and undertake this wonderful opportunity. I am privileged to be the first person in Finance to participate in the Jawun journey.