Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4085 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

publish the results of the mapping exercise, then the rationale and the criteria used to make those decisions should also be published.

Another throwaway line was "value-for-money matrix". I have not met one yet, but I am prepared to learn. I think that community service organisations who are going to be submitted to evaluation by a value-for-money matrix model might also benefit from some expansion upon what is meant by that term.

There were questions about the accountability of organisations in terms of "the one size fits all" mentality. The system is still embryonic - we understand that - but we need to be a bit more selective and, for small grants, reduce the accountability processes if we can. Quite obviously, it is not a case of one size fits all in terms of the accountability and the responses and the reports that go in. Equally, if organisations are required to submit reports and statistics, then some feedback should also flow. In the past I have submitted many reports and statistical reports that have just been filed. Someone always followed up on whether they were received or not, but no qualitative judgment seemed to be applied to them.

I close with a plea to read the recommendations and beyond them. In the genuine application of purchaser-provider, the Government and the departments have moved very slowly, and a couple of organisations seem to have suffered as a result of the tender process. They seem to have been singled out for reasons that do not necessarily fit within the framework of purchaser-provider. The contestability of programs in the community sector has been applied to very few. At the same time there is genuine fear and disquiet amongst the community sector. Whether the fear of contestability is logically based or is just imagination on the part of the community organisations is immaterial, because perceptions do become reality.

The odd organisation is coming in from outside with more of a private sector approach. We know of one that operates out of someone's house but nevertheless runs a reasonably sized program on a quite different basis, with less management and only face-to-face service involved. Because of that there is a genuine concern that it is the responsibility of government and this Assembly to address and to analyse. If it is misplaced concern, then we need to rationalise it in the open and assure those organisations that there is not going to be rampant contestability; that there is not going to be the swapping of programs from one organisation to another.

The report refers to another element in passing, but I recommend that members look at that section. It relates to the government-provided disability services versus the non-government-provided utility services. Already, by sheer coincidence, there has been quite strident criticism of that process in the last couple of weeks. Certainly criticism has come out independently of this report, but it follows a pretty similar theme to what we heard in the inquiry. When I was doing my homework and reading through strategic plans, I was able to look at figures and say, "These figures look odd". There are a few inconsistent figures in the disability services strategic plan which I think government should also address.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .