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Bennett: Contracting Overhaul For Social Services Sector

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Government is radically reshaping how it contracts services to social sector groups, says the Minister for Social Development and Employment Paula Bennett.

Beginning with a trial, the new High Trust Model will create a new and simpler way of funding and contracting.

"I believe these providers will be able to do more with the money we give them if we simply let them get on with the great work they do in supporting Kiwi families," Paula Bennett says.

"I've heard horror stories about providers with multiple contracts which have had to go through a ridiculous number of audits each year - all while continuing to deliver a trusted service. In many cases they are burdened with days and days of admin for contracts with just one agency - imagine how hard it is for those groups trying to work with multiple agencies. It's a wonder they have any time to help families!

"These providers are best placed to know what works in their communities, so I want to give them the freedom to concentrate on that. Government and the sector are working toward the same goal - better outcomes for families - and we need to look at how we work smarter together to do that.

"I've always said to the sector that we would back what works. Under this new contracting model - which I believe could be extended well beyond this trial - we will combine multiple contracts into a single, simple contract.

"We will also simplify their reporting requirements, so it's more effective and results-based.

"I see this as a major win for the sector and for the New Zealand taxpayer. By changing how we contract services, we're giving providers greater flexibility to support Kiwi families while at the same time delivering value for money for the taxpayer," Paula Bennett says.

The Minister of Community and Voluntary Sector, Tariana Turia, has welcomed efforts to cut down unnecessary bureaucracy.

"This gives me confidence that other government agencies can have a more integrated approach whereby the real focus is on outcomes for families and communities."

The new High Trust model will initially be trialled with two providers; Waipuna Youth and Community Trust in Christchurch and Ngati Awa Social Services in Whakatane. The Ministry aims to have 20 providers involved by mid-2010.

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