During a weekend of thrill packed excitement I had the opportunity to review the Australians government(s) National Disability Strategy: http://www.coag.gov.au/coag_meeting_outcomes/2011-02-13/docs/national_disability_strategy_2010-2020.pdf. (sorry, cut and paste)
It’s fabby!! Here are words of genuine commitment to include people with disability, improve their economic outlook and improve the situation of the hundreds of thousands of carers.
Congratulations on a great work – achieving agreement, never an easy task, has occurred across a range of services offered to people with disability and each appears a well intentioned attempt to maximise the choices available to the more than 720,000 people in receipt of the Disability Support Pension.
Which is why the present government’s attachment to the procurement process for employment services stands out in such bizarre contrast: Who thought of this? Why are they still employed?
Better deal with the ‘self interest’ response first -: read the following through and think before simply dismissing as industry bleating.
Employment services are purchased on a tri-annual basis – service providers are not guaranteed any given number of job seekers, its down to them to procure clients plus any referred through Centrelink. Payment is them mostly on the basis of outcomes and the majority of service providers are presently doing very nicely thank you with long term post placement support significantly over funded (I know others won’t agree with me).
It is proposed that 1. The present contract be extended for 8 months to allow services to prepare and 2 Following a Star Ratings review programs with 3 or less ‘Stars’ will be put up renewal in a best bid wins lottery.
I have already spoken in relation to the logic of these moves in recent posts to this blog.
The National Disability Strategy seeks to give people with disability choice, opportunity and improved conditions. In relation to improved employment services the present proposals offer none of these.
There’s no provision for improved choice rather a reduction clearly designed to reduce the program administration carried out through the funding body (DEEWR). The administrative load is caused by excessive micro-management of non core business roles.
Set job seekers free to choose who they want to represent them in the employment marketplace. Pay only for results, allow non-performers to sink and those organisations that get results to operate where and how they will in the existing framework of ‘Quality Assured’ status and annual financial audit.
That would save NOVA hundreds of thousands of dollars in program administration. It would save the industry millions of dollars and the Australian taxpayer would benefit not only from reduced program costs but more people placed into employment.
End the procurement process nonsense now. Allow anyone that wants to offer employment programs subject to the conditions above and reward for results only. Let people with disabilities decide who represents them and implement more than the rhetoric of the National Disability Strategy.
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