LONGER TERM & SIMPLER CONTRACTS PROMISED FOR COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS IN RESPONSE TO SURVEYAssociate Minister of Social Services, Work and Income (Work and Income)
The Associate Minister of Social Welfare Nick Smith today released the results of a survey of community organisations, which indicates where the New Zealand Community Funding Agency is doing well and where it needs to lift its act.
"I had a very clear message from community organisations that they need more certainty of their funding from one year to another. Nearly 90 percent of organisations have a contract for one year. This simply means they can't plan for the future and they spend a considerable amount of their time bidding for funding. It is my intention to increase the number of contracts that are negotiated for longer than one year. A target of 50% of multi-year contracts has been set for the new year and this will be further extended the following year" said Mr Smith.
Another major issue identified in the survey was the amount of paperwork and compliance costs incurred by organisations who are applying for a relatively small amount of funding.
"A new system of contracting will be piloted which will enable smaller community providers to receive their funding without the hassle of a bureaucratic and detailed contract. This will significantly reduce the compliance costs for these organisations and free them up to spend more time helping those people in need."
The Associate Minister said he would ask the New Zealand Community Funding Agency to reassess the way in which funding is allocated in different parts of the country.
"I was impressed with the very high level of response from community organisations and the time and energy that went into providing good quality information. The results of this survey are a valuable tool for improving and enhancing how best we can meet the needs of people we are trying to support."
A copy of the survey results follow this news release
NEW ZEALAND COMMUNITY FUNDING AGENCY
COMMUNITY PROVIDER SURVEY 1998
In March 1998 Hon Dr Nick Smith, Associate Minister of Social Welfare, initiated a questionnaire survey of organisations funded by the New Zealand Community Funding Agency (NZCFA) to elicit feedback on the Agency ?s processes and performance. Survey forms along with a covering letter were sent to 1304 Service providers for completion. 743 responded representing a broad range of family support, community welfare and disability support services. Many respondents provided additional comment to the standard questions.
Overall the survey showed a very high level of confidence and support for the New Zealand Community Funding Agency. The Families in Need sector are most satisfied, followed closely by Community Welfare sector, the Disability Services Sector were the least supportive of the work of NZCFA. There are areas where the Agency needs to lift its performance. Many providers wanted more contact or better responsiveness from their outreach workers but a number of positive comments were also made such as:
"Delighted with the fieldworker support. They make the service."
The survey has provided Government with the collective opinions from a high proportion of the service providers who contract with NZCFA to provide services which support Government?s social and community welfare aims. It has given an indication of what is working well for the not-for-profit sector and, more importantly, where improvements can be made. The areas where improvements for the 1998/99 financial year can be instituted are in reducing compliance costs and increasing multi-year contracts.