Government/non-government relations: the impact of Department of Family and Community Services contractual reporting and accountability requirements

Educational evaluation Community organization Families Australia

The past decade has seen profound cultural and policy change in relations between the government and non-government sectors. Influences such as new managerialism have reshaped traditional relations between these sectors as well as ushering in a mixed market in welfare services. Within Australia and internationally there has been considerable interest and some anxiety about what the changing nature of government/non-government relations might mean. The early sections of this report trace the evolution of government and non-government relations before identifying four current models or visions for re-shaping these relationships and redrawing the boundaries. These models are: social coalition; compacts; capacity-building; and contracting. Following this broad discussion, the remainder of the report focuses on how contracting, the current dominant model, is shaping government/non-government relations. Of particular interest is the impact of reporting and accountability requirements on government/non-government relations, contracted agencies and departmental operations. This research was commissioned by the Department of Family and Community Services and only the experience of organisations contracted by the FaCS are explored in the study.

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