ACT Council of Social Service Inc.

Justice | Equity | Social Inclusion | Reconciliation

Media relese: ACT Government must allow community services flexibility in responding to COVID-19 crisis

24 March 2020

The ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) is calling upon the ACT Government to reduce the administrative burden on community service providers as they respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

The Chief Executive Officer of ACTCOSS, Dr Emma Campbell, said: “It is really important that community service providers continue to be funded and supported so they can focus on providing the critical supports that the community requires now.

“ACTCOSS is calling on ACT Government to create maximum flexibility on contract requirements for government-funded community organisations to enable responsiveness to changing community needs and crisis.”

ACTCOSS is calling all ACT Government Directorates to:

  • Delay or relax reporting obligations
  • Suspend KPIs and outcomes to allow for adaption to new conditions
  • Remove penalties for non-compliance with contracts arising from the COVID-19 emergency
  • Allow flexibility in how funds are used to support our community safely during COVID-19
  • Freeze government reform and new tendering processes.

“We have seen piecemeal support from individual Directorates. We are keen to see this support applied across all ACT Government Directorates, including health and justice, who contract not-for-profit community service organisations.

“The community sector is critical in the response to the COVID-19 crisis.

“The Federal and ACT Governments must also ensure that key community sector personnel who are providing close personal care have access to personal protection equipment (PPE) to protect both staff and service users.

“In the next ACT stimulus package, financial support must also be extended beyond businesses to include not-for-profit community service providers so they can continue operations during the crisis and through to a future recovery phase,” Dr Campbell said.

ACTCOSS advocates for social justice in the ACT and represents not-for-profit community organisations.

For more information or comment, please contact
Dr Emma Campbell, CEO, ACTCOSS, on 0424 910 617 or 02 6202 7200.