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New Service Agreement signed.

After extensive negotiations between the community sector and the Victorian Government, a revised Service Agreement has now been finalised.  This new agreement will take effect from 1 January 2020, and expire on 30 June 2024.

Here's what you need to know...
 

What is the Service Agreement?

The Service Agreement is the key contract which details the rights and responsibilities of both the Victorian Government and community service organisations that receive state funding. The agreement expires and is renegotiated every four years.


How did the new agreement come about?

The Service Agreement Working Group (a HSHPIC endorsed group that drives the detailed negotiations) met throughout the duration of the agreement to:
  • Consult and review the Service Agreement terms and conditions,
  • Discuss the effective operation of the Service Agreement,
  • Assist funded organisations to understand the Service Agreement.
Over 2019, this group has driven the detailed negotiations which have now ended.

As part of this process VCOSS convened a series of consultation sessions with community sector organisations across Melbourne and regional Victoria.

I’m thankful to all those who participated in this group, and would like to particularly acknowledge the contribution of Justice Connect which provided invaluable pro bono legal advice and support.

With the sector's input and assistance, our negotiators were able to communicate to government officials the real-world, negative impacts that would come from additional compliance obligations.


What are the key changes?
  1. Formal acknowledgment of the independence of funded organisations.
  2. Support for embedding Aboriginal self-determination in our work.
  3. Clearer guidelines on what we must do if a data breach occurs within our organisation.
  4. Limiting the circumstances under which the government can recoup unspent funds.
  5. More notice when policies are being changed, or new policies are being introduced.
  6. Some limits on what records the government can access.
On 1 January 2020, DHHS will post the full text of the Service Agreement and some related documents on the Funded Agency Channel Service Agreement Module. 


What’s next?

You are not required to do anything at this stage.

We encourage you to familiarise yourself with the Agreement when it is posted in January.

The Service Agreement Working Group will continue to meet regularly over the coming years to discuss the operation of the Service Agreement.

If there are particular issues you would like to bring to the attention of HSHPIC or the SAWG please contact the HSHPIC Secretariat.

We will endevour to keep you up to date with key developments.

Best wishes,
Emma King
VCOSS CEO
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