SA Health commissioned Destravis to develop a framework to improve the decision-making and management of grants to the non-government (NGO) sector. SA Health disburses over $100M per annum to the NGO sector for a range of services which range from untied grants to outsourcing and service delivery.
In South Australia, the NGO is a dispersed but maturing sector with a capacity to be key partners in the joint delivery of health services. The establishment of Local Health Networks (LHN) presents an opportunity to increase clarity around both the rationale and processes for the provision of grants to the NGO sector across the health system. As well, the implementation of the Procurement Supply Chain Management (PSCM) database establishes a central repository for all grant contracts from both SA Health and the LHNs and will ensure a more systematic approach to the procurement and management of grants contracts.
Destravis was commissioned to develop a draft framework to include:
–Clear definition of a general grant and a grant for specific clinical services
–A process for SA Health to establish reasonable budgets for general grants
–A process for setting priorities against which proposals for general and specific grants can be assessed
–A process for the awarding of grants
–A process that defines deliverables and quantifiable assessment methods
–A process that ensures ongoing monitoring of the grants awarded against the expected outcomes
–A process for disinvestment from those grants for purposes that are no longer consistent with the strategic priorities for SA Health.
The report made a number of recommendations for reconceptualising and streamlining systems to manage grants for the NGO sector. To operationalise these finding, existing policies and frameworks were updated to guide officials in managing grants for NGOs.