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Funding Deed and Program Level Agreement

Current contractual arrangements for most funded service providers are outlined in the Funding Deed and the Program Level Agreement (PLA).

Human Services Agreement

The HSA is now the standard contract for NSW Government agencies procuring human services from the funded services sector. HSAs will be used for existing contracts which are being recontracted and for new contracts.

The use of a standard HSA contract makes it easier for the funded services sector to do business with government by streamlining contracting arrangements and promoting consistency across the NSW Government. It supports our commissioning practices.

About 1400 human services contracts  will expire on or before 30 June 2020. This will involve the department and the sector in procurement, contracting and performance processes.

More information and support

You can find about more about the HSA by reading the HSA Standard Terms and Schedule and the Justice Connect Guide to the Human Services Agreement.

For further information, email PAFA.Procurement&

Frequently asked questions

What is the NSW Human Services Agreement (HSA)?

The HSA is a standard contract used when a NSW Government agency procures human services from a non-government organisation (NGO). It is designed to balance the need for one human services agreement with the flexibility required to meet the needs of the diverse NGO sector.

All new funded human services contracts with us will be HSAs.

The HSA consists of two documents that must be read in conjunction:

  1. the Agreement for Funding of Services Standard Terms
  2. the Agreement for Funding of Services Schedule.

Why has the NSW Government developed a standardised Human Services Agreement?

The HSA has been developed in recognition that both government and NGOs have a shared interest in ensuring services improve outcomes for the people of NSW.

The HSA is designed to:

  • make it easier for NGOs to do business with NSW Government agencies by streamlining contracting arrangements
  • promote consistency across the NSW Government
  • be simple, user friendly and fit for purpose
  • reflect the partnership needed by NGOs and agencies to deliver better human services outcomes.

What are the key changes?

We must use the HSA documents for all human services contracts (with a few exemptions only).

  1. The Agreement for Funding of Services Standard Terms replaces the Funding Deed.
  2. The Agreement for Funding of Services Schedule replaces the Program Level Agreement (PLA).

We've modified the Schedule to meet our department's requirements. This version includes a number of supplementary conditions that will ensure our unique set of existing contract requirements is met by the new template.

These are primarily detailed in the Supplementary Conditions of the Schedule and cover:

  • the Program Guidelines
  • accounts and records
  • funds and assets
  • privacy
  • reporting, data sharing and data collection
  • research and evaluation
  • extensions and termination
  • reasonable access to services
  • audits.

Are there any exemptions to adopting the HSA?

Yes. The following exemptions apply:

  • funding arrangements that are transitioning to the National Disability Insurance Scheme
  • asset-based contracts or contracts with a significant asset-based component, such as housing, fleet and ICT
  • social impact investment transactions, such as social benefit bonds
  • leases, licenses or other similar legal documents
  • consultancy agreements (with some exception)
  • pre-qualification contracts.

The HSA does not apply to grant programs that provide one-off funding to support community events or initiatives. This includes small amounts of grant funding  provided to large numbers of individual community groups or organisations and typically administered through SmartyGrants.

When do the changes take effect?

We (and all NSW Government agencies) began using the HSA from 1 August 2017.

Some program areas have already issued contracts using the HSA. For the large number of contracts expiring on or before 30 June 2020, the HSA will be used to issue new contracts commencing on 1 July 2020.

What are the benefits of using the HSA?

The HSA will make it easier and simpler to do business with NSW Government. Standard terms are identical for every NSW Government agency.

The Standard Terms will be consistent across government agencies. However, there may be agency-specific content and supplementary conditions in the Schedule to meet individual agency requirements.

The HSA will make it easier for both parties to understand their obligations and expectations.

What happens when my contract expires?

If there is an agreement that a service provider will be re-contracted to provide a service, the new contract will be issued using the HSA documents.

My project is a pilot. Will I be required to use the HSA?

Yes. Pilot projects are also required to use the HSA.

Does the HSA apply to grant funding?

The HSA and the Procurement Board’s Direction do not apply to grant funding. Exempt grant funding is typically administered through SmartyGrants, the online grants management system.

The intent of the Direction is for contracting of human services to be moved to the HSA.

While some payments made to NGOs, such as grant programs that provide one-off funding, are excluded from the HSA, it is anticipated that most of our human services funding arrangements will use the HSA and this may include funding which has previously been considered grant funding.

Can changes be made to the HSA?

The NSW Government may update the template annually, depending on the amendments that have been proposed in the previous 12 months.

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Last updated: 24 Sep 2019