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Annual accountability 2017–18 survey results

Annual accountability is a mandatory process that ensures funded service providers are accountable for the funding they receive and the services they’re contracted to deliver on behalf of the NSW Government.

The process applies to service providers contracted for child and family, community building, domestic and family violence, and homelessness programs.

This is a summary of the key findings from the 2017–18 annual accountability survey of service providers and contract managers. The survey was aimed at evaluating user engagement and satisfaction with the annual accountability process, as well as the training and resources provided.

Participation figures

Six hundred and eighteen service providers were invited to participate in the survey. Of this number, 204 responded; a response rate of 33%, which is down 11% from the 2016–17 survey.

One hundred and thirty-six of our contract managers were invited to participate in the survey. Of this number, 75 responded; a response rate of 55%, which is up 35% from the 2016–17 survey.

Responses about the process

71.8% of service providers and 78.7% of contract managers found the process easy to follow.

Responses about our communication

74.6% of service providers and 75.3% of contract managers said the process was well communicated and an improvement on the 2016–17 process.

81.7% of the service providers that responded said their contract manager had sufficient knowledge to answer their questions. A small number said that inconsistent information was being provided.

71.6 % of contract managers who responded said they felt confident helping service provider staff. A small number asked for the focus areas to be communicated earlier to assist with their preparation.

Responses from service providers about the available resources, training and support

The most frequently used and most helpful resources for service providers were the:

  • Guide to reporting annual accountability 2017–18, and
  • Annual accountability overview and process description.

However, 13.5% of respondents weren’t aware any annual accountability resources were available, and 6.3% didn’t use any resources despite being aware of them.

In addition, several resources requested by respondents already existed.

Notably, 67.4% of respondents didn’t participate in the webinar training offered in support of the annual accountability process, compared to 31.6% of respondents in 2016–17.

Responses from contract managers about the available resources, training and support

The most frequently used and most helpful resources for contract managers were the:

  • Financial Health Calculator, and
  • Guide to annual accountability 2017–18.

Many respondents also used the:

  • checklists for accepting service provider submissions
  • guide for dealing with unspent funds, and
  • guides for assessing performance criteria.

These resources contain specific requirements for each year’s process. They’re designed to ensure consistency in the way service providers are dealt with and the way their performance is assessed.

Improvements we’re making as a result of the responses received

Communication improvements include:

  1. ensuring timely, clear and consistent communication about annual accountability
  2. communicating the timeframes regularly and widely, and
  3. promoting the benefits of using the annual accountability resources.

Improvements to the available resources include:

  1. encouraging use of the resources, as they make the process and tools easier to understand and use, and foster consistent and up-to-date practice, and
  2. promoting the availability and benefit of webinars.

Improvements to training and support include:

  1. offering refresher financial training for our contract managers prior to commencement of the annual accountability period
  2. promoting the support offered by the Procurement and Funding Administration, and Prudential Oversight teams, and
  3. supporting our contract managers to continue to provide consistent advice to service providers.
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Last updated: 08 Jul 2022