NGOs providing human services

NSW Government engages non-government organisations (NGOs) to deliver approximately $4 billion worth of human services contracts each year.

What is an NGO

An NGO is a non-profit organisation that is independent from government. A non-profit organisation is one which ‘is not operating for the profit or gain of its individual members, whether these gains would have been direct or indirect. A non-profit organisation can still make a profit, but this profit must be used to carry out its purposes and must not be distributed to owners, members or other private people’ (Good Practice Guide to Grants Administration, NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet).

What are human services

Human services are ‘the programs, facilities or services provided to meet the health, welfare and social needs of individuals, families and communities. This may include, for example, health, education and community services provided across NSW’ (as defined in the Human Services Data Hub Taxonomy).

The simple steps for human services procurement fact sheet (PDF, 29KB) outlines seven steps that NGOs may go through during a tender process. Initiatives that support the procurement of human services from NGOs are set out below.

NSW Human Services Agreement

All government agencies must use the NSW Human Services Agreement when procuring human services from NGOs via a tender process. It contains two parts which must be read in conjunction:

Please see Procurement Board Direction 2017-04 for more information.

The agreement was designed with public consultation to:

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

Resources to help NGOs transition to the Human Services Agreement

A guide to the Human Services Agreement is available for NGOs. The guide includes checklists and factsheets as well resources about subcontracting under the Human Services Agreement.

NGO registration scheme – human services

The scheme is a single repository for standard NGO information. It is designed to reduce the need for NGOs to provide the same information to agencies multiple times.

The scheme is voluntary and open to all NGOs who are delivering, or are seeking to deliver, human services on behalf of the NSW Government. NGOs can apply to join the scheme on NSW eTendering. Please contact the NSW Procurement Service Centre for help.

NSW Government agencies are required to use the scheme to source information from the participating NGOs.

We may mandate the scheme in 2017 for all NGOs contracting with NSW Government for the delivery of human services.

Alternative contracting models

The below fact sheets provide a guide to contracting modes, specifically sub-contracting and consortia, for human services NGOs. They cover the issues to consider throughout the provision of services process. More information can be found at the resources listed on both fact sheets.

Guidelines for engagement with NSW human services NGOs

The NSW Government is committed to effective engagement with NGOs to achieve better human services outcomes.

The Guidelines for engagement with NSW human services non-government organisations (PDF, 327 KB) sets out the overarching values and principles for effective engagement between government and the NGO sector. The values and principles outlined in this document should be applied by agencies during the planning phase of all engagement activities (regardless of the form or purpose) and used periodically to test the effectiveness of engagement.

Human Services Data Hub

The hub provides a single view of human services commissioned by NSW Government agencies.

It is a business intelligence tool which enables aggregated data to be visualised, analysed and cross referenced to other datasets. The data is informing many of the Social Innovation Council’s initiatives. Further information can be found on the Human Services Data Hub webpage.

Social Innovation Council

The Social Innovation Council (SIC) is a strategic partnership between the NSW Government and the Forum of Non-Government Agencies (FONGA), established to help foster innovation in the way human services are developed, delivered and measured.

The objective of the Social Innovation Council is to improve human services outcomes by:

  • promoting the use of technology and collaborative work practices to optimise service delivery
  • improving the quality and accessibility of human services data for government and NGOs
  • driving strategic engagement of the NGO sector
  • making it easier for NGOs and government to do business together.