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 How we purchase services from our community sector partners

Funding process
The Department for Child Protection provides services to children and young people and at-risk individuals and families in Western Australia and funds a range of services through non government community organisations to support children, young people, at-risk families and individuals.

The Department acknowledges that neither the Department nor the not for profit community based sector can impart the necessary essential supports and services in isolation from each other. The Department recognises and values the resources, expertise and perspectives of the Sector and acknowledges that it is imperative that the needs of the Western Australian community are placed at the forefront.

Therefore the Department is committed to funding and purchasing services from the community sector and local government authorities in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for the community. This ensures a cost effective and flexible approach to strengthen local communities.

The Department for Child Protection uses the across government Indexation Version 2008 of the standard General Provisions for the purchase of community services. The General Provisions which accompany the Service Agreement set out the standard contractual terms and conditions.

The Department has the following procurement strategies for new and existing services which include:

1.  Request for Proposal (RFP)
An RFP is used where a range of possible service responses is invited and there is a service agreement to be awarded.

The RFP is a competitive tendering process. A service provider will be selected on the basis of meeting all eligibility criteria and demonstrating superior capacity to deliver the service in accordance with a range of advertised qualitative selection criteria. Contestability will not be monetary based. Generally 3 year Service Agreements are entered into with successful applicants.

The RFP process covers the following steps:

  • Advertisement (on the Tender WA website and in the Government tender section of the West Australian newspaper) of the required service,
  • Briefing session for interested parties,
  • Address the selection criteria by respondents before the advertised closing date,
  • Short listing of respondent’s written proposals by an evaluation panel,
  • If required, interview of shortlisted respondents by an evaluation panel,
  • Announcement of the selected respondent and;
  • Signed agreement.

Details regarding the successful applicant will be disclosed in accordance with State supply Commission requirements and posted on the TendersWA website. 

2.  Expressions of Interest (EOI)
The EOI process is a two stage Request. In the first stage the Department for Child Protection holds a workshop to discuss and further develop a model and service specification for the service. The second stage involves the calling of the Request utilising the specifications that have been developed and approved by the Department.

The EOI process is a targeted process similar to the RFP process. In the EOI process potential service providers are identified and targeted using indentified criteria, for example:

  • Organisations currently providing services within the target community, or
  • Services identified as having experience in providing similar services

The process ensures potential service providers are identified and engaged by the Department throughout the purchasing process.

3. Sole Provider Purchasing Strategy
Direct negotiation with one potential provider strategy is used when only one or no current service provider is identified. The strategy is most frequently used when attempting to provide services in remote or isolated communities.

4.  Preferred Service Providers (PSP)
The Preferred Service Provider process is used when recontracting an existing service. The Department has developed the Purchasing Quality Services (PQS) process as a strategic purchasing process to manage the ongoing provision of existing funded services. In the PQS process the Department considers the ongoing need for the service, a review of service specifications, and the history of a service provider’s performance along with the need to ensure continuity of the service.

Purchasing Quality Services
Service types are examined every three years in a cycle that links with the Service Agreement expiry date.

The Department has developed Purchasing Quality Services (PQS) as a strategic purchasing process to manage the ongoing provision of existing services.  Each year, beginning in November, the following process starts for services whose Service Agreements finish the following September.

1. A Service Group Review process examines the service specifications (the service description and agreed activities to be provided by the agency for the funding) within the current Service Agreements.  This allows the Department to examine if the service activities are still relevant and meeting local community needs.  The review is informed by:

  • Progress reports (which are provided by the agency to the Department every 6 months)
  • Service reviews
  •  Reference to current best practice and consultation with all service providers of the Service Group.

2. An assessment of the existing service provider’s suitability to be a PSP.  The assessment is based on the service provider satisfactorily meeting the following criteria:

  • Continuing to meet the identified need,
  • Meeting the agreed service specifications, contractual requirements and set standards of delivery,
  • Operating efficiently and effectively; and
  • Actively engaging with the Department in continuously improving its services to provide the best possible service for the community.

3. If the existing service provider meets all the above criteria they will be invited by the Department to submit an ‘offer’ to provide the service as a PSP.  A new three year service agreement will be signed between the PSP and the Minister’s delegate in the Department.


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