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Treasury first issued the Guidelines for Contracting with Non-Government Organisations for Services Sought by the Crown in 2001. We have recently completed a review of the guidelines. This involved consultation with a sample of non-Government organisations (NGOs), Government departments and other agencies, as well as considering the results and recommendations from recent reviews and inquiries into relationships between Government agencies and the community and voluntary sector. This work highlighted a number of ways in which the guidelines could be improved. As a result, we have updated and reissued these guidelines.

These guidelines are intended to encourage the use of better contracting practices by all departments and Crown entities involved in negotiating arrangements with NGOs for the provision of services that support the Government’s objectives. This way, contracting can be of mutual benefit for the Government and NGOs. While the material has been prepared primarily for those agencies, it will also be of interest to other public sector agencies, and to NGOs that provide, or seek to provide, services supported with Government funding.

The guidelines are just one of a range of Government initiatives aimed at promoting better relationships between Government agencies and the community and voluntary sector. Consultation with Government agencies and NGOs played a fundamental part in the preparation of these guidelines and in our review. We expect that ongoing review and consultation with these groups will lead to further useful refinements and the guidelines will therefore be updated on Treasury’s website from time to time.

Government agencies will need to consider how they will secure accountability for public money within the broader principles of good contract management outlined within the guidelines. The guidelines do make some suggestions in places but these do not diminish the need for Government agencies to exercise informed judgement about the arrangements that may be appropriate in their own circumstances. The guidelines are not, therefore, a manual on how to write contracts.

We recommend that all departments and Crown entities who contract with NGOs take the chance to check the quality of their contract management systems and the relationships they have with NGOs. Those with good systems and relationships can seek continuous improvements while others can consider opportunities for rebuilding.

John Whitehead
Secretary to the Treasury

December 2003

Contact for inquiries: Public Sector Management Section, The Treasury, Telephone 04-472 2733

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