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1.1 Defining Objectives

A Government agency needs to be clear about what it is trying to achieve. What are the Government’s or the organisation’s objectives? These should be set by reference to Government policy or statute, and should be underpinned by an analysis of how an intervention will contribute to the objectives, including addressing the needs of those who are expected to benefit from it. This will usually involve consulting with the ultimate users or the service, and Maori, Pacific peoples or community organisations that have an interest and expertise in a particular issue, as well as drawing on empirical evidence and international literature.

An important part of policy analysis is assessing whether purchasing services from, or entering into a funding relationship with NGOs is the best intervention the Government can make, in particular whether it is better or more cost effective than the direct provision of goods and services by Government agencies. Other forms of intervention include:

  • Direct provision of goods and services by Government agencies;
  • Benefits;
  • Regulation;
  • Taxation; and
  • Publicity.

Several factors may limit a Government agency’s ability to contract with NGOs:

  • Legal considerations (e.g. Parliament may assign particular responsibilities to agencies or office holders, with limited authority to delegate);
  • Government policy may constrain organisations’ ability to contract;
  • Convention or code of conduct requirements may constrain Government organisations’ ability to contract;
  • It may be difficult to contract for only part of a service, if it is an integral part of the whole service; and
  • There must be a supplier or the potential supplier.

Contracting or other funding arrangements are the last step in a process of research, advice, planning and prioritising.

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