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1.9 Thinking Wider Than the Agency

An agency should be aware of any Government policies or services that relate to its activities. In particular it should consult other Government agencies that also may contract with the same NGOs, or whose activities are important to the effectiveness of the NGO’s services. This is important in terms of achieving objectives, minimising compliance costs (see Section 1.12 below), and avoiding the risk of either unplanned gaps in services or the Government paying twice for the same service. As part of the process of selecting a provider, agencies should require an NGO to disclose whether or not it has applications to or is receiving funding from other Government agencies for the same or a similar purpose. Verifying the information provided should be part of the normal contract management and monitoring activities (see Chapter 4 below). Agencies should consider in advance how they will deal with any “double funding” and build this into their contracts (e.g. halting or altering any further payments for the service in question, or requiring the NGO to repay any funding received for that service). It may also be important to know about relationships between local Government and NGOs.

Government agencies may wish to jointly explore the scope for having consistent documentation, or relying on vetting or accreditation of an NGO by another Government agency, taking into account any requirements specific to a particular purchaser. This may be useful, in particular, where the Government agencies are dealing with the same or similar non-Government organisations.

Government agencies should consider the options to deal with situations where multiple Government agencies contract with one NGO for a set of related services. These can be formal arrangements such as integrated contracts, “joined-up” and pooled funding arrangements or informal arrangements such as networks and alliances. Such arrangements can be costly to all of the parties involved. Agencies should consider, prior to participating in these types of arrangements, if the arrangement:

  • will produce benefits that outweigh the costs for all of the parties involved.
  • provides clear accountability for services or actions.
  • has an agreed and understood rationale that justifies the inclusion of all participants.
  • demonstrates that the outcomes for people (clients) and communities can be improved by joint action.
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