A commissioning for better outcome approach

NSW reforms for outcomes
Wednesday 25 July, 1230 – 1250


Deidre Mulkerin
Department of Family and Community Services

FACS Commissioning Division was established in 2017 as part of an agency wide restructure, and as one of three integrated functions, the others being Service Delivery, and Enabling functions.

Commissioning is an approach which sets and measures outcomes being delivered to clients and how much it costs – and ultimately saves – to achieve those results. Given that the focus is on outcomes, a commissioning approach will be agnostic to who and how the support is delivered, allowing for innovation that might have been constrained by programmatic approaches in the past.

The NSW Government’s vision is for agencies to drive client-centric service reform and explore ways to create better service outcomes with individuals and families at the centre of everything what the Agency does.

The Commissioning model is supported by a framework, consistent with the NSW Government commissioning and contestability policy. FACS works closely with Treasury to support this alignment over the longer term. Between now and 2021 FACS aims to transition to a mature commissioning organisation with an operating model and structure built around client needs and cohorts.

This means applying a more structured and proactive approach to the Agency’s work with solid evidence-based analysis of client and community needs. For the families with whom the Agency works, it will provide consistent service quality and accountability for results, regardless of the service provider, be it FACS, non-government organisations or other government departments.

Critically, a Commissioning approach is about designing programs and services to achieve long-term positive changes to peoples’ lives by addressing the root causes of social problems. It allows for flexibility and relies on collaboration with the right partner to best achieve the outcomes, whether by leveraging the strengths of FACS itself, and/or those of non-government providers.

It’s also about working with partners to fill any capability gaps in the market, collaborating on service design.