The Department for Child Protection (DCP) specifically acknowledged the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children within its system. Due to this, the department made a commitment to increase commercial relationships with Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) to at least 0.5% of total spend in the 2018/2019 financial year.
However, given the vital cultural work performed by DCP, particularly to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, the agency quickly increased its commitment to 3% of spend. Procurement methodologies to encourage participation of ACCOs were introduced, including selective tendering and dialogues to reduce traditionally adversarial aspects of competitive tender processes.
Over the 2018/2019 financial year, 5.6% of total spend went to ACCOs, exceeding the 3% target. Consequently, DCP increased future spend targets, aiming to achieve 6% in 2020/2021 and 7% for the next year. The majority of spend represents frontline services for children and young people, as well as services supporting the DCP’s corporate operation. DCP has built successful commercial relationships with ACCOs, which it is hoped will lead to increased opportunities for ACCOs, and better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people.