The VCFA is the main agreement used by the Victorian Government to provide grant funding to community organisations, and it is designed to be flexible and easy to understand.
A grant is money given to organisations or individuals for a specified purpose to achieve objectives consistent with government policy...[and is] generally used to include any funding arrangement where the recipient is selected on merit against a set of criteria. Grants can take a variety of forms, including ad hoc payments, competitive assessment or when specified criteria are satisfied.
Grant funding does not cover donations, sponsorships, the non-contested transfer of funds to a government entity for the delivery of services or a project (these are facilitated by a memorandum of understanding), the purchase of goods and services from third-party contractors and consultants (procurement), or the purchase of goods and services on commercial terms.
All Victorian Government departments must use the VCFA when providing grant funding to community organisations for human and community services and projects.
There are 2 key forms of the VCFA:
The Standard Form is used for a wide range of projects and services. The Standard Form is made up of 2 separate documents:
- a Schedule: an editable template
- Terms and Conditions: non-editable core terms and conditions for funding
The Short Form is used for smaller, funding amounts and lower risk activities than the Standard Form. The Short Form is a stand-alone, editable template that contains its own abridge terms and conditions.
For flexibility, each form is paired with a clause bank, that has additional clauses to suit a wide range of funding requirements. The clause banks also include:
- descriptions of these clauses
- where each clause should be inserted into each agreement template
Services for children
The 2013 found that survivors of institutional child abuse were sometimes unable to identify an appropriate legal entity to sue, and even if they could, those organisations sometimes did not have enough assets to be sued or meet compensation orders.
In response, the Victorian Government now requires non-government organisations funded to deliver services for children to be:
- incorporated separate legal entities that can be sued in child abuse proceedings; and
- appropriately insured against child abuse.
Capital works funding
The VCFA can be used to fund grants for capital works. However, the VCFA cannot be used to fund capital works projects:
- that involve:
- if they:
The includes specific terms and conditions relating to compliance and safeguarding, particularly around the quality of the services and the safety for those clients who use these services. The Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Education and Training and the Adult Community and Further Education Board use the Service Agreement for the funding of organisations providing direct care and other services to the community.
The VCFA is currently under review. A new VCFA is expected to commence in 2020.
Reviewed 19 February 2020