ATSIC NEWS Output Funding Arrangements PDF Print E-mail

FATSIL Governing Committee meeting in Canberra.
FATSIL Governing Committee meeting in Canberra.
THE following information is a quick guide to help State/Regional Aboriginal Language Centres and Regional Aboriginal Language Management Committees understand the new output funding arrangements currently being implemented in all ATSIC programs, including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Initiatives Program (ATSILIP) and the Language Access Initiatives Program (LAIP).

Photo: There was a strong ATSIC representation at the February FATSIL Governing Committee meeting in Canberra. With Denise Karpany, FATSIL Vice Chairperson, in the back row were John Tatten, ATSIC Senior Project Officer QId. and Marlene Luck, Assistant Project Officer - Broadcasting, Language, Arts and Culture. In the front row; ATSIC Commissioner Patricia Thompson, Qld, Gary Fisk, Acting Manager, BLAC, and Angela King, Senior Project Officer, BLAC in Canberra.

Output funding arrangements are currently being implemented by all government agencies, including ATSIC, as a way to address the new accrual based outcomes and outputs framework. Basically that translates to the Federal Government requirement that government agencies explain exactly what goods and services (outputs) have been delivered from the funding provided.

It is an initiative aimed at increasing the transparency of government funds, making agencies and the organisations they fund more accountable to the community, and recognising those organisations that are producing services as against those organisations that might not be achieving the results required.

ATSIC programs have been replaced by what are called Output Groups. The Language Output Group has been called `Preservation of Indigenous Languages', which covers both the ATSILIP and the LAIP.

If you could refer to your Output Group 'Preservation of Indigenous Languages' documentation (which you should have received in your submission kit from your ATSIC State/ Regional Office) I will give you examples. You will notice that the Output Group 'Preservation of Indigenous Languages' has been broken down into 7 grant outputs, these being:

  • Revival of Endangered Languages
  • Publications and Broadcast
  • Archive Development and Management
  • Feasibility Studies and Strategic Planning
  • Community based language centres and Regional Aboriginal Language Management Committees;
  • Promotion, maintenance, revival and reclamation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages;
  • Preservation of Indigenous Languages - Development and Support

Each of these grant outputs has an explanation of what the term means, and examples of possible projects that could be funded (under the heading Description of Output). At the bottom of the page for each grant output, it will have the heading "Performance Measures". These performance measures relate directly to each grant output.

As you may know, the old performance measures for language did not adequately reflect what Language Centres and RALM's were actually doing. So when it came time for ATSIC to justify to the government exactly what had been achieved through the language programs, it was a fairly difficult task as ATSIC had no statistics or meaningful performance measures that we could use. So hopefully the new performance measures (which will replace the old) will be more meaningful to Language Centres and RALM's by reflecting what you do and achieve everyday, and also provide ATSIC with the information we need in order to justify the funding which is put into the language programs.

Draft performance measures for each of the grant outputs have been written and they will soon be workshopped around ATSIC State and Regional Offices before the final performance measures are sent out to organisations.

So the way it should come together in the end is:

1. Language Centres and RALM's put in their submissions for the 2000-01 financial year, addressing the grant outputs by putting specific projects under the appropriate grant output eg. Publication of a dictionary goes under the Publications and Broadcast Grant Output (you do not have to have a project under each of the grant outputs);

2. When it comes time for reporting you report against the performance measures outlined for each of the grant outputs; eg; if you did publish that dictionary you answer the performance measures under the Publication and Broadcast Grant Output and so on;

3. The information that you provide will be used by ATSIC to provide justification for the expenditure of funds for the language programs.

The above is only a quick guide. Therefore if you require further information please contact your local ATSIC Project Officer.