Legal Aspects of Managing Government Service Delivery Contracts in Complex Environments
Sophie Coleman, Legal Counsel and Contract Manager, Save the Children Australia, Legal Aspects of Managing Government Service Delivery Contracts in Complex Environments
Simon Miller, Legal Counsel & Company Secretary, Save the Children Australia, Legal Aspects of Managing Government Service Delivery Contracts in Complex Environments
The evolution of public administration over the last few decades has seen governments increasingly outsource community and other services. While in the past focussed at an operational level, government agencies are now responsible for overseeing delivery of programs and services, and contract management.
Using the case study of Save the Children Australia’s provision of welfare, recreation and education services on behalf of the Australian Government to asylum seekers and refugees in Australia’s offshore immigration processing countries, this paper provides tips for navigating this complex environment, and provides illustrative examples of issues that may arise. In particular, significant investment in legal and risk management is required to ensure complex contracts of this kind are delivered successfully. In addition, the case study illustrates that service providers need to be resilient and adaptable, and will benefit from having personnel in-house with relevant government expertise to ensure that the interests of all parties, including beneficiaries of the services, are upheld.
This paper has particular relevance in the context of the migration crises currently occurring in Europe and elsewhere, and for counsel for service providers that may be engaged by governments to deliver vital services to these vulnerable people.
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