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Service Agreement Information Kit for Funded Organisations

3.21.1 Variations

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A variation is required to effect a change to funding, to deliverables or to other requirements contained in the service agreement.

Variations must either be agreed in writing by both the organisation and the department, or be evidenced by the organisation continuing to provide services after a proposed variation has been provided to the organisation and the department.

Variations are typically for growth or new services, but can be for other changes, such as changes to funding and performance targets (increases or decreases).

Discussions and negotiations about a variation can be initiated by the departments or the funded organisations.

The annual calendar of events in Chapter 2 provides further detail on standard variation dates. Prior to the 2011-12 financial year, variations were typically bundled into three standard variations each year. This meant that organisations sometimes had to wait several months to receive funding for a new or additional service. From August 2012, variations are processed on a monthly basis, if required, to ensure timely funding of services.

The variation process:

  • The department and organisation staff discuss and/or negotiate proposed changes, which may include changes to the service mix, additional or new services, new funding rounds etc.
  • Once details of the changes are agreed, department staff reflect these changes in the service agreement management system (SAMS2).
  • Once a department finance officer approves the changes they can then be viewed by authorised organisation staff on the Service Agreement Module of the Funded Agency Channel (external link) (they show as approved commitments).
  • When all changes for an agreement are entered and approved, the amended version of the service agreement is published and an email is sent to authorised signatories (organisation and department) notifying them of the variation
  • The organisation signatory has five calendar days from the publication date to review the changes. The amended version of the Service Agreement will move to contract status and will take effect after the five days, as long as the department signatory has finalised their authorisation.

The variation becomes an addendum to the original Service Agreement and forms the revised basis on which the Service Agreement will be conducted.

Organisations can view a history of all the variations made to their agreements in a number of ways. These include:

  • Viewing the agreements tab on the Service Agreement Module of Funded Agency Channel. Each new version of the Service Agreement will be sequentially numbered. You can select and enter into each version. You can go to the Contracts lower-level tab and view the PDF variation document, a commitments level payment schedule (in Microsoft Excel) and the PDF performance measure report for each agreement version.
  • Variation reports on Funded Agency Channel.