Government grants-an abrogation or management of risks?

Morris, Debra, McGregor-Lowndes, Myles and Tarr, Julie-Anne (2015). Government grants-an abrogation or management of risks?. In Zahirul Hoque and Lee Parker (Ed.), Performance management in nonprofit organizations: global perspectives (pp. 369-393) New York, NY, United States: Routledge.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Morris, Debra
McGregor-Lowndes, Myles
Tarr, Julie-Anne
Title of chapter Government grants-an abrogation or management of risks?
Title of book Performance management in nonprofit organizations: global perspectives
Place of Publication New York, NY, United States
Publisher Routledge
Publication Year 2015
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Year available 2015
ISBN 9781138787988
9781315765761
Editor Zahirul Hoque
Lee Parker
Chapter number 16
Start page 369
End page 393
Total pages 25
Total chapters 17
Language eng
Abstract/Summary New public management (NPM), with its hands-on, private sector-style performance measurement, output control, parsimonious use of resources, disaggregation of public sector units and greater competition in the public sector, has significantly affected charitable and non profit organisations delivering community services (Hood, 1991; Dunleavy, 1994; George & Wilding, 2002). The literature indicates that nonprofit organisations under NPM believe they are doing more for less: while administration is increasing, core costs are not being met; their dependence on government funding comes at the expense of other funding strategies; and there are concerns about proportionality and power asymmetries in the relationship (Kerr & Savelsberg, 2001; Powell & Dowling, 2006; Smith & Lipsky, 1993; McGregorLowndes & Tumour, 2003; Lyons & Dalton, 2011; Smith, 2002, p. 1 75; Morris, 1999, 2000a). Government agencies arc under increased pressure to do more with less, demonstrate value for money, measure social outcomes, not merely outputs and minimise political risk (Grant, 2008; McGregor-Lowndes, 2008). Government-community service organisation relationships are often viewed as 'uneasy alliances' characterised by the pressures that come with the parties' differing roles and expectations, and the pressures of funding and security (Productivity Commission, 2010, p. 308; McGregor-Lowndcs, 2008, p. 45; Morris, 2000a). Significant community services are now delivered to citizens through such relationships, often to the most disadvantaged in the community, and it is important for this to be achieved with equity, efficiently and effectively. On one level, the welfare state was seen as a 'risk management system' for the poor, with the state mitigating the risks of sickness, job loss and old age (Giddens, 1999), with the subsequent neoliberalist outlook shifting this risk back to households (Hacker, 2006). At the core of this risk shift are written contracts. Vincent-Jones ( 1 999, 2006) has mapped how NPM is characterised by the use of written contracts for all manner of relations; e.g., regulation of dealings between government agencies, between individual citizens and the state, and the creation of quasi-markets of service providers and infrastructure partners. We take this lens of contracts to examine where risk falls in relation to the outsourcing of community services. First we examine the concept of risk. We consider how risk might be managed and apportioned between governments and community service organisations (CSOs) in grant agreements, which are quasi-market transactions at best. This is informed by insights from the law and economics literature. Then, standard grant agreements covering several years in two jurisdictions-Australia and the United Kingdom-are analysed, to establish the risk allocation between government and CSOs. This is placed in the context of the reform agenda in both jurisdictions. In Australia this context is the nonprofit reforms built around the creation of a national charities regulator and red tape reduction. In the United Kingdom, the backdrop is the Third Way agenda with its compacts, succeeded by Big Society in a climate of austerity. These 'case studies' inform a discussion about who is best placed to bear and manage the risks of community service provision on behalf of government. We conclude by identifying the lessons to be learned from our analysis and possible pathways for further scholarship.
Keyword Organizations
Grant funding
New public management
Q-Index Code BX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

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