Words by: Jon Davidson
Image credit: Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet have submitted a report to the Senate in order to highlight the ineffectiveness of the IAS program since its commencement in May last year.
The IAS was largely criticized from the moment it gained momentum through the public awareness, and the report submitted to Senate reveals that of 1000 recommended applicant organisations, less than half are Indigenous organisations.
Initially, the IAS was the subject of controversy for it included a $534 million funding cut to the ‘Indigenous sector’ on part of the Coalition government.
Now, a year after its implementation, more in depth complaints of the program have come to light. The IAS has come to be described as unfair and competitive, reportedly disrupting well established Indigenous organisations across the country by its very inception.
Over 100 programs and organisations offering services and resources were amalgamated into a ‘five stream’ structure.
This reassembling of interior structure has become the object of much negative regard from affected organisations and individuals, including CEO of the CAAMA and CEO of The Healing Foundation, both of whom reportedly found the application process imposed by the IAS to be time consuming and challenging for smaller organisations with less weight – in one instance, up to 130 man hours were reported being logged on the application forms.
Both chief executive officers also commented to NITV reporters on the overall superfluousness of the IAS, stating that after all implementations had been completed, the framework of their organisations, including funding and employment positions, had gone largely unchanged.