Conflict of Interest Procedures
NSWFDCA has established mechanisms to deal with conflicts of interests.
- We have identified three potential perceived conflicts of interest in acting as the In Home Support Agency:
- Some of the organisation’s members (NSW FDC and In Home Care Services) are IHC services under the program.
- We operate an IHC Service in the two regions of the State it has been difficult to recruit other services in our existing
- We had existing relationships with a proportion of services who deliver IHC in NSW. This could lead to perceptions of bias towards these services.
- Because we have operated as a broker of IHC places for many years, we already operate in such a way that perceptions of conflict of interest are minimised. For instance when existing IHC services that do not operate as part of our brokerage exceed their place capacity, we broker additional places to them from our capacity.
- The processes we undertake to ensure that perceptions and actual conflicts of interest are reduced include:
- All existing eligible IHC families will be retained by the IHC service they are currently using.
- All new IHC families will be given a choice of the two geographically closest services that have an educator available, leaving the choice of services up to them. The top choice given to them will be the closest to their home. (If a second service is not available the family will be referred to the geographically closest agency that has educator availability).
- By undertaking a process of referral based on geographic availability only, with families having the final choice, conflicts of interest such as preferential referrals will be impossible.
- NSWFDCA’s own IHC service has a separate manager than the IHC Agency. They are treated in the same way as other IHC services in NSW, despite being run by NSWFDCA. As a non-profit organisation there is no financial gain to be made by preferential referral. Our primary concern is to ensure that families have access to IHC – this is the sole reason we established an IHC service in addition to the brokerage – because families in the Sydney and Central Coast regions were missing out because there were not enough IHC services in these areas.
- As a peak organisation we are often in a situation where we are providing a program or services to all FDC services, not just those FDC services that are our members. Our 10 years of delivery of the Professional Support Co-ordination agency to FDC services attests to our ability to do this without preferencing members or their needs.
- NSWFDCA’s experience has taught us that transparency provides the best antidote to perceived conflict of interest. Lists of referrals and places accepted are available on request to all In Home Care Services.