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8.10 Partnerships

Principles

Partnerships are mutually beneficial and co-operative relationships in which partners may share values, objectives, resources (human, material or financial), roles and responsibilities in order to achieve jointly desired outcomes. Partnerships may exist between two or more parties and can include partners external to government.

To develop cohesive and integrated services, the Government may decide to enter into partnerships that bring together parties with expertise and resources not currently held by government and in doing so improve outcomes and foster a spirit of cooperation within the community.

The decision to enter into a partnership agreement must be driven by sound business principles and only undertaken if it is likely to produce significant net benefit for government and the community with no detriment to the public interest.

When negotiating a partnership, government should do so in a manner that will withstand public scrutiny and is fair to existing and potential parties.

Definitions

The terms partnership and sponsorship are often used interchangeably, however there are some fundamental differences and as such they have been separated in this Policy (see section 8.8 Sponsorship).

Partnerships are distinct from sponsorship in that they are:

  • typically of greater duration and span multiple events or activities
  • more often entered to fulfil the strategic goals rather than the marketing goals of an organisation
  • composed of organisations working collaboratively together and sharing equally in the outcomes of the initiative.

Policy requirements

When entering partnerships, agencies must:

  • ensure the partnership is the subject of a written agreement that clearly details all terms and conditions of the partnership including the delivery of communication requirements associated with the partnership such as, use of corporate logos and protocols for publically releasing information generated as a result of the partnership
  • ensure the Government contribution to the partnership is identified in accordance with the Tasmanian Government Style Guide and Logo Policy
  • ensure consultation between staff responsible for arranging or administering partnerships and their agency’s communications manager before entering into any negotiations
  • gain approval from the relevant head of agency (or their delegate) to accept a partnership agreement with communications implications, regardless of value
  • implement clear assessment procedures for the  development/authorisation of partnership arrangements.
  • assess agreements to ensure:
    • maintenance of government credibility
    • cost effectiveness
    • management of risk
    • compliance/compatibility with agency policies or directions.

Specifically, agencies must select potential partner organisation/s based on their:

  • contribution to achieving the Government’s mission and strategic direction
  • ability to provide meaningful benefits to the Government and community
  • cost effectiveness compared to alternative options to achieve the same business results.

No agreement shall be made without careful assessment of the risks to government, its core business and its public reputation through association with the partnership parties. Agencies must ensure:

  • the products and ethics of the partnership organisation/s are consistent with and complementary to the vision and objectives of government. In making the decision, consideration should also be given to the organisations third party associations or sponsors to ensure they also complement and will not impact negatively on the Government.
  • the organisation/s is not in a line of business or does not have a public reputation that may be an inappropriate partner for the Government, for example alcohol, gambling or drug companies
  • the benefits to each partner in the agreement are proportional to their contribution
  • there is no real or perceived conflict of interest, for example implication of favoured treatment, overt endorsement of products and/or services, privileged access to Ministers or public servants, or any other disproportionate benefit beyond the specific scope of the partnership agreement.

When entering into partnership arrangements, it is recommended that:

  • agencies consult the Manager - Strategic Communications and Marketing (DPAC) where a proposed partnership with communications implications may be considered contentious or of higher than normal risk
  • agencies consider seeking the assistance of Crown Law to incorporate the appropriate terms and conditions in partnership agreements
  • an evaluation of the partnership occurs at the conclusion of the agreement to assess the performance of the outcomes and relationship between the parties.