Reporting requirements need to be designed for flow, and not roadblocks, and should reflect what the community really needs to know for its good functioning. In general, the paperwork should be designed as a minimal system that produces essential information and leaves a clear, real-time audit trail that can be interrogated at any time. Bureaucracies should redesign their reporting requirements to communities’ real needs, and then work out how to fit that into the departments needs. This would go a long way towards assisting bureaucracies to understand and have a proactive effect on communities.
Responsible expenditure and proper financial reporting are the key activities around which all other activities revolve, and are crucial to all effective future development. Probably the greatest assistance easily provided to Aboriginal organisations would be an elegant, streamlined, standardised reporting system, designed to fulfil multiple functions, including a standard, inexpensive, easy to use accounting package.
In designing new reporting requirements, consideration could be given to consulting the private, small business sector for input into an overall system that would ensure getting the best of all worlds so that it:
- is simple, compact and easy to operate,
- provides organisations with the feedback they need to run their organisations well,
- facilitates and encourages an enterprising, business approach,
- discourages and reveals any errors or misappropriations,
- satisfies bureaucratic reporting requirements.
- is easily auditable
This would make a huge difference to organisations empowerment and outcomes, and assist them to become more enterprising and income generating.
Organisations need meaningful budgets that reflect proactive community needs. If a community has to create half a dozen or so individual budgets to satisfy each Govt Dept and NGO in their individual, separate requirements, it could result in fragmented, disjointed and contradictory overall total budget for the community to work with, and so compromise their full development potential.
If the community are able to develop a total, overall budget that optimises their development per dollar, and apportion and allocate that among the funding Govt Depts and NGOs, the final outcome at the practical, working, applied on the ground end result, will be wholistic and synergistic, rather than fragmented and conflicting.
Forums and Networking
Communities and CDEPs can now have their own inter-community and inter-CDEP in-house networks Australia-wide via the internet, for the exchange of good ideas, problem-solving experiences, sharing resources, etc. This would naturally give rise to clusters of shared understanding by regions, language groups, affinity, bioregions etc, to create an empowered, solutions-based greater Aboriginal consciousness, replacing problem and victim consciousness. This is potentially the most powerful tool for Aboriginal upliftment, and is instantly available, operates in real-time and costs almost nothing. And a separate website, individual or collective, could be created for what they wish to share with the rest of the world