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Managing offers of assistance in disaster events procedure

Version number 1.0 | Version effective 24 January 2022
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Managing offers of assistance in disaster events procedure

Audience

Department-wide

Purpose

This procedure outlines how offers of assistance received during or following a disaster must be managed, including the mandatory referral of financial (cash) and volunteering offers and criteria that must be considered in decisions to locally manage or refer offers of goods and/or services.

Overview

Individuals or entities, including businesses, corporations and non-government organisations, may offer assistance to affected state schools, state delivered kindergartens or the department during or following a disaster. Offers of assistance may be financial, volunteering, or goods and services in the form of verbal, written or actual physical items or resources.

Offers of assistance cannot be used to rebuild government-owned infrastructure and should not be considered an alternative to appropriate levels of insurance.

In most circumstances, offers of assistance received by the department must be referred to an appropriate external agency. An appropriate external agency includes the applicable volunteer organisation for the recovery, a government appeal fund, GIVIT, Volunteering Queensland (only for offers for volunteering), the relevant local government, the Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) or District Disaster Management Group (DDMG) and/or any other agency listed on the Queensland Government website. These agencies are independent and have well-established processes to coordinate offers of assistance to best meet the needs of disaster-affected people and communities.

This procedure does not apply in the following circumstances:

  • the workplace is only involved to the extent that the site is used as a distribution centre for relief provided by external agencies; and
  • the workplace is provided assistance that is managed by either a government agency (for example, repairs or temporary accommodation) or an appropriate external agency (for example, volunteering or redeployment of public sector employees under community recovery initiatives).

This procedure is aligned with the Queensland Policy for Offers of Assistanceand the department's Continuity, disaster and emergency management policy.

Responsibilities

All employees

  • direct all offers of assistance to the responsible officer

Principal supervisor (or their nominated officer)

  • assist principals to manage offers of assistance, if requested
  • ensure principals are appropriately assessing, recording and communicating decisions made about offers of assistance to schools, and provide appropriate support where required

Responsible officer (Principal, Regional Director, Deputy Director-General) or their nominated officer

  • determine whether the offer is an offer of assistance under this procedure
  • manage offers of assistance in a timely and effective manner
  • communicate decisions about offers of assistance to the offeror
  • create and save records associated with this procedure appropriately
  • ensure appropriate governance for local management of offers.

Process

If an offer of assistance is received, the responsible officer manages the offer in accordance with the process, which is illustrated in the flowchart and described below.

Throughout the below process, the responsible officer (where they are a principal) may seek support from the principal supervisor (or their nominated officer) to carry out the assessment, evaluation and record-keeping requirements.

1. Direct to the responsible officer

  • All employees must direct an offer of assistance to the responsible officer.

2. Assess whether there is an offer of assistance

  • The responsible officer must assess whether the offer is an offer of assistance under this procedure. Offers of assistance must meet all of the following criteria:
    • Disaster event: The offer is made in the circumstances of a disaster event, whether declared under the Disaster Management Act 2003 (Qld) or not
    • Use: The offer meets one or more of the following conditions:
      • The offer aids in the workplace's response to the disaster event.
      • The offer provides the workplace with immediate relief following the disaster event.
      • The offer assists in the recovery from the disaster event. For this procedure, the recovery phase ends when the affected workplace/s to which the offer is made has resumed business as usual operations.
    • Absence of conditions: The offer is made without conditions or expectations of current or future gain or benefit to the offeror. Note that the offeror's expressed preference as to how their offer of assistance is to be used is not considered a gain or benefit under this procedure.
    • Offeree: The offer must be made to benefit the workplace, organisation and its member/s, not an individual departmental employee.
  • The responsible officer must also consider the nature of the offer to ensure it is an offer of assistance that can be dealt with under this procedure. The following are not offers of assistance under this procedure and the responsible officer must manage each as specified: 
    • Fundraising by a school's Parents and Citizens' Association or other sanctioned individuals or groups within school communities that are transferred to the school as a donation must be managed in accordance with the Fundraising procedure and/or the Donations and bequests procedure.
    • Offers of goods and/or services that are not offered for free (for example, are at-cost or discounted), must be managed in accordance with the Purchasing and procurement procedure.
    • Offers made in return for advertising, product endorsement or other benefits must be managed in accordance with the Advertising or Sponsorship procedures.
    • Gifts and benefits received by departmental employees in the course of their official duties must be managed in accordance with the Gifts and benefits procedure.

3. Determine the type of offer and action accordingly

  • If the offer is an offer of assistance, the responsible officer must then determine the type of offer and action accordingly. The types of offers of assistance are:
    • Financial (cash) – such as banknotes, coins, cheques or electronic funds transfer.
    • Financial (cash equivalent) – such as store cards or store vouchers. These are treated in the same way as goods under this procedure.
    • Volunteers – offers from individuals, or self-directed groups, including an entity's donation of employee time, who are not affiliated with recognised volunteer agencies to willingly provide time and effort for the common good without payment or financial gain.
    • Goods – offers of movable property or merchandise free of charge.
    • Services – offers for work performed by a licensed, accredited or registered person, business or organisation free of charge. The service that is offered must be consistent with that stated in the offeror's license, accreditation or registration information. Offers of services, while made voluntarily by individuals or businesses, are considered distinct from volunteering offers.

If the offer is financial (cash) or for volunteering:

  • The responsible officer must refer the offeror to an appropriate external agency, regardless of financial value. Financial (cash) and volunteering offers must not be locally managed.

If the offer is for goods and/or services:

  • The principal of a school or kindergarten must evaluate an offer for monetary value (applicable to schools and kindergartens only) against a monetary threshold of $500. This threshold applies to each individual offer and is not a cumulative total of all offers for the school or kindergarten. In determining the value of the goods and/or services, the principal must use the market value equivalent (excluding GST).
  • Where the monetary value of the goods and/or services is at or above the threshold, the principal must refer the offeror to an appropriate external agency.
  • Where the monetary value is below the threshold, the responsible officer must evaluate the offer for conditions requiring referral (below).

Evaluate the offer for conditions requiring referral (applicable to all workplaces)

  • The responsible officer must evaluate the offer of goods and/or services to determine if any of the following conditions requiring referral apply. The responsible officer must refer the offeror to an appropriate external agency if one, or more of the following conditions applies:
    • The goods and/or services do not meet the needs of the workplace for which the offer was made.
    • Accepting the offer of assistance may have a negative economic impact on the disaster-affected community. Where possible, the department should support economic activity within disaster-affected communities e.g. by buying goods from local businesses over accepting goods from offerors outside the disaster-affected community where appropriate.
    • The goods and/or services can be efficiently referred to an appropriate external agency and are not critically required at the workplace for the continuation or resumption of normal operations.

Considerations for local management (applicable to all workplaces)

  • The responsible officer must determine whether an offer for goods and/or services can be locally managed. In determining the local management of an offer of goods and/or services, the responsible officer must:
    • consider the suitability of the offer using factors stated in the Donations and bequests procedure
    • confirm that no costs are associated with the offer of goods and/or services, such as email correspondence stating that no invoice will be issued; and
    • provide necessary resources to store, distribute or implement the goods and/or services.

4. Record and communicate the action taken

  • The responsible officer must communicate to the offeror, regarding the offer, the decision made or action taken.
    • If the offer is not accepted for local management, advise the offeror and refer them to an appropriate external agency; or
    • If the offer is accepted for local management, advise the offeror and make arrangements to receive the offer, as required.
  • Responsible officers may use the communication guideline to support communications with offerors.
  • The responsible officer must create a record of all offers of assistance related to a disaster event, regardless of their monetary value. Written confirmation that no costs are associated with the offer, must be also be included and retained as part of the record.
  • A Record of offers of assistance has been provided for this purpose, or alternatively, a local or state equivalent may be used.
  • The responsible officer must additionally record accepted goods in the relevant system for the workplace (e.g. using a spreadsheet, stockbooks or utilising the Library system).
  • The responsible officer must save and store all records in accordance with the Information asset and recordkeeping procedure

Definitions

Term

Definition

Appropriate external agency

The applicable volunteer organisation for the recovery, and/or:

Disaster event

A serious disruption in a community, caused by the impact of an event, that requires a significant coordinated response by the State and other entities to help the community recover from the disruption. s13, Disaster Management Act 2003 (Qld) . 

Nominated officer for principal supervisor

An officer with relevant subject matter expertise, for example the Regional Finance Manager or Director Regional Services.

Offeree

The departmental workplace that receives an offer of assistance.

Offeror

Individuals or entities (e.g.  businesses, corporations or non-government organisations) making an offer of assistance in a disaster event.

Principal supervisor

Regional Director or delegate.

Responsible officer

The responsible officer is the person in charge of the workplace to which the offer of assistance is made. The responsible officer may nominate an appropriate officer ('nominated officer') to act on their behalf regarding this procedure.

Legislation

Delegations/Authorisations

  • Nil

Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

Nil

Review date

24 January 2025
Attribution CC BY

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