July 13 2016

In doing something new, vested interests will always work against it. Where those vested interests involve governments and their employees, often highly unionised, the suspicion of “new” is clearly marked. Thus there are many challenges to the future promised by SIBs as evidence by today’s antipodean stories. Involve the word profit and suddenly a section of reaction rises up to deride the whole affair (odd seeing as workers all expect a salary to profit from our employment and nobody accuses nurses or doctors of being a problem because they get paid…far from it, as is entirely sensible). Good luck to NZ with their next SIB project…

NSW Government Accused Of ‘Passing The Buck’ By Enlisting NAB To Reduce Prisoner Reoffending Rates

Lexi Metherell – ABC

The New South Wales Government plans to work with National Australia Bank (NAB) to reduce the rates of prisoners reoffending, in what is being described as an Australian first.

Key points:

  • NAB will fund delivery of programs to reduce parolees reoffending
  • Government has committed to a five per cent cut in parolee reoffending rates by 2019
  • NAB says financial gain not primary motivation

The state has championed such so-called “social impact investment” schemes before, in which investors receive a rate of return for achieving social outcomes.

But questions have been raised over whether the Government is passing the buck.

The Government has committed to a five per cent cut in parolee reoffending rates by 2019, and for that to succeed that they turned to NAB.

The bank will make what is known as a social impact investment.


New Zealand’s First Social Bond Falls Through

Ellie Cooper – Pro Bono Australia

The New Zealand government’s first social bond, set to target employment for people with mental illness, has failed to get off the ground with the Not for Profit provider withdrawing from the scheme.

In 2013 the government began investigating the use of the social bond model and allocated nearly $29 million in last year’s budget to support four bonds.

The first program due to roll out would have involved employment consultants working in GP practices to assist people with mental illness into the workforce.

However, negotiations reportedly broke down, leading the provider, Wise Group, one of the largest non-government organisations in New Zealand’s mental health sector, to walk away.

Wise Group said it was unable to comment on why the bond collapsed, with all inquiries directed to the county’s ministry of health.

But Platform Trust, a body supporting mental health organisations of which Wise Group is a member, told Radio New Zealand the outcome was disappointing but not surprising.