As members already know, Victims Services recently changed the method by which applications for Victims’ Support are processed. Clients are now required to obtain their documentation prior to application and Victims Services will no longer obtain documentation on behalf of a client.
These changes were strongly opposed by some sections of the community and the matter was referred for consultation with stakeholders. It is the PSA’s understanding that Victims Services has decided to implement these changes in full, following approval from the Secretary.
The reason cited for the changes centre on faster claim processing. It was noted in the media that this arrangement will be reviewed in six months’ time. It is not yet clear how this review will be undertaken.
Staff have raised questions about the process, particularly about the reasons for the changes and ethical concerns about the impact on clients. The PSA understands these have been raised in team meetings with senior managers.
The Commissioner has advised that there will be no immediate effects on staff duties, team structure or jobs as there is a significant amount of work required to be done to finalise claims according to the previous process. However, as the changes are aimed at ultimately reducing the volume of work, the PSA will continue to monitor the situation.
The PSA welcomes further information, feedback or concerns from members and all information provided will be treated in strict confidence.
VS Connect Remediation Project
Last week the PSA contacted the Commissioner regarding the status of the VS Connect Remediation Project. The Commissioner has advised that the Remediation team will be providing further information and a Change Plan regarding the VSC Remediation Project, now known as the VS Modernisation Project.
The PSA understands two updates have been provided to staff in 2020, albeit with limited details provided.
Under the Award, the PSA is required to be consulted in relation to major technological changes in the workplace.
The PSA is seeking further information, concerns or feedback from members on:
- Proposed changes to Approved Counselling Programs functions
- Proposed changes to Restitution process
- What changes are being made to VS Connect
- Whether members have been involved in UAT (user acceptance testing) to a satisfactory level
- Whether members have been provided proposals for training to a satisfactory standard
- Any other concerns members have about the project.
If members have feedback in relation to any of the above, feel free to contact your PSA staff or delegates.
Your PSA staff
What can you do?
- Encourage your colleagues to join the PSA online HERE.
- Give a copy of this bulletin to your colleagues.
- Print this bulletin and put it up on your notice board.
- Get involved as a PSA Delegate or Contact: get in touch with your Organiser.