Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council manages 32 grants across 19 funding bodies with SurePact’s solution

SurePact’s business intelligence allows the Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council’s (ASC) executives to have immediate access and knowledge of 32 current grant applications across 19 funding bodies, and to monitor 58 contractors within the community.

Roadshow Yarrabah

The client

Yarrabah ASC is an Indigenous Council in Far North Queensland. Yarrabah ASC has five elected Councillors, and is the major employer in the region.

The Council has an annual budget of $23.5 million, with an asset value of $135 million. The 2018-19 financial year saw $7.1 million in asset additions, all requiring high ongoing maintenance costs.

As a non-rate payer-based community, the majority of funds for Yarrabah ASC’s development and operations are provided by Commonwealth and State Government funding bodies. It is important for the Council to be successful in grant applications for projects in the local community.

The problem

All Councils apply for grant funding, and 86% of Councils have no software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology for full compliance tracking of grant funding and delivery of projects and contracts to asset realisation. 

Yarrabah ASC is a Council that has limited income and is a grant dependent organisation. As such, the managing of grants is critical to their business model.

The Council has a number of different departments with grant-based projects covering finance administration through to community services and infrastructure, including water sewerage, housing construction, repairs and maintenance. All of these projects need to be monitored, accessible, tracked and delivered. 

Having limited visibility, transparency and accessibility of grants and funding meant that keeping its finger on the pulse from the grant application through to the delivery of the projects was a challenge for Yarrabah ASC.

The Council identified a need to optimise the flagging of key dates, management of cash flow, quality of project deliveries and communication with external contractors. 

The solution

Three years ago, Yarrabah ASC identified SurePact as a new SaaS solution that was available to assist with project, grant and risk management and systems control for projects.

Having used SurePact over the course of this time frame, Yarrabah ASC honed in its focus more intently over the past 18 months. 

“Over the past 18 months we have made a concerted effort to apply the SurePact software within our programs,” Yarrabah ASC CEO Leon Yeatman says.  

“We particularly focused on expanding into our planning and education modules and rolling out particular programs within the Council.

“We have embraced this new opportunity that has been afforded to us. We are particularly grateful to be given the opportunity to provide input around some of our learnings back to SurePact and we have used this opportunity to try and improve our business.”

The results

Yarrabah ASC worker

SurePact has allowed Yarrabah ASC to manage all of its projects and contracts on one central register. This allows for tracking of performance, key dates, milestones, cash flow, potential shortcomings and all key information relating to those projects and contracts to be in one easily accessible place. 

“We have tried many solutions and SurePact is the only one that works and meets our needs. Many have protocols that keep the people that need to access information out, or worse, allow knowledge to be shared with people it shouldn’t be,” Mr Yeatman says.

“SurePact allows us to customise our permissions to evolve and fit our needs and desires. We do not only include the project managers or finance director in that space – SurePact enables us to make sure that everyone who comes in contact with the projects can access and get exposure to the intricacies of the job at hand. 

“This provides benefits to our organisation and enhances our capacity to monitor the projects, keep the information current and intertwine it in our day-to-day functions within Council.”

SurePact’s Grant Management portal provides an essential area for reference.

“Having this information stored helps us to be able to focus on and see whether we should apply for new grants or to close out a report,” he says.

“We use SurePact for larger projects as they are not only critical but have big dollars attached to them. SurePact has helped us with our engagement with third parties, including those organisations who are funding our activities. 

“With project management there are many variables, which we need to make sure we manage in a consistent and reliable manner. SurePact allows for this so that we can achieve what we set out to achieve. The success is not just coming in on or under budget, but also in making sure the quality of the build is at a desired level.”

Based on his experience, Mr Yeatman has no hesitation in recommending the SurePact solution to other Councils. 

“SurePact are making inroads for Local Government in Queensland and have a great team led by a very inspirational leader in Megan Avard,” Mr Yeatman says. 

“Megan is very diligent. She is intent on understanding what our issues are, and helping us to find appropriate solutions. This provides a closed loop scenario and business continuity.”