The Departments relationship with the Australian Government is a key relationship in the health and human services area.

There are a large number of complementary service interrelationships, for example around the provision of aged care, community care and homelessness. Financial assistance received from the Australian Government amounts to a significant percentage of DHHS funding. This money is largely in the form of Specific Purpose Payments (SPPs), provided through Commonwealth/State Agreements.

The principal Australian Government departments that we work with are the Department of Health and Ageing (DOHA) and Family and Children Services (FACS).

The DHHS works collaboratively with the central agencies Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPAC) and the Department of Treasury and Finance (DOTAF) to ensure a consistent Tasmanian approach to issues.

DPAC plays a coordinating role in ensuring that policy advice to Ministers attending Ministerial Council meetings is considered from a whole of government perspective. This includes convening, on a quarterly basis, an Intergovernmental Reference Group (IGRG) meeting comprising representatives from all government agencies. The objective of the IGRG is to provide a forum for the exchange of information regarding issues being discussed at a national level by portfolio agencies, including through relevant Ministerial Councils.

The peak intergovernmental forum is the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), of which the Premier is the Tasmanian representative.

At a National level, key policy, service and funding issues are managed through Ministerial Councils and Conferences.

At a local level, the Department maintains relationships with the local offices of the DOHA and FACS.