Natural Disaster Financial Assistance (NDFA) January 2015 Overview of the NDFA • Alleviates some of the financial burden experienced following a natural disaster to: - municipal councils & Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs); - Individuals & households (personal hardship grants); & - primary producers, small businesses & not-for-profit organisations (Concessional loans & Clean up & Restoration Grants) • Mirrors the joint State-Commonwealth Natural Disaster Relief & Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA). Eligible natural disasters Assistance is available for: • • • • • Bushfire Earthquake Flood Storm or storm surge Tornado • Cyclone • Landslide • Tsunami • Meteorite strike Terrorism now included Non-natural disasters not eligible includes: • • • • Drought Frost Heatwave Epidemic • Events where human activity is a significant contributing cause (other than arson) Notification of Events As soon as possible after an event, councils should advise DTF of: • damage to essential public assets • If undertaking counter disaster activities or establishing a MECC, Relief or Recovery Centre • any changes to damage estimates after advising them to DTF Eligible costs which Councils can claim • Counter disaster operations (including repairs to facilities damaged by counter disaster operations) • Emergency protection works • Restoration of essential public assets damaged as a direct result of a natural disaster to its pre-disaster standard in accordance with current building and engineering standards • Some additional operational costs mainly associated with the establishment of a MECC, Relief Centres and/or Recovery Centre (subject to activation of the event under the NDRRA) Ineligible costs Include: • Normal maintenance & administration costs including salaries, day labour costs & other ongoing administrative type expenditure which would have been incurred even if the natural disaster had not occurred • Costs associated with restoring natural vegetation, natural banks, streams, rivers, beaches & undeveloped land • Costs incurred in mitigating, restoring or replacing an asset to a more disaster resilient level or higher level of service (unless otherwise agreed) Restoration of Essential Public Assets Definition under the NDRRA has narrowed to: - An integral & necessary part of the State’s infrastructure associated with health, education, transport, justice or welfare Eligible assets include: - Road & bridge infrastructure, footpaths, levees, local government offices & storm water infrastructure Restoration of Essential Public Assets • Sporting & community facilities, religious establishments & memorials now generally excluded including walking trails, piers and wave energy dissipation structures • Assets need to be owned by the council • Eligibility issues should be directed to the NDFA team, DTF, in the first instance at: (03) 9651 2327 or [email protected] Applying for financial assistance • Councils can apply for assistance through: - Claims (reimbursement of actual expenditure incurred); or an - Advance Payment request • The DTF website provides - A link to the Automated Claims Management System (ACMS) - Guidelines on eligible costs associated with: a. salaries and overtime costs b. Restoration of essential public assets c. Counter disaster operations d. Relief and recovery centres Advance Payment process • Where financial hardship can be demonstrated, an advance payment may be requested to assist with cash flow in commencing repair or restoration works • Previously, Advance payment requests have been made in writing to DTF • Future advance payment requests can now be made electronically Advance Payment process cont. • Advance payment requests are subject to approval by DTF Secretary • Councils will receive confirmation of advance payments approved • Justification Claims (offsetting against the advance) are required to be submitted to DTF regularly • VicRoads will undertake formal assessment of expenditure as per the normal claims process Claims Process • Councils required to submit Claims for actual eligible expenditure regularly to DTF i.e. at least quarterly • All restoration works to be completed within the allowable time period - 2 years from the end of the financial year in which the natural disaster occurred • Final claims should be submitted by the end of September following the allowable time period (except for large infrastructure projects) • Expenditure will be formally assessed by VicRoads Automated Claims Management system (ACMS) • Replaces old paper based processes for advances, claims, assessments and approvals • It also replaces DTF’s manually maintained database • The system uses a web interface to move claims between council, VicRoads and DTF Benefits The new system will enable councils to: • lodge claims and requests for advances • submit supporting documentation with the claim • cancel claims • track progress of claims and view the status of all claims • provide real time data on the balance of advances • reduce the need for manual processing of data or duplicate processing • eliminate the need to reconcile council data with DTF data The system will also: • Speed up the transfer of documentation between councils, DTF and VicRoads Plans for roll out • System anticipated to “go live” late November/early December 2014 subject to final user acceptance testing feedback • Regional and metro training sessions - DTF will work with councils to accommodate any needs given upcoming bushfire season • User manuals will be provided • Help desk support is available by calling NDFA Support on (03) 9651-2327 during office hours. Plans for roll out Subject to final user acceptance testing feedback, it is anticipated that the new system will be used for claims for all events occurring in the 2014 year and onwards: • January 2014 Bushfires • February 2014 Bushfires • East Gippsland Floods (June 2014) • Victorian Storms (24 June 2014) • Victorian Storms (July 2014) • any future events Copyright (C) 2013. State of Victoria. All rights reserved. The information contained in this presentation is provided by the State of Victoria for information purposes only. While the State of Victoria has made every effort to ensure the information contained in this presentation is free from error, the State of Victoria does not warrant or represent its accuracy, adequacy or completeness. All information detailed in this presentation is subject to change without notice.