(25 July 2016) The Department of Social Services (DSS) has lead responsibility for ensuring that the Multicultural Access and Equity Policy operates across the APS to remove barriers that people from different cultural and linguistic (CALD) backgrounds can face in accessing Australian Government programmes and services and achieving equity of outcomes. These barriers may include difficulty communicating in English or unfamiliarity with government processes and procedures.
In 2016, DSS introduced a new approach to implementing the Multicultural Access and Equity Policy to deliver a streamlined and more effective planning system. The former one-size-fits-all approach to multicultural access and equity planning was replaced with a more flexible system that allows Australian Government departments and agencies to select a planning mechanism that reflects their different roles and functions.
Reducing internal red-tape in this way ensures that effort and resources are targeted toward those programmes and services where the application of multicultural access and equity principles can make the most difference for clients from CALD backgrounds. Further information on the Multicultural Access and Equity Policy can be found here: https://www.dss.gov.au/our-responsibilities/settlement-and-multicultural-affairs/programs-policy/multicultural-access-and-equity.