The Grants Administration Guide (the Guide) provides principles-based guidance and includes mandatory requirements for officials, Ministers, and Ministerial staff. The Guide reflects the government sector core values of integrity, trust, service, and accountability.
The NSW Government is committed to grants programs that are transparent and in the public interest.
The Guide provides an overview of the grants administration process, overarching principles that apply to all NSW Government grants, and mandatory requirements that must be complied with when administering grants.
Agencies and Ministerial offices must implement processes and practices consistent with the principles and mandatory requirements in the Guide.
Upon publication in the Gazette, compliance with the Guide is a legislative requirement under clause 31 of Schedule 1 to the Government Sector Finance Act 2018 (NSW) (GSF Act).
The Guide will apply prospectively to all grants activities undertaken on and from the date of gazettal of the Guide on 19 September 2022, including grants activities undertaken in connection with grant programs that were already underway before that date.
The Guide requires agencies to publish certain information about grants on the NSW Government’s Grants and Funding Finder website at www.nsw.gov.au/grants-and-funding, which is managed by the Department of Customer Service. Agencies should ensure that all relevant information is published in line with the requirements of the Guide, including information about upcoming and open grant opportunities.
A cross-agency Community of Practice convened by the Department of Premier and Cabinet is responsible for developing resources to support compliance with the Guide and exploring opportunities for collaboration across government to improve the timing and coordination of grant opportunities.
The Guide makes clear:
the roles and responsibilities of those involved in the administration of grants, including the decision maker and those assessing applications and making recommendations
that grant guidelines must be prepared that contain certain information about the grant and identify the decision maker
that all grant applications must be administered in accordance with the grant guidelines
that where a competitive, merit-based selection process is not to be undertaken, officials must document why an alternative method will be used and outline the risk mitigation strategies, and this must be approved by the responsible Minister (or head of agency or delegate)
that officials should document input from Ministers, Members of Parliament, and any other stakeholders
that where the Minister is the decision maker, officials must provide written advice to the Minister
that decision makers must record the decision in writing, including the reasons for decision and any departure from the recommendation of officials
the obligations under the State Records Act 1998 (NSW) for officials, Ministers, and their staff to ensure decisions and actions are properly recorded and stored
that officials must demonstrate at the planning and design stage how a grant program will deliver value for money. This assessment should be proportionate to the value and risk of the grant
that when administering grants, officials must develop and implement fraud controls that are proportionate to the value and risk of the grant, and consistent with NSW public sector risk management requirements
that certain information regarding grants must be published.
In adhering to this memorandum and the Guide, and in line with agencies’ risk management frameworks and requirements under the GSF Act:
officials must establish processes to identify and manage risks for all grants, including preparation of a risk appetite statement for all medium-to high-risk grants
agencies should identify and task their risk management officers with providing advice and support to those who are planning, designing, and implementing grants
officials must seek probity advice (whether external or internal) for all grant programs that are complex, high risk or high value, to support the design, application, assessment and decision-making phases
Chief Audit Executives are to ensure their agency’s internal audit program includes regular audits of grant programs to monitor and assess compliance with the Guide. The frequency of audits should be proportionate to the value and risk of grants activity undertaken by the agency.
Who needs to know and/or comply with this?
- Advisory Entities (including Boards and Committees)
- Executive agencies related to Departments
- Separate agencies
- Statutory Authorities/Bodies
- Date Issued
- Sep 19, 2022
- Review Date
- Sep 19, 2024
- Replaced By
- Publishing Entity
- Department of Premier and Cabinet
- Issuing Entity
- Department of Premier and Cabinet