Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines

Grants are widely used to achieve government policy objectives, involving the payment of billions of dollars each year to the non-government sector. Grants provide significant benefits to many Australians, through the Government working in partnership with individuals and organisations to deliver outcomes for the Australian public.

The Australian Government grants policy framework applies to all non-corporate Commonwealth entities (entities) subject to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).

The Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines (CGRGs) establish the Commonwealth grants policy framework.  They contain the key legislative and policy requirements, and explain the better practice principles of grants administration. Entities then determine their own grants administration practices in accordance with the CGRGs

The CGRGs apply to grants administration performed by ministers, accountable authorities, officials as well as third parties who undertake grants administration on behalf of the Commonwealth. It is important to note that it is the responsibility of officials to advise ministers of the requirements of the CGRGs.

The CGRGs took effect on 1 July 2014.

The following links set out key guidance and information that accountable authorities and officials should be aware of when undertaking grants administration.

Low-Risk Grant Agreement Template

As part of the Australian Government’s initiative to reduce red tape, the Department of Finance has developed a whole-of-government grant agreement template, which should be used by entities when entering into low-risk grants.

More information on the low-risk grant agreement template can be found at: Commonwealth Low-Risk Grant Agreement Template.

Government Grants News

The Department of Finance periodically releases a publication primarily aimed at Commonwealth officials working in grants administration.  Grants News provides information on what is new in Commonwealth grants and enables opportunities for entities to collaborate across portfolios.

Publications can be found at: Grants News

The Australian Government Grants System (

The development of the Australian Government Grants System ( was announced in the 2013-14 Budget.

Once developed, will provide a whole-of-government grants advertisement, lodgement and reporting system. It will be a single point of reference for government entities and grant applicants, particularly industry and the not-for-profit sector, similar to Austender [External link icon] . A scoping study, to inform the development of the system, is being undertaken until June 2014, with implementation of the system to occur in 2015-2016.  For updates on progress, please refer to Grant News. For specific inquiries, please contact

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Last updated: 23 June 2015