Community of Practice
On 25 November 2020, the Department of Finance hosted the end of year Community of Practice Forum. Finance provided updates on:
- New grants tools and templates developed to assist entities. These are available on the Finance website.
- An overview of the PGPA (CCE grants) Rule.
- Linking Grant Opportunity IDs to Grant Award reports on GrantConnect.
Speakers included officials from the Attorney-General’s Department (AGD), the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).
AGD and AFP gave a joint presentation on the causes and vulnerabilities of fraud in Commonwealth grants administration.
The ACNC provided an overview of the charity passport and changes to the Annual Information Statement.
New Redress Grant Connected Policy
The National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (the Scheme) Grant Connected Policy (GCP) will come into effect in January 2021.
The Redress GCP makes non-government institutions (NGI) named in applications to the Scheme, or in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, that do not join the Scheme ineligible for future Australian Government grant funding.
The Australian Government expects all NGIs named in applications to the Scheme or the Royal Commission to join the Scheme as soon as possible in order for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse to access redress. The Redress GCP aims to encourage NGIs to join the Scheme, in order to maximise institutional participation so as many survivors as possible can access the redress they deserve.
- The Scheme’s website provides the list of NGIs that are subject to this policy. The list will be updated on a regular basis to remain current and will be the reliable source of information for department and agencies administering grant opportunities.
- A standard eligibility criterion will be developed for use in grant opportunities to support the Redress GCP. It will be available soon on the Finance webpage for Grants Tools and Templates.
- Where an NGI listed on Scheme’s website received Australian Government grant funding prior to 1 January 2021, their existing agreement will not be affected. The listed NGI will be ineligible for future grant opportunities.
- For further information please see www.nationalredress.gov.au
PGPA (CCE grants) Rule
An amendment has been made to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014 (PGPA Rule) that applies to all corporate Commonwealth entities (CCEs) where a Minister is involved in making CCE grants.
These changes took effect on 1 December 2020.
Division 6A of the PGPA Rule has been introduced to improve transparency and accountability of grants made by, or on behalf of, corporate Commonwealth entities where a Minister is involved in approving CCE grants. The new mandatory requirements apply to both Ministers and Accountable Authorities of CCEs.
The purpose of the PGPA Rule is to ensure that Ministers are properly informed of the legal basis for their decisions and reporting responsibilities as part of any CCE grant decision-making process.
The three key responsibilities of the CCEs are as follows:
- Preparing and publishing written guidelines (known as grant guidelines).
- Providing written notice to the Minister who is involved in the making of a CCE grant.
- Publishing CCE grant information on GrantConnect.
CCEs are also required to assist Ministers with their reporting requirements to the Finance Minister where the Minister approves the making of a CCE grant:
- in the Minister’s own electorate; and/or
- which was recommended not be made.
Finance has produced guidance materials for CCEs and Ministers. This information is available here: Grants & CCEs.
If you have any questions please contact the Grants team at: email@example.com.
We would also like to request that contacts from Departments to share this Grants News with CCEs across their portfolio.
Division 6A of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014 is available here: www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2020C01056.
New Senate Order for Ministerial Grant Reporting
A new Senate Order of Continuing Effect for the production of documents relating to annual Ministerial reporting requirements for grants was agreed by the Senate in May 2020.
This order requires the Finance Minister to table, by no later than 30 April of each calendar year:
- all reports and correspondence received by the Minister for Finance under paragraph 4.12 of the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines 2017 (CGRGs) during the preceding calendar year; and
- a summary of the decisions reported under paragraph 4.12 of the CGRGs.
Please refer to the Senate standing orders for further information. Finance will provide advice to entities on Ministerial reporting in due course.
Australian Business Register data - unlocking social and economic value
The Australian Business Register (ABR) is the most complete set of searchable data on Australian businesses available. The ABR delivers the right data, at the right time, in the right way – and ABR tools and data are free and maintained by the Australian Taxation Office.
Partner agencies use ABR data to connect with businesses and manage risks in procurement or undertake compliance checks. The good news is that many agencies have a signed Partnership Agreement allowing their staff to access ABR business data at any time. If you don’t have access, it’s a simple process to set it up with a guide can be found through: Accessing our online services with myGovID and RAM page.
ABR data includes additional information for each Australian business number (ABN) which is not accessible to the public. Public information, which anyone can access via ABN Lookup, is limited to certain items. The non-public ABR data includes:
- business addresses,
- whether registered or not for GST,
- registered as a Deductible Gift Recipient
- industry type information,
- contact details (such as email addresses and phone numbers),
- geocoded latitude and longitude co-ordinates for mapping,
- list of authorised contacts, associate or director details, and more.
ABR Explorer is an online reporting tool that allows users to search, query, visualise and download ABR data. It can:
- Build and analyse queries using custom search filters.
- Export query data results into graphs and tables.
- Conduct up to 100,000 bulk ABN searches at one time.
Some examples of how government agencies use ABR data are:
- Department of Treasury and Finance SA used ABR data to validate applications for COVID-19 small business grants.
- Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources use ABR data to validate the details on tender applications, check ABN history and associated information for procurement due diligence.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics used industry codes in ABR data to determine which businesses to include in their survey for community consultation.
- Geoscience Australia use ABR data to provide spatial support to the Crisis Coordination Centre within Emergency Management Australia. During disasters and emergency events business data can be used in the preparation, response and recovery for communities.
GrantConnect Help Desk Christmas Arrangements
Please note there will be limited help desk support from 22 December 2020.
There will be no helpdesk support during the Christmas closure period (24 December 2020 until 4 January 2021).
The GrantConnect help desk standard operation hours will recommence from 9:00am (AEDT) Wednesday 6 January 2021.
If you have any queries, please contact the GrantConnect Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.