Publishing a grant

Important changes to the Commonwealth Grants Framework will come into effect from 1 October 2024.

This information sets out the requirements for the publication of grants on GrantConnect and outlines arrangements in relation to additional publication of grants information in other ways. 

GrantConnect is the Australian Government’s whole-of-government grants information system, which centralises the publication and reporting of Commonwealth grants in accordance with the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines 2017 (CGRGs) and the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014 (PGPA Rule). It is available at www.grants.gov.au.

The CGRGs apply to grants, as defined under paragraph 2.3 of the CGRGs, made by non-corporate Commonwealth entities (NCEs).

  • NCEs must publish on GrantConnect to meet the publishing requirements under paragraph 5 of the CGRGs.

The PGPA Rule commenced on 1 December 2020 and applies to corporate Commonwealth entities (CCEs) when a minister is involved in the making of CCE Grants. The definition of a CCE grant is in section 4 of the PGPA Rule.

  • CCEs must publish on GrantConnect to meet the grant publishing requirements under section 25B of the PGPA Rule.
     
  • The CGRGs may apply to CCEs when they undertake grants administration on behalf of the Commonwealth (as a third party).

Appropriate disclosure and reporting in grants administration are essential to ensure transparency and accountability. Reliable and timely information on grant opportunities and grants awarded helps to provide both the public and Parliament with confidence in the quality and integrity of grants administration.

Note: CCEs should follow a similar process to publishing on GrantConnect as per NCEs, when a minister is involved in making a CCE grant to comply with Division 6A of the PGPA Rule.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 
What must I publish and/or report on GrantConnect?
NCEs:
  • all forecast opportunities where these have been developed.
     
  • all grant opportunities and grant opportunity guidelines (except where there is a specific policy reason not to publicise the grant opportunity guidelines; or grants are provided on a one-off or ad hoc basis). See CGRGs section 5 for further detail.
     
  • any alterations and addenda to grant opportunities and grant opportunity guidelines.
     
  • information on grants awarded. See CGRGs paragraph 5.3 for further detail.
     
  • significant variations to grant agreements.
CCEs:
  • all guidelines on GrantConnect where a minister is to approve the making of the CCE grant (except where there is a specific policy reason to not publicise the guidelines; or the CCE grant is to be provided on a one-off or ad hoc basis). See PGPA Rule, section 25B for further information.
     
  • any alterations and addenda to grant guidelines published on GrantConnect.
     
  • information on grants awarded where a minister has approved the making of the CCE grant (PGPA Rule section 25F).
     
  • significant variations to grant agreements for grants awarded that have been required to be published on GrantConnect.

Where accountable authorities and officials have used other mechanisms to notify potential applicants about grant opportunities, such as printed media, the content of the notification must be the same, or be a subset of the information published on GrantConnect. Where there are inconsistencies, GrantConnect is the authoritative source.

RMG 421 under Related Resources provides further guidance on the use of GrantConnect for officials.

 
Where do I publish grant opportunity guidelines?
   NCEs:
  • The CGRGs requires entities to publish all grant guidelines on GrantConnect (paragraph 5.2).
CCEs:
  • The PGPA Rule requires the accountable authority to publish grant opportunity guidelines on GrantConnect where a minister is to approve the making of the CCE grant (Section 25B).

In-scope entities under the Streamlining Government Grants Administration program should discuss how their Hub service arrangement will manage the requirement to publish grant opportunities on GrantConnect.

 

 
What is a forecast opportunity?

Entities may choose to develop forecast opportunities to alert potential applicants of upcoming grant opportunities prior to opening for applications. When entities develop and publish forecast opportunities, these must be published on GrantConnect.

 
When must I report Grants Awarded on GrantConnect?

An entity must report, on GrantConnect, information on individual grants no later than 21 calendar days after the grant is awarded or the agreement for the grant takes effect (date of effect, see below). The approval date for reporting purposes is taken to be the date that the decision-maker (as listed in the Grant Opportunities Guidelines or Grant Guidelines) makes a decision to award a grant.

NCE example: The relevant minister may receive advice pursuant to paragraph 4.6 of the CGRGs, and then advise the department of his or her decision of which grantees have been approved, including the funding amount. The date of the decision is the date of the Minister's approval.

CCE example: Similar to the above NCE example the relevant minister has received advice pursuant to section 25B(6) of the PGPA Rule, and then advised the department of his or her decision of which grantees to approve.

 
What if there is no grant agreement?

Where there is no grant agreement, officials may decide and document why they have chosen a specific date of effect or start date. The date of effect can be the date of the first payment, the announcement of successful grantees or there may be a planned delayed start for grant projects to coincide with the commencement of the financial year. Whichever date of effect is decided and documented, this should be deemed as the start date for reporting purposes.

Officials should adopt a consistent approach for grants awarded in the same grant opportunity. Where the nature of the grant means that a grant agreement is not required, then the 21 calendar days would apply from the relevant date of effect, for example, the date of the first invoice or payment.

 
What is the date of effect?

Where there is a grant agreement, the start date for reporting purposes is generally taken to be the date the grant agreement is executed. However, if the grant agreement contains a specified date which occurs post-execution, in those instances, the start date for reporting purposes is taken to be the specified post-execution date.

 
Do I need to report variations to grant agreements?

Yes. Officials should report any major variations to grant agreements on GrantConnect, especially if the variation involves changes to the grant amount or a significant revision in time. Reportable variations include:

  • material increases to the dollar value of a grant
  • extension of the grant activity into another financial year, or
  • change in organisation details.

When updating a Grant Award notification for variations, it is better practice to link the grant opportunity ID where not previously reported. Variations providing for indexation would generally not need to be reported.

RMG 421 under Related Resources provides guidance on the requirements of GrantConnect.

 
Do I need to report variations to grant agreements within 21 calendar days?

No, however it is better practice for officials to amend the relevant Grants Award report by reflecting the variation as soon as is practicable.

 
My department is co-funding a grant with another non-corporate Commonwealth entity. Should I publish all details of the grant, or only the amount that we fund?

The entity that enters into the grant agreement should report the whole grant on GrantConnect. In the situation where two or more entities enter into the grant agreement with a grant recipient, then the lead entity should report the grant. In cases where there is both Australian Government and private sector funding for a specific grant project, entities are required to report only on the Australian Government contribution.

 
What information do I publish on my entity’s website?

GrantConnect is the central point of discovery for information about all Australian Government grants. Entities should publish a link to GrantConnect on their websites, rather than publishing grant opportunity guidelines or grants awarded on their websites.

 
How do I gain access to GrantConnect?

Should you have any questions regarding GrantConnect please contact:

www.grants.gov.au

E: GrantConnect@finance.gov.au

 
Are there exemptions to reporting on GrantConnect?
NCEs:
  • Paragraphs 5.6 and 5.7 of the CGRGs outline exemptions to reporting grants information on GrantConnect. Reasons for not reporting under paragraphs 5.6 or 5.7 must be fully documented.
CCEs:
  • Sections 25B(2)(b) and 25F(3) of the PGPA Rule outlines exemptions to reporting grants information on GrantConnect. Section 25G requires that if a decision is made to not publish information under paragraphs 25B(2)(b) or 25F(3), then reasons for that decision must be recorded in writing.

 

Confidentiality provisions when publishing grants awarded on GrantConnect

There are generally two broad types of confidentiality related clauses used in grant agreements:

  • general clauses referencing confidentiality requirements in legislation, such as under the Privacy Act 1988, or
     
  • special confidentiality provisions, which protect the confidentiality of: all or part of the grant agreement; or information obtained or generated in relation to the grant project.

The CGRGs and PGPA Rule provide that officials must identify whether a grant agreement contains confidentiality provisions. When entities publish information on individual grants awarded, they must include information identifying whether a grant agreement contains any confidentiality provisions and if so, provide the reasons why they are included.

References to requirements in other legislation do not need to be reported. There is no threshold for reporting on confidentiality provisions contained in grant agreements.

For additional information on reporting on confidentiality provisions, officials can draw from information provided for procurement contracts at https://www.finance.gov.au/government/procurement.


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