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 2017 (CGRGs) establish the Commonwealth grants policy framework.  The CGRGs contain the key legislative and policy requirements, and explain the better practice principles of grants administration.

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 29 August 2017. The latest version is available here:

A FAQ and factsheet summarising the key changes in the CGRGs is available here:

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


GrantConnect is the Commonwealth Government’s whole-of-government grant information system. It is a centralised web-based facility for publication of grants information on Forecast Opportunities (upcoming grants) and Grant Opportunities (current grants, open for application). GrantConnect provides a free, simple and effective service for all potential grant applicants to find and access grant opportunities and related grant documentation. Anyone can sign up to receive notification of all new Commonwealth grant opportunities, relevant to their interests, as they are published.

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Last updated: 10 July 2018