IMPROVING COMMONWEALTH GRANTS INTEGRITY, ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY

04 July 2024

SENATOR THE HON KATY GALLAGHER
MINISTER FOR FINANCE
MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE

MEDIA RELEASE

IMPROVING COMMONWEALTH GRANTS INTEGRITY, ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY

The Albanese Government is delivering on its commitment to improve integrity, accountability, and transparency for Commonwealth grants.

The new Commonwealth Grants Rules and Principles (CGRPs) strengthen briefing, recording, and reporting requirements for Ministers and the public service when it comes to grants.

The Minister for Finance, Senator Katy Gallagher said the Government is committed to restoring the public’s trust and faith in government grant processes.

“Grants provide significant benefits to the Australian community, and we want to ensure the process of awarding grants is open and transparent.

“After the previous Coalition Government’s record with Sports Rorts, Building Better Regions and Commuter Car Parks, there is an expectation that when it comes to the administration of grants and taxpayer’s money governments should act with the highest standards.”

Under the new CGRPs, Ministers will be required to report to the Minister for Finance, details of grants they have awarded to recipients in their own electorate and any grants they have approved which officials recommended be rejected, as soon as practicable.  This information will be tabled in the Parliament on a quarterly basis. This replaces the current annual reporting requirements, marking a significant improvement in transparency and accountability.

Transparency will be increased through the removal of the exemption from publication of one-off ad hoc grant guidelines and through requiring information on grants awarded to be linked to the relevant published grant guidelines on GrantConnect.

Briefing requirements will be strengthened when making recommendations and decisions to award, or not award, grants.

The changes will implement key recommendations made by the Auditor-General and the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit arising out of the administration of previous grants programs and contribute to a government commitment made under the Open Government Partnership, in Australia’s Third National Action Plan 2024-2025.

They will enhance accountability and provide the Australian public with greater confidence that grants are delivered in the best interests of the community.

The Commonwealth Grants Rules and Principles 2024 will take effect from 1 October 2024 and will replace the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines 2017.  

 

THURSDAY, 4 JULY 2024