Cutting red tapeSummary – The Government has released revised Commonwealth Grant Guidelines for the Not-For-Profit sector in an attempt to reduce red tape and improve collaboration between Government and the Not-For-Profit sector.

The Government has released revised Commonwealth Grant Guidelines for the Not-For-Profit sector.

Grants are widely used by the Government to achieve government policy objectives, involving the payment of billions of dollars each year to the non-government sector.  The Commonwealth Grant Guidelines are issued by the Finance Minister under Section 64 of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and Regulation 7A of the Financial Management and Accountability Regulations 1997. They establish the government’s policy framework under which government agencies undertake their own grants administration activities.

The stated intention for the revision is the reduction of red tape and to improve collaboration between government and the Not-For-Profit sector.

In order to reduce time and duplication, the revised Guidelines require that:

  • agency staff not seek information from grant applicants and recipients that is available elsewhere in government and available to agency staff;
  • agency staff have regard to information already collected by regulators and in particular agency staff must not request information which has already been provided to the Australian Charities and Not-For-profits Commission (ACNC) by organisations regulated by that body.

The new Guidelines further support the ACNC’s implementation of a ‘report-once, use-often’ reporting framework, which is based around a Charity Passport which is a collection of data that charities will report once to the ACNC to meet the baseline corporate and financial reporting requirements of Australian Government agencies.

If implemented correctly the revised guidelines will mean that Australian charities do not have to provide the same information over and over again to Government.

The revised Guidelines will take effect from 1 June 2013 however agency staff may adopt some or all of the requirements in the updated Guidelines as soon as possible

The revised Guidelines can be found at the Department of Finance and Deregulation website

If you require any further information please contact Bill d’Apice or Chris Curran.