International Relations Grants Program
Australia-Korea Foundation 2019
9am (AEDT) on 1-Feb-2019
Closing date and time:
2pm (AEST) on 28 March-2019
Commonwealth policy entity:
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
If you have any questions, please contact the Australia-Korea Foundation Secretariat:
Questions should be sent no later than 21-March-2019
Date guidelines released:
18 December 2018
Type of grant opportunity:
Appendix A: Acronyms
1. International Relations Grants Program: Australia-Korea Foundation 2019 Process Flowchart
The International Relations Grants Program is designed to achieve Australian Government objectives
This grant opportunity is part of the above Grant Program which contributes to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Outcome 1 in the Portfolio Budget Statements. The Australia-Korea Foundation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) works with stakeholders to plan and design the grant program according to the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines.
The grant opportunity opens
We publish the grant guidelines and advertise on SmartyGrants, the DFAT website and social media.
You complete and submit a grant application
We assess all grant applications
We assess the applications against eligibility criteria and notify you if you are not eligible. The Board of the Australia-Korea Foundation then assesses your application against the assessment criteria including an overall consideration of value for money and compares it to other applications.
We make grant recommendations
The Board provides advice to the DFAT decision maker on the merits of each application.
Grant Decisions are made
The DFAT decision maker decides which grant applications are successful.
We notify you of the outcome
We advise you of the outcome of your application. We may not notify unsuccessful applicants until grant agreements have been executed with successful applicants.
We enter into grant agreements
We will enter into a grant agreement with each successful applicant. The type of grant agreement is based on the nature of the grant and proportional to the risks involved.
Delivery of grant
You undertake the grant activity as set out in your grant agreement. We manage the grant by working with you, monitoring your progress and making grant payments.
Evaluation of the International Relations Grants Program/Australia-Korea Foundation 2019
We evaluate the specific grant activity and the International Relations Grants Program/Australia-Korea Foundation 2019 as a whole. We base this on information you provide to us and that we collect from various sources.
2. About the grant program
The International Relations Grants Program (the Program) is an ongoing program, subject to annual budget appropriation.
The objectives of the Program are to promote people-to-people links and a contemporary and positive image of Australia and support for the Australian Government’s international policy goals.
The expected outcomes of the Program are:
- strengthened bilateral relationships in areas of mutual interest with particular countries and regions,
- international networks, collaboration and connections between institutions and communities to build understanding, trust and influence,
- enhanced Australian international reputation and reach through the promotion of our economic, creative and cultural, sporting, innovation and science, and education assets, and
- increased understanding of Australians of the cultures and opportunities in each of these countries.
Grant opportunities available under the International Relations Grants Program are:
- Australia-ASEAN Council 2019
- Australia-China Council 2019
- Australia-India Council 2019
- Australia-Indonesia Institute 2019
- Australia-Japan Foundation 2019
- Australia-Korea Foundation 2019
- Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grants Program 2019
- Council for Australian-Arab Relations 2019
- Council on Australia Latin America Relations 2019
Further information on the International Relations Grants Program, including descriptions of previous grant-funded projects, is available at www.dfat.gov.au/councils.
The Program will be undertaken according to the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines (CGRGs) https://www.finance.gov.au/resource-management/grants/
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade reserves the right to cease selection processes for Grant Opportunities under the International Relations Grants Program.
2.1 About the Australia-Korea Foundation 2019
These guidelines contain information for the Australia-Korea Foundation 2019 grants. This grant opportunity is part of the International Relations Grants Program.
This document sets out:
- the purpose of the grant opportunity
- the eligibility and assessment criteria
- how grant applications are monitored and evaluated
- responsibilities and expectations in relation to the opportunity.
You must read this document before filling out an application.
2.2 Australia-Korea Foundation outcomes
The Australia-Korea Foundation (AKF) seeks to strengthen the Australia-Korea relationship in ways that enhance mutual understanding and people-to-people links.
The objectives of the AKF grant program are to:
- increase public awareness of Australia in Korea, and of Korea in Australia, and the importance of the bilateral relationship
- develop partnerships in areas of shared interest in the bilateral, regional and global context
- increase Australians’ capacity to effectively engage with Korea.
Key priority areas of the 2019 grant program are:
- Building cultural understanding
- Reciprocal Australian and Korean studies
- Technological and scientific innovation
- Trade diplomacy and geopolitics
3. Grant amount
Between $630,000 and $730,000 in 2019-20 is available for this grant opportunity, subject to appropriation, starting in July 2019.
Grant applications for a minimum of $5,000 or maximum of $40,000 per year will be considered.
Co-contributions from you and other parties strengthen your application.
It is anticipated that most grants will be between $15,000 and $30,000 per year, depending on the scope of the grant activity and its complexity.
4. Grant eligibility criteria
We cannot consider your application if it does not satisfy all the eligibility criteria.
4.1 Who is eligible to apply for a grant?
To be eligible you must:
- be one of the following entity types:
- an Australian entity with an Australian Business Number (ABN) or Australian Company Number (ACN), or Indigenous Corporation Number (ICN)
- an Australian consortium with a lead organisation
- an Australian registered charity or not-for-profit organisation
- an Australian local government body
- an Australian State/Territory government body
- a corporate Commonwealth entity
- an Australian statutory authority
- be an Australian or permanent resident of Australia
- a citizen or organisation from the Republic of Korea
- a well-established organisation in the Republic of Korea with a business purpose to advocate for Australian business, education and/or cultural interests
- and be willing to provide or develop child protection guidelines for your project if it involves people under the age of 18 years.
Applications from consortia are acceptable, provided you have a lead applicant who is the main driver of the project and is eligible as per the list above.
Individuals who intend the grant to be administered by a university should apply on behalf of the university, i.e. your university is the applicant.
4.2 Who is not eligible to apply for a grant?
You are not eligible to apply if you are:
- Not an Australian, a permanent resident of Australia or an Australian organisation and you are not a citizen of, or organisation from, the Republic of Korea
- A previous applicant who has failed to provide a full and proper acquittal of an earlier IRGP grant.
- You may provide an interim report with the agreement of the relevant Secretariat where existing grant funding will be expended prior to the commencement of the new grant requested.
5. Eligible grant activities
5.1 What can the grant money be used for?
You must use the grant for the following activities:
- The project outlined within the application.
You can use the grant to pay for costs detailed in your budget and grant agreement, including:
- Economy flights, modest accommodation costs, meals and travel allowances, other transport
- Communication and translation
- Venue hire and catering,
- Advertising and promotion, graphic design, photography and printed material,
- Production costs, including freight and artists’ wages
- Only one participant per conference or meeting and only where the participant is a principal speaker and the subject of the conference is of direct relevance to the grant opportunity.
For activities delivered in Australia, applicants are encouraged to consider the use of an Indigenous supplier, if they intend to subcontract any of the services above. A directory of registered Indigenous businesses is available at www.supplynation.org.au
You can only spend grant funds on eligible grant activities as defined in the grant details in your grant agreement.
5.2 What the grant money cannot be used for
You cannot normally use the grant for the following:
- capital expenditure, including purchase of real estate and vehicles
- purchase of equipment (for example, musical instruments, computers, videos, photographic or printing equipment)
- the covering of retrospective costs or recurrent funding of activities
- activities which are already commercially viable in their own right
- activities which will provide commercial advantage to the applicant (e.g. promotion of the applicant’s own business)
- costs incurred in the preparation of a grant application or related documentation
- subsidy of general ongoing administration of an organisation such as electricity, phone, rent, salaries (including for research assistants or administrative staff), honorariums or administrative charges levied by the applicant's organisation,
- activities for which other Commonwealth, State, Territory or Local Government bodies have primary responsibility (e.g. academic research, assistance to business, development assistance projects),
- activities undertaken by primary or high schools, including study tours, where travel by a significant number of students is the principal element of the proposal
- scholarships to individual students, and
- completed projects.
We do not generally fund travel and accommodation for attendance at conferences or meetings, participation in fieldwork or sporting or other events, unless such activities are considered by the Board to be of direct relevance to its objectives. To be considered, a substantial program should exist in the sidelines or around the conference and there should also be a strong argument for the selection of applicant(s).
6. The grant selection process
First we will assess your application against the eligibility criteria. Only eligible applications will move to the next stage. Eligible applications will be considered through an open competitive grant process.
We will then assess your application against the criteria set out below and against other applications. Your application will be considered on its merits, based on:
- how well it meets the criteria
- how it compares to other applications
- whether it provides value for money and
- whether it will ensure a reasonable spread of projects across priority sectors and across the targeted country or regions.
7. The assessment criteria
You will need to address all of the following assessment criteria in your application. We will judge your application based on the weighting given to each criterion. The amount of detail and supporting evidence you provide in your application should be relative to the project size, complexity and grant amount requested. The application form includes word limits.
Criterion 1: How will the grant activity contribute to the objectives of the Australia-Korea Foundation
In providing a response to this criterion you must include, but are not limited to:
- a description of the activity and provision of information which demonstrates alignment to the Australia-Korea Foundation’s objectives and at least one of the Australia-Korea Foundation’s current strategic priority areas.
Criterion 2: What is the grant activities’ potential for raising awareness of Australia in Korea/Korea in Australia and does it promote a contemporary and positive image of Australia?
In providing a response to this criterion, you should demonstrate how your grant activities would reach out to a broader audience (eg the public and/or decision-makers) and also how you would create or strengthen formal or other relationships. You should include, but are not limited to:
- any proposed quantitative or qualitative performance measures to indicate the expected reach of your project such as anticipated:
- events such as public seminars, promotional events, performances, exhibition days, or community events.
- number of participants/audience spectators (and a description of your target audience) and why you expect this level of engagement;
- media engagement plans (including social media), the type of media interest you seek to generate (eg articles, radio and television broadcasts); and
- distribution plans (eg of a publication).
- indicating any follow-up activities that could arise from the grant activity and that could ensure networks created between individuals and institutions through the project are sustained (eg through creation of alumni groups).
Criterion 3: What is the need for the particular grant activity in the particular location/demographic or how does the proposed grant activity address a specific need?
In providing a response to this criterion you should include, but are not limited to:
- demonstrating links to Korea.
- demonstrating the gap that your grant activity would address.
- demonstrating how your grant activity would address a new area of interest and cooperation between Australia and Korea.
- demonstrating how your grant activity would address an area of interest and cooperation between Australia and Korea in a new, innovative and improved way.
Criterion 4: What is the capability and capacity of the applicant to undertake the grant activity?
In providing a response to this criterion you should demonstrate you and/or your organisation’s capability and capacity to successfully undertake your grant activity. You should include, but are not limited to:
- a one-page capability statement of the organisation and/or CV of the project leader(s)
- two signed references from referees with no direct financial interest in your project
- referees should comment on the project’s objectives and the strategies to achieve them.
- references that provide different perspectives on the proposal; and
- referees who work for different organisations.
- a letter of support from your organisation’s research office or equivalent If you are from a large organisation that confirms alignment of your grant activity to the organisation’s international strategies.
Criterion 5: What is the capability and commitment of your Korean partner?
In providing a response to this criterion you should demonstrate your Korean partner organisation’s capability and capacity and commitment to successfully undertake your grant activity. You should include, but are not limited to:
- a letter of support from your Korean partner;
- Track record of successful partnerships?
Criterion 6: Will you spend Commonwealth of Australia funds in a way that represents value for money?
In providing a response to this criterion you should demonstrate how well you have considered to provide value for money. You should include, but are not limited to:
- inclusion of other sources of income and an indication of whether each source of income is confirmed, conditional or pending approval
- other sources of income can include other grants from Australian Federal Government, State Government, Local Government, etc, and in-kind contributions from your organisation and your Korean partner.
- appropriate, reasonable and realistic economy travel costings.
All assessment criteria are given equal weighting and the application must be rated satisfactory or higher against each individual criterion.
When preparing the application, applicants should bear in mind that the assessment committee may not be familiar with the applicant, the organisation or the field of activity. As the committee’s recommendation will be primarily based on the information provided in the application form, this document should be clear, accurate, comprehensive and focused.
8. The grant application process
8.1 Overview of application process
You must read these grant guidelines, the application form, the Australia-Korea Foundation Strategic Plan, the draft grant agreement and the sample final report before you submit an application.
You are responsible for ensuring that your application is complete and accurate. Giving false or misleading information will exclude your application from further consideration.
You must address all of the eligibility and assessment criteria and provide two short signed independent references to be considered for a grant. Please complete each section of the application form and make sure you provide the information we have requested.
Please keep a copy of your application and any supporting papers.
We will acknowledge that we have received your grant application, through an automated email from the online grants management system, SmartyGrants, within one working day.
8.2 Application process timing
Submit your application/s to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade by the closing date below. The Australian Government will only accept a late application in exceptional circumstances where permission has been granted by the Secretariat in advance of the closing time and date.
The expected start date for the granting activities is within the 2019-20 financial year and the expected end date is as specified in your application.
Table 1: Expected timing.
8.3 Table 1: Expected timing for this grant opportunity
Open: 9am (AEDT) on 1-Feb-2019
Close: 2pm (AEST) on 28-Mar-2019
Assessment of applications
Approval of outcomes of selection process
Late June/early July
Negotiations and award of grant agreements
Notification to unsuccessful applicants
Before 30 June 2019
Specified in application
8.4 Completing the grant application
You must submit your grant application in English on the application form, which can be downloaded at https://dfat.smartygrants.com.au/AKF2019. The application form includes help information.
This is an online application form that you can submit electronically. If you have any technical difficulties please contact SmartyGrants Help Desk (email@example.com, +61 3 9320 6888 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday).
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will not provide application forms or accept applications for this grant opportunity by fax or mail.
You must make sure that your application is complete and accurate and submitted in accordance with these Guidelines and application form.
You cannot change your application after the closing date and time without prior approval by the Secretariat.
If you find a mistake in your application after it has been submitted or if there are changes to contact details or other information pertinent to the completion of the project, you should contact the Secretariat straight away. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade may ask you for more information, as long as it does not change the substance of your application. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade does not have to accept any additional information, nor requests applicants to correct applications after the closing time.
8.5 Attachments to the application
The following documents must be included with your application:
- two short signed independent references;
- letter of support from nominated partners (if relevant);
- organisation capability statement or individual’s curriculum vitae (optional); and
- if you apply on behalf of a university, a letter of support from your Research Office.
Your supporting documentation should be attached to the application form. There will be instructions in the application form to help you. Only attach the documents you have been asked to include.
Among applications from universities, the most competitive applications will be those with letters of support from the relevant Research Office highlighting the alignment of the proposed project to the Australia-Korea Foundation, the relevance of the project to the University’s strategic goals in the relevant country and demonstrating that the project is not more appropriately funded by the Australia Research Council or alternative Commonwealth funding body.
8.6 Applications from consortium
Some organisations may apply as a consortium to deliver grant activities. A consortium is two or more organisations who are working together to combine their capabilities when developing and delivering a grant activity.
If you are submitting a grant application on behalf of a consortium, a member organisation or a newly created organisation must be appointed as the ‘lead organisation’. Only the lead organisation will enter into a grant agreement with the Commonwealth and will be responsible for the grant. The lead organisation must complete the application form and identify all other members of the proposed consortium in the application. The application must include a letter of support from each organisation involved in the grant. Each letter of support should include:
- an overview of how the consortium will work together to complete the grant activity
- an outline of the relevant experience and/or expertise of the consortium members
- the roles/responsibilities of consortium members and the resources they will contribute (if any)
- details of a nominated management level contact officer
- details of the lead organisation.
8.7 Questions during the application process
If you have any questions during the application period, please contact Australia-Korea Foundation Secretariat, (02) 6261 3869, firstname.lastname@example.org. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade undertakes to respond to emailed questions within five working days.
Questions should be sent no later than 28-Mar-2019.
Answers to questions may be posted on the website.
Applicants may speak with the Australia-Korea Foundation Secretariat in their first language by telephoning the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 (local call anywhere in Australia) and asking to be connected with the Secretariat.
Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander applicants may wish to access assistance in submitting an application where English is not their first language. In these cases, applicants may contact an Indigenous language centre for assistance.
8.8 Further grant opportunities
The Australia-Korea Foundation aims to allocate all grant funding during the annual grants round and is typically over-subscribed with suitable applications each year. If there are not enough suitable applications to meet the program’s objectives, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade may consider applications received during the financial year, subject to available funding through direct selection or restricted processes. All potential grants will still be considered against the outcomes of the program (and/or criteria in these guidelines) and value for money.
9. Assessment of grant applications
9.1 Who will assess applications?
The Board of the Australia-Korea Foundation will assess each application. Board members are listed on the Australia-Korea Foundation website. Board members are treated as Commonwealth officials due to their role in the assessment process in accordance with Part 1, section 2.8 of the CGRGs and the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act.
While an application may meet the assessment criteria, a grant is not guaranteed.
The Australia-Korea Foundation Secretariat, within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, will provide information and advice to the Board to assist its determination of policy and its assessment of grant applications.
The Board may seek additional input from relevant Australian missions overseas about you or your application. They may also seek additional information from other Commonwealth agencies, even if the sources are not nominated by you as referees. The Board may also consider information about you or your application that is available through the normal course of business.
If the selection process identifies unintentional errors in your application, you may be contacted to correct or explain the information.
9.2 Who will approve grants?
The assessment committee will make recommendations to the Assistant Secretary, North Asia Division/North East Asia Branch, or his/her delegate within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The delegate will make the final decision to approve a grant.
The delegate’s decision is final in all matters, including:
- the approval of the grant
- the grant funding amount to be awarded.
The delegate will not approve funding if they reasonably consider the program funding available will not accommodate the funding offer, and/or the application does not represent value for money.
The Australia-Korea Foundation reserves the right to offer less funding than that sought by the applicant.
There is no appeal mechanism for decisions to approve or not approve a grant.
10. Notification of application outcomes
You will be advised of the outcomes of your application in writing, following a decision by the delegate. If you are successful, you will also be advised about any specific conditions attached to the grant.
If you are unsuccessful, you may submit a new application for the same project (or a similar project) in any future grant opportunity rounds. You may wish to include new or more information to address any weaknesses that may have prevented your previous application from being successful.
10.1 Feedback on your application
If you are unsuccessful, you may ask for feedback from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade within one month of being advised of the outcome. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will give verbal feedback within one month of feedback being requested.
11. Successful grant applications
11.1 The grant agreement
If you are successful, you must enter into a legally binding grant agreement with the Commonwealth represented by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Standard terms and conditions for the grant agreement will apply and cannot be changed. Any additional conditions attached to the grant will be identified in the grant offer or during the grant agreement negotiations.
You will be required to:
- complete a brief communications outline within two weeks of accepting the grant offer,
- provide a final report, including financial acquittal, using the online template within 60 days of project completion,
- for multi-year grants, complete interim reports once a year using the online template, and
- where conference or meeting participation of a principal speaker is funded, a copy of the paper presented by the participant in addition to the report.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will negotiate agreements with successful applicants by 30 September 2019. If there are unreasonable delays in finalising a grant agreement, the grant offer may be withdrawn and the grant may be awarded to a different applicant.
Where a grantee fails to meet the obligations of the grant agreement, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade may withhold or suspend the funding to the grantee; and/or require the grantee to repay all or part of the grant. No compensation is payable by the Department for termination in these circumstances.
You should not make financial commitments until a grant agreement has been executed by the Commonwealth.
11.2 How the grant will be paid
The grant agreement will state the:
- maximum grant amount to be paid.
We will not exceed the maximum grant amount under any circumstances. If you incur extra eligible expenditure, you must pay it yourself.
We will make an initial payment on execution of the grant agreement and on receipt of a valid invoice For multi-year grants, we will make subsequent payments, detailed in the grant agreement, progressively based on your interim reports, including acquittals, and receipt of a valid invoice.
All grants are awarded in Australian dollars. You are responsible for any financial differences that may occur from the time of the application submission to when the project takes place, due to fluctuations in the exchange rate.
11.3 Grant agreement variations
We recognise that unexpected events may affect the progress of a project. In these circumstances, you can request a project variation, including:
- changing project milestones consistent with the original intent of the project
- extending the timeframe for completing the project for a reasonable period of time
- changing the allocations across budget items
The program does not allow for:
- an increase to the agreed amount of grant funds
If you want to propose changes to the grant agreement, you must put them in writing before the grant agreement end date. Contact the Australia-Korea Foundation Secretariat for further information. We will not consider changes after the grant agreement end date.
You should not assume that a variation request will be successful. We will consider your request based on factors such as:
- how it affects the project outcome
- consistency with the program policy objective and any relevant policies of the department
- changes to the timing of grant payments
- availability of program funds.
12. Announcement of grants
If successful, your grant will be listed on the website GrantConnect and on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website within 21 days of the date of effect as required by Section 5.3 of the CGRGs.
13. Delivery of grant activities
13.1 Your responsibilities
You must submit reports in line with the timeframes in the grant agreement. Sample templates for these reports are available on the website. We will expect you to report on:
- progress against your communications plan actively deepening international relationships and promoting your project and the council;
- progress against agreed project milestones;
- contributions of participants directly related to the project;
- eligible expenditure of grant funds; and
- results against key performance indicators and the project specific outputs detailed in your application.
You will also be responsible for:
- meeting the terms and conditions of the grant agreement and managing and promoting the activity efficiently and effectively;
- complying with record keeping, reporting and acquittal requirements as set out in the grant agreement;
- all administrative arrangement associated with your project including visa and travel arrangements, visa charges, airport taxes, ground transport, travel and health insurance for project participant’s medical and hospital insurance cover both overseas and in Australia for visitors not covered by Medicare (including evacuation and death cover), and necessary insurance for equipment and accommodation costs and arrangements;
- other insurances, including workers’ compensation, as required by law, and professional indemnity, public health and liability insurance, as required by the project; and
- complying with all applicable domestic and international laws.
13.2 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s responsibilities
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will:
- meet the terms and conditions set out in the grant agreement;
- provide timely administration of the grant; and
- evaluate the grantee’s performance.
We will monitor the progress of your project by assessing reports you submit, may attend project events and may conduct site visits to confirm details of your reports if necessary. Occasionally we may need to re-examine claims, seek further information or request an independent audit of claims and payments.
Funding under this grants program does not imply that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade endorses the views of recipients involved in any funded activity.
13.3 Grant payments and GST
Payments will be made as set out in the grant agreement. Where appropriate, payments will be GST Inclusive.
If you receive a grant, you should consider speaking to a tax advisor about the effect of receiving a grant before you enter into a grant agreement. You can also visit the Australian Taxation Office website at www.ato.gov.au for more information.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will evaluate the Australia-Korea Foundation 2019 activities to measure how well the outcomes and objectives have been achieved. Your grant agreement requires you to provide information to help with this evaluation.
13.5 Publicity and acknowledgement
The Australia-Korea Foundation logo/Australian Government crest is to be used on all materials related to grants under the Program. Whenever the logo/crest is used the publication must also acknowledge the Commonwealth as follows:
‘This activity received grant funding from the Australia-Korea Foundation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.’
Invitations to board members and/or officers of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to represent the Australian Government support for the project are highly desirable.
The Australian Government will make sure that the program process is fair, according to the published guidelines, incorporates appropriate safeguards against fraud, unlawful activities and other inappropriate conduct and is consistent with the CGRGs.
Note: These guidelines may be changed from time-to-time by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. When this happens the revised guidelines will be published on the Department’s website at http://dfat.gov.au/councils.
14.1 Complaints process
All complaints about a grant process must be lodged in writing with the Secretariat.
Any questions you have about grant decisions for the Program should be sent to Australia.Korea@dfat.gov.au. You may wish to list @dfat.gov.au as a trusted emailer in your email system.
If you do not agree with the way the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has handled your complaint, you may complain to the Commonwealth Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will not usually look into a complaint unless the matter has first been raised directly with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The Commonwealth Ombudsman can be contacted on:
14.2 Conflict of interest
Any conflicts of interest could affect the performance of the grant. There may be a conflict of interest, or perceived conflict of interest, if the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade staff, any member of the assessment committee and/or you or any of your personnel:
- has a professional, commercial or personal relationship with a party who is able to influence the application selection process, such as an Australian Government officer
- has a relationship with an organisation which is likely to interfere with or restrict the applicants from carrying out the proposed activities fairly and independently or
- has a relationship with, or interest in, an organisation from which they will receive personal gain because the organisation receives funding under the Program.
You will be asked to declare, as part of your application, any perceived or existing conflicts of interests or that, to the best of your knowledge, there is no conflict of interest.
If you later identify that there is an actual, apparent, or potential conflict of interest or that one might arise in relation to a grant application, you must inform the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in writing immediately. Committee members and other officials including the decision maker must also declare any conflicts of interest.
The chair of the Assessment Committee will be made aware of any conflicts of interest and will handle them as set out in Australian Government policies and procedures. Conflicts of interest for Australian Government staff will be handled as set out in the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct (Section 13(7)) of the Public Service Act 1999. We publish our conflict of interest policy, available on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.
14.3 Privacy: confidentiality and protection of personal information
We treat your personal information according to the 13 Australian Privacy Principles and the Privacy Act 1988. This includes letting you know:
- what personal information we collect
- why we collect your personal information
- who we give your personal information to
You are required, as part of your application, to declare your ability to comply with the Privacy Act 1988, including the Australian Privacy Principles and impose the same privacy obligations on any subcontractors you engage to assist with the activity. You must ask for the Australian Government’s consent in writing before disclosing confidential information.
Your personal information can only be disclosed to someone else if you are given reasonable notice of the disclosure; where disclosure is authorised or required by law or is reasonably necessary for the enforcement of the criminal law; if it will prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to a person’s life or health; or if you have consented to the disclosure.
The Australian Government may also use and disclose information about grant applicants and grant recipients under the Program in any other Australian Government business or function. This includes giving information to the Australian Taxation Office for compliance purposes.
We may reveal confidential information to:
- the committee and other Commonwealth employees and contractors to help us manage the program effectively
- employees and contractors of our department so we can research, assess, monitor and analyse our programs and activities
- employees and contractors of other Commonwealth agencies for any purposes, including government administration, research or service delivery
- other Commonwealth, State, Territory or local government agencies in program reports and consultations
- the Auditor-General, Ombudsman or Privacy Commissioner
- the responsible Minister or Parliamentary Secretary
- a House or a Committee of the Australian Parliament.
We may share the information you give us with other Commonwealth agencies for any purposes including government administration, research or service delivery and according to Australian laws, including the:
- Public Service Act 1999
- Public Service Regulations 1999
- Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act
- Privacy Act 1988
- Crimes Act 1914
- Criminal Code Act 1995
The grant agreement will include any specific requirements about special categories of information collected, created or held under the grant agreement.
14.4 Freedom of information
All documents in the possession of the Australian Government, including those about the Program, are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).
The purpose of the FOI Act is to give members of the public rights of access to information held by the Australian Government and its entities. Under the FOI Act, members of the public can seek access to documents held by the Australian Government. This right of access is limited only by the exceptions and exemptions necessary to protect essential public interests and private and business affairs of persons in respect of whom the information relates.
All Freedom of Information requests must be referred to the Freedom of Information Coordinator in writing.
The Director, Freedom of Information and Privacy Law Section
Corporate Legal Branch
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
R.G. Casey Building, John McEwen Crescent
BARTON ACT 0221
||The specified principles or standards against which applications will be judged. These criteria are also used to assess the merits of proposals and, in the case of a competitive granting activity, to determine applicant rankings. (as defined in the CGRGs)
|date of effect
||The date specified in the grant agreement as the starting date. Where there is no grant agreement, entities must publish information on individual grants as soon as practicable. (CGRGs)
||The person who makes a decision to award a grant.
||Double dipping occurs where a grant recipient is able to obtain a grant for the same budget line items, project or activity from more than one source. CGRGs
||The principles, standards or rules that a grant applicant must meet to qualify for consideration of a grant. Eligibility criteria may apply in addition to assessment criteria. (CGRGs)
||A Department of State, or a Parliamentary Department, or a listed entity or a body corporate established by a law of the Commonwealth. See subsections 10(1) and (2) of the PGPA Act.
||Involves ‘substitution of effort’ by the Commonwealth for activities of another organisation or level of government. For example, cost shifting occurs where the Commonwealth provides a grant for an activity that would usually be paid for by a state, territory, or local government, such as municipal services. (CGRGs)
||Is the project /tasks /services that the Grantee is required to undertake with the grant money. It is described in the Grant Agreement. (Proposed definition in the grants taxonomy)
||Grant agreement means the contract template used by Australian Government entities to set out the mutual obligations relating to the provision of the grant. The Australian Government is standardising and streamlining grant agreements between the Commonwealth and grant recipients to allow grant recipients to engage more easily and efficiently with the Commonwealth. (CGRGs)
||A notice published on GrantConnect advertising the availability of Commonwealth grants. (Proposed definition in the grants taxonomy)
||May be advertised within the ‘Forecast Opportunity’ (FO) section of GrantConnect to provide a consolidated view of associated grant opportunities and provide strategic context for specific grant opportunities
||An individual/organisation that has been awarded a grant. (Proposed definition in the grants taxonomy)
||Described within the entity’s Portfolio Budget Statement, PBS programs each link to a single outcome and provide transparency for funding decisions. These high level PBS programs often comprise a number of lower level, more publicly recognised programs, some of which will be Grant Programs. A PBS Program may have more than one Grant Program associated with it, and each of these may have one or more grant opportunities
||Comprise eligibility criteria and assessment criteria. (CGRGs)
||The method used to select potential grantees. This process may involve comparative assessment of applications or the assessment of applications against the eligibility criteria and/or the assessment criteria. (CGRGs)
Appendix A: Acronyms
Acronyms used in these guidelines, online and within application forms
||Australian Business Number
||Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grant Program
||Australian Company Number
||Australian Eastern Daylight Time
||Australian Eastern Standard Time
||Association of Southeast Asian Nations
||Council for Australian-Arab Relations
||Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines
||Council on Australia Latin America Relations
||Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
||Foundations, Councils and Institutes
||Freedom of Information
||Goods and Services Tax
||International Relations Grants Program
||Portfolio Budget Statement
||Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act