Grants guidelines

How to apply for funding: Grants Program

To submit a grant application, you must use our online tool SmartyGrants. To use SmartyGrants, you will need to create a personal login, which will be valid for this and any future grant requests you make.

The 2019-20 CAAR Grant Round opens on 1 Febuary 2019 and closes on 18 March 2019

When a Grant Round is open, the SmartyGrants link above will be activated and the CAAR online Application Form will become available. All applicants will be required to complete the CAAR online Application Form in full and provide all mandatory requested documentation. Applications and supporting documentation must be in English. Any application that does not meet these minimum requirements will be deemed ineligible.

Applications must be received by the deadline specified in the advertisement of the grants round. The CAAR has no obligation to consider applications received after the specified submission period.

Applications must be submitted using the CAAR online funding Application Form through SmartyGrants. Applications sent by email or other means will not be accepted.

Preparing your application

Please ensure you have:

  • Completed all mandatory fields on the application form.
  • Attached two references that demonstrate an established record of achievement in the development and management of projects relevant to the proposed area of endeavour. Where possible, referees should comment on:
    • their relationship to the applicant;
    • their involvement or interest, if any, in the project;
    • the project's objectives and the strategies to achieve them; and
    • the applicant's ability to complete the project and to administer project funds.
  • Clearly demonstrated how your proposal meets the objectives of the CAAR.
  • Made adequate provision for all likely expenses. The CAAR will not normally consider requests for supplementary funding.

Applicants should be aware that CAAR Board members may not be familiar with individuals or organisations or the field of proposed activity. As the CAAR Board's decision will be based on the information provided, applicants should ensure all information provided is accurate, clear and comprehensive.

Questions during the application process

If you have any questions during the application period, please contact the CAAR Secretariat, (02) 6261 2090, The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade undertakes to respond to emailed questions within five working days.

Questions should be sent no later than 14 March 2019.

Answers to questions may be posted on this website.

Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander applicants

Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander applicants may wish to access assistance in submitting an application where English is their first language.

For assistance please contact:

Office of the Register of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC)
Telephone:  1800 622 431

Download Guidelines for Funding Applicants

International Relations Grants Program - Council for Australian-Arab Relations 2018 - Guidelines

Opening date:

Opening time 9am (AEST/AEDT), Monday 5 February 2018

Closing date and time:

Closing time 2pm (AEST/AEDT), Wednesday 4 April 2018

Commonwealth policy entity:

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Co-Sponsoring Entities

Not Applicable


If you have any questions, please contact the Council for Australian-Arab Relations Secretariat, (02) 6261 2090,
Questions should be sent no later than 28 March 2018

Date guidelines released:

24 January 2018

Type of grant opportunity:

Open competitive


Appendix A: Acronyms

1. International Relations Grants Program: Council for Australian-Arab Relations 2018 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[1] in the Portfolio Budget Statements. The Council for Australian-Arab Relations 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 GrantConnect, 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 Council for Australian-Arab Relations 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/Council for Australian-Arab Relations 2018

We evaluate the specific grant activity and the International Relations Grants Program/Council for Australian-Arab Relations 2018 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 2018
  • Australia-China Council 2018
  • Australia-India Council 2018
  • Australia-Indonesia Institute 2018
  • Australia-Japan Foundation 2018
  • Australia-Korea Foundation 2018
  • Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grants Program 2018
  • Council for Australian-Arab Relations 2018
  • Council on Australia Latin America Relations 2018

Further information on the International Relations Grants Program, including descriptions of previous grant-funded projects, is available at

The Program will be undertaken according to the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines (CGRGs)

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 Council for Australian-Arab Relations 2018

These guidelines contain information for the Council for Australian-Arab Relations 2018 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 Council for Australian-Arab Relations outcomes

The Council for Australian-Arab Relations seeks to strengthen Australian-Arab relations by advancing areas of shared political, economic and social interest and building a greater awareness and appreciation of each other's cultures and values.

The objectives of the Council for Australian-Arab Relations 2018 grant program are to:

  • build on the success of the CAAR Flagship programs (these include CAAR Speakers, CAAR Visitors, CAAR Exchanges and Women in Leadership);
  • ensure that the CAAR grants program aligns with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Public Diplomacy agenda and regional priorities, and the CAAR’s Strategic Plan; and
  • develop a full calendar year of effective and engaging CAAR projects that recognise important regional/bilateral events or anniversaries.

Applicants are encouraged to align with the Flagship Programs, and/or one of CAAR’s 2018 Priorities: Economic Change, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Human Rights or Social Change.

3. Grant amount

$409,500 in 2018-19 is available for this grant opportunity, subject to appropriation, starting in July 2018.

Grant applications for a minimum of $10,000 or maximum of $50,000 per year will be considered.

Co-contributions from you and other parties strengthen your application.

It is anticipated that most grants will be between $20,000 and $40,000 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)
    • an Australian consortium with a lead organisation[2]
    • 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
    • or be a non-Australian citizen/resident individual or organisation working in partnership with an Australian individual or organisation, where this will enhance Australian economic, cultural and social relations with the Arab world.
  • 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, or a  non-Australian citizen/resident individual or organisation working in partnership with an Australian individual or organisation, where this will promote Australian-Arab relations.
  • 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

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: The proposal has clearly defined objectives consistent with one or more of CAAR's strategic objectives. In addition, proposals must either serve a CAAR Flagship Program and/or address a CAAR Priority Sector (Economic Change, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Human Rights or Social Change). For more information on CAAR’s strategic objectives and CAAR Flagship Program, please refer to the CAAR website.

Criterion 2: The project outcomes must be:

  • are realistic, efficient and achievable within the stated timeframes;
  • offer prospects for ongoing self-sustaining activity; and
  • represent value for money.

Criterion 3: The project's potential to engage a wide and/or influential audience. Preference will be given to activities that build community and establish long-term institutional linkages rather than to activities that would normally be considered for research grants by relevant Australian and international institutions.

Criterion 4: Preference will be given to applications that demonstrate the following:

  • multiple sponsors from other sources including corporate sponsors, and/or future selfsustainability
  •  the ability to plan, manage and evaluate the project, including evidence of qualifications/experience and the applicant’s established record of achievement in the development and management of relevant projects.

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 2016-2020 CAAR Strategic Plan and 2018-19 CAAR Business 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 2018-19 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



Application period

Open: 9am (AEST/AEDT) Monday 5 February 2018
Close: 2pm (AEST/AEDT) Wednesday 4 April 2018

Assessment of applications

6 weeks

Approval of outcomes of selection process

Late June/early July

Negotiations and award of grant agreements


Notification to unsuccessful applicants


Activity commences

Before June 2019

End date

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 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 (, +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 Council for Australian-Arab Relations, 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 Council for Australian-Arab Relations Secretariat, (02) 6261 2090, 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 March 2018.

Answers to questions may be posted at

Applicants may speak with the Council for Australian-Arab Relations 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. A list of Indigenous language centres is provided in the National Indigenous Languages Contacts Directory available from:


The Federation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages and Culture (Corporation)
295 King Street
Melbourne VIC 3000


Telephone: +61 3 9602 4700

Fax: +61 3 9602 4770



8.8 Further grant opportunities

The Council for Australian-Arab Relations 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 Council for Australian-Arab Relations will assess each application. Board members are listed on the Council for Australian-Arab Relations 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 Council for Australian-Arab Relations 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 First Assistant Secretary, Middle East and Africa Division, or the appropriate 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 Council for Australian-Arab Relations 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 2018.  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.

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 Council for Australian-Arab Relations 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 of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and/or GrantConnect within 14 days of the date of effect[3] 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 for more information.

13.4 Evaluation

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will evaluate the Council for Australian-Arab Relations 2018 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 Council for Australian-Arab Relations logo/Australian Government crest is to be used on all materials related to grants under the Program. Whenever the logo is used the publication must also acknowledge the Commonwealth as follows:

‘This activity received grant funding from the Council for Australian-Arab Relations 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.

14. Probity

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

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 You may wish to list 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: Phone (Toll free): 1300 362 072



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.

By mail:

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


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15. Glossary

assessment criteria

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)

decision maker

The person who makes a decision to award a grant.

double dipping

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

eligibility criteria

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)

Commonwealth entity

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.

cost shifting

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)

grant activity

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

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)

grant opportunity

A notice published on GrantConnect advertising the availability of Commonwealth grants. (Proposed definition in the grants taxonomy)

grant program

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)

PBS Program

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

selection criteria

Comprise eligibility criteria and assessment criteria. (CGRGs)

selection process

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


Australia-ASEAN Council


Australian Business Number


Australia-China Council


Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grant Program


Australian Company Number


Australian Eastern Daylight Time


Australian Eastern Standard Time


Australia-India Council


Australia-Indonesia Institute


Australia-Japan Foundation


Australia-Korea Foundation


Association of Southeast Asian Nations


Council for Australian-Arab Relations


Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines


Council on Australia Latin America Relations


Curriculum Vitae


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

[1] The advancement of Australia’s international strategic, security and economic interests including through bilateral, regional and multilateral engagement on Australian Government foreign, trade and international development priorities.

[2] The Australian Government recognises that some organisations may seek to form consortia in order to apply for a grant under the Program. Consortia are eligible to apply and the relevant conditions applicable to consortia are at 8.6 ‘Grant Applications from Consortia’

[3] See glossary

Last Updated: 14 December 2018