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NSW govt to review grants programs

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The NSW Government will conduct a review into the administration of grants programs in NSW to ensure that public money is spent fairly, effectively and transparently.

The review will be led by the Department of Premier and Cabinet in partnership with Productivity Commissioner Peter Achterstraat.

Dominic Perrottet

The team will focus on ensuring grants programs achieve value for public money, are robust in their planning and design and adopt key principles of transparency, accountability and probity.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said a review would help ensure fairness of current grant systems.

“Every dollar from NSW taxpayers is important; I am committed to making sure grant programs are fair, robust and follow best practice when those dollars are put to work in the community,” he said in a statement.

“From sports facilities to welfare services, COVID support packages and small business assistance, grants are critical to so many people and play a vital role in enhancing quality of life and our economy.”

The review will consider:

  • guidelines from other jurisdictions that have been identified as best practice
  • recommendations made by NSW parliamentary, integrity and oversight bodies
  • best practice risk assessment and frameworks for grants administration and assurance and adopt key principles
  • the existing NSW policy and legislative context.

“Every dollar from NSW taxpayers is important; I am committed to making sure grant programs are fair, robust and follow best practice when those dollars are put to work in the community.” – Premier Dominic Perrottet

The review will also update the 2010 Good Practice Guide to Grants Administration, which provides grants program managers with resources and guidance for managing the grants cycle.

Treasurer Matt Kean said grants programs are key to the NSW Government’s investment in the productivity and prosperity of the state.

“The public expects us to deliver value for money and that we are investing in things that improve our quality life, our productivity and set our state up for the future,” he said in a statement.

“This review will ensure we deliver on those expectations and have the rigorous and robust processes in place to give the community confidence.”

The final report and any recommendations will be delivered to the premier and treasurer in April 2022.

ICAC hearing

This review comes amidst an Independent Commission Against Corruption investigation into former premier Gladys Berejiklian.

The state’s corruption watchdog is looking into whether she breached public trust between 2012-18 by exercising public functions in a conflict of interest because of her relationship with disgraced former MP for Wagga Wagga Daryl Maguire.

Ms Berejiklian was treasurer at the time before becoming premier in 2017.

The public hearing has now concluded and ICAC is awaiting submissions from lawyers for the parties in relation to potential findings.

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