Not-for-profit Law
Legal help for community organisations

Federal funding agreements

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The Department of Finance published a suite of government grant agreement templates to be used by Commonwealth entities when entering into grant arrangements in 2018.

These templates are designed to replace agency-specific grant agreement templates, including the Department of Social Services (DSS) templates. The DSS Streamlined Grant Agreement is not part of the Department of Finance’s suite of templates and is being phased out as DSS enters into new grant agreements with community-based organisations. 

We have prepared a fact sheet on the Commonwealth Simple Grant Agreement (part of the Department of Finance’s suite of templates). The Commonwealth Simple Grant Agreement is based on and replaces the previous ‘Low Risk Grant Agreement’ and it includes more drafting options for the supplementary terms.

The Commonwealth Simple Grant Agreement is not just one document - it’s made up of a number of documents. Funded organisations must make sure they are aware of the terms of all the documents as, together, they make up the Commonwealth Simple Grant Agreement. 

The documents that make up the agreement between the Commonwealth government entity and the funded organisation will vary and may include the following documents:

  • Commonwealth Simple Grant Agreement template, including introductory information, the Grant Details and any Supplementary Terms (some, all, or none of these may apply – organisations need to check)
  • the schedules, including the Commonwealth General Grant Conditions, and
  • other documents referred to in the Grant Details

Organisations should seek independent legal advice about the terms and practical implications of their Commonwealth grant agreements.  

The fact sheet below provides guidance on some of the important terms for funded organisations to be aware of. The fact sheet will make more sense if you read it with your grant documents at hand. 

The fact sheet includes information on:

  • what the Commonwealth Simple Grant Agreement is
  • important terms in the Agreement
  • when written notification is required
  • record and reporting requirements, and
  • tips to help organisations be prepared for operating under the Agreement


Last Updated: 07 August 2020