Approval Date: 19 June 2017
Latrobe City Council has a proud history of working in partnership with the community to meet local needs. One of the ways Council supports community groups is through the annual Community Grants Program, which delivers funding for projects that:
- Reflect our community’s priorities and vision (as set out in Council and Community Plans);
- Strengthen communities and provide opportunities for enhanced participation in public life and community groups;
- Provide benefits to the local community; and
- Contribute to the social, cultural, environmental and economic development of our community.
The Community Grants Program represents a significant contribution by Council to local projects. Grant funding is a way of acknowledging the contribution that individuals and groups make to Latrobe City community life.
As part of its role, Council provides various types of grants, sponsorship, and subsidies that benefit individuals, groups and the wider community each year.
The Grants Governance Policy (the Policy) addresses standardised governance arrangements for the conditions and management of Council’s outgoing grants.
The Policy demonstrates and outlines Council’s role in supporting the community. Council’s grant programs extend the community’s capability to conduct activities, create opportunities for community capacity building, develop and maintain sustainable community infrastructure and builds strong partnerships for community benefit.
The Policy also assists Councillors and Council employees to achieve consistency in the governance of the grants when developing, assessing, monitoring, acquitting and evaluating applications.
This policy does not govern Council’s provision of subsidies, donations or the administration of the Latrobe City Trust.
- provides a basis for Council to allocate funds in an equitable and effective manner;
- provides consistent governance arrangements for the application, acquittal and management of the different grants issued by Council; and
- ensures management accountabilities are understood and processes to manage compliance exist and are applied consistently.
Principles of management
Prepare for applications
Annually, following adoption of the annual budget, grant program guidelines, supporting documents and procedures are updated to ensure best practice in grants management and continual improvement.
Make an application
Each grant program will have advertised funding round dates. Grant program guidelines are made available to the community advising what is required to be submitted in order for an application to be considered. This information is made available on Council’s website.
The applicant must provide:
- Identification information related to the group or organisation;
- An email address for all correspondence, and
- A contact person within the group or organisation.
An Application can be submitted once the applicant has completed a declaration, confirming that the information provided in their application is true and correct and that they agree to adhere to the terms and conditions of funding.
General eligibility criteria
To be eligible to apply applicants must:
- Be a not-for-profit, properly constituted not for profit legal entity or be auspiced by such a body that is able to accept legal and financial responsibility for the project. Individuals may be eligible to apply for funding if specified in the grant program guidelines.
- Be free of debt to Latrobe City Council and have no outstanding acquittals from previous Latrobe City Council grant applications;
- Hold appropriate public liability insurance; and
- Be based within the municipality of Latrobe City or provide services or benefits to Latrobe City Community. Individuals must reside in Latrobe City.
Assess the application
Once and application is received, the Grants Officer or delegate will:
Complete an eligibility check against the program guidelines;
- Confirm that outstanding acquittals have been received where funding may have been provided previously.
- Provide assessment guidelines for each grant which aid the assessors in their determination, and manage any conflict of interest between the assessors and the application; and
- Determine assessors who may include:
- Staff with a level of expertise (Subject Matter Expert) that allows them to make approval recommendations; and
- Inclusion of at least one assessor at a Management Level.
All completed assessments will be required to document assessment commentary that indicated why an application is or is not recommended for funding.
Approval for the application to be funded will be provided based on the assessor’s recommendation as a result of either the:
- Application being approved by the Council at an Ordinary Council Meeting; or
- The assessment being completed successfully with subsequent approval by a staff member at a management level.
Fund the application
Applicants will be advised of their assessment outcome in writing. Payment will be processed following signing of a Funding Agreement which will be included with an outcome notification letter.
All Funding Agreements will include an offer expiration date so there is an end date to when applicants can claim their funding.
All payments are made electronically, direct to the applicant’s bank account in line with Councils Procurement Policy.
Provide acquittal information
The applicant must complete and acquit their project within 12 months from signing of the Funding Agreement, unless otherwise advised. Applicants who have an outstanding acquittal will not be able to apply for further funding.
This Acquittal report will be a reconciled statement of expenditure and income associated with the grant but must and will ask the applicants to provide detail on the outcomes of the project that were achieved as a result of the funding.
Applicants will also be required to attach;
- Evidence of how Councils support for the project was recognised;
- An actual income and expenditure budget for their project; and photo evidence that showcases the completed project and community participation.
Reporting to Council will include either:
- Recommendation reports developed for the purpose of approving grants at an Ordinary Council meeting; or
- Scheduled reports where grant approvals have been delegated to Council staff. These reports will be presented for information and noting.
All records relating to community grants will be filed in ECM. These records include all paper attachments, photos, spreadsheets and data downloaded from internal and external systems.
General funding guidelines
Each program will have its own guidelines and conditions of funding; generally the following guidelines will be applicable:
- Funds must be expended and acquitted within 12 months of signing a Funding Agreement, unless written approval has been given for an extension.
- Applicants who have an outstanding acquittal will not be able to apply for further funding.
- Latrobe City Council must be notified of any significant changes to the project to what was originally submitted by submitting a written request for a funding variation. This includes requests for extensions of time to acquit the project;
- Additional funding conditions may be applied to your project during assessment;
- Approval of funding does not constitute permission to deliver your project. It remains your responsibility to seek the appropriate permissions and approvals to deliver the project;
- Incomplete applications will be considered ineligible for funding;
- Projects must address issues of safety and risk management;
- Council strongly encourages groups to undertake joint grant submissions. Council acknowledges the community and financial benefits that accrue through collaboration and cooperation, and accordingly supports strong partnership projects which will effectively and efficiently respond to local community needs;
- Projects should align to council strategies and plans.
- Applications must clearly outline the aims & objectives and provide a full description of the service or project. Latrobe City Council may request additional information, to assist in assessing an application for funding;
- Applicants are encouraged to provide financial or in-kind assistance to the project
- Applications must be completed in full and have sufficient evidence to make a reasonable assessment of the application. Applications must be submitted on a current and correct application form.
- Applicants who fail to comply with the terms and conditions listed in the funding guidelines and supplementary agreements will be required to return the funding to Council. Any underspent and excess funding must be returned to Council when submitting your acquittal.
- Funding must not be regarded as a recurrent commitment from Council. There is no guarantee a recurring project will be funded in the future. Funding is limited.
- Latrobe City Council shall be given prior notice if invited to participate in any public relations activities associated with the event/project.
Applicants must submit a Variation Request in writing to Council if:
- the scope of a project changes,
- proposed expenditure items change or
- if there is a change to the proposed outcomes.
The Variation Request will be reviewed by the Grants Officer or delegate and approved at a management level. Variation Requests will initially be reviewed against the program guidelines then assessed based on impact.
If the Variation request is approved applicants receive a letter notifying them of the approved changes. This letter will then form part of your Funding Agreement with Council. If the Variation Request is unsuccessful, applicants will be asked to submit a revised request or return funding to Council.
Accountability and responsibility
Accountability and responsibility for this policy is outlined below.
- Responsibility to ensure this Policy is consistent with Latrobe City Council Strategic Direction and other Latrobe City Council Policy
- Responsibility for the decision to approve this Policy by Council Resolution
- Responsibility to approve funding allocations for select grant programs
Chief executive officer
- Overall responsibility for compliance with this policy
- Overall responsibility for enforcing accountability
- Overall responsibility for providing resources
- Overall responsibility for performance monitoring
- Responsibility to approved funding allocations for select grant programs
- Responsibility for compliance with this policy
- Responsibility for enforcing accountability
- Responsibility for providing resources
- Responsibility for performance monitoring
- Responsibility to approved funding allocations for select grant programs
- Develop frameworks and procedures in compliance with this policy
- Enforce responsibilities to achieve compliance with frameworks and procedures
- Provide appropriate resources for the execution of the frameworks and procedures
- Responsibility to approved funding allocations for select grant programs.
Employees, contractors and volunteers
- Participate where required in the development of frameworks and procedures in compliance with this policy.
- Comply with frameworks and procedures developed to achieve compliance with this policy.
Evaluation and review
This policy will be reviewed on request of Council, in the event of significant change in the Executive team, significant changes to legislation applicable to the subject matter of the policy or, in any other case, during each Council term (generally four years).
Grant - A payment provided to a recipient for a specific purpose or project, generally as part of an approved Council program, with the understanding that there will be a defined outcome that directly or indirectly benefits the public, but with no expectation of commercial return to Council.
Acquittal - Acquitting a grant means accurately reporting on the funded activities and the expenditure
Sponsorship - The right to associate the sponsor’s name, products or services with the sponsored organisation’s service product or activity, in return for negotiated benefits such as money or promotional opportunities. It involves a negotiated exchange and should result in tangible and mutual compensation for all parties in the arrangement.
Subsidy - Financial assistance paid as an incentive upon completion. A subsidy can take several forms which are conditional upon meeting specific criteria. A subsidy can be used to support businesses and to encourage activities that would otherwise not take place.
Community Grants and Sponsorships Framework
Grant Program Guidelines
Local Government Act 1989