Guidance

Grant Standards

Published 2 December 2016

1. The Grant Standards seek to promote effective grant applications across all government departments.

Standard 1: named responsible officer for each grant
All government grants require a named senior responsible officer with clearly defined responsibilities throughout lifetime of grant.

Standard 2: grant approvals process
Departments will ensure they have a robust grants approval process to approve spend over £100k, and that details of all current grant schemes and awards are available on the Government Grants Information System (GGIS).

Standard 3: new grants advice panel
New government grants, including those that are high risk, novel and contentious, as well as those undergoing a step change in scope or funding, should be considered for submission to the New Grants Advice Panel for scrutiny and advice from subject experts.

Standard 4: the business case
A robust business case, proportionate to the level of expenditure and risk, must be developed for all government grants. This will be scrutinised and approved in stages, as part of grants approval process, in line with the guidance in Managing Public Money.

Standard 5: competition for grant funding
Government grants should be competed by default; exceptions may be approved where competition would not be appropriate. Detailed supporting evidence for any direct award decision must be provided in the approved business case.

Standard 6: robust grant agreements
All government grants must be awarded through robust grant agreements, proportionate to the value of the grant and which reflect the minimum standards for government grants, in line with guidance in Managing Public Money. All government grant agreements will include terms of eligible expenditure.

Standard 7: due diligence and fraud risk assessment
All government grants will be subject to timely and proportionate due diligence and fraud risk assessment.

Standard 8: defining outputs
All government grants will have outputs agreed and longer-term outcomes defined, wherever possible, to enable active performance management, including regular reviews and adjustments where deemed necessary.

Standard 9: annual reviews
All government grants will be reviewed annually at a minimum with a focus on financial reconciliation, taking into account delivery across the period, resulting in a decision to continue, discontinue or amend funding.

Standard 10: mandatory training for grant makers
All those involved in the development and administration of grants must undertake core training in grant management best practice.