General Records Authority 28


Grant Management

November 2010

This is an accurate reproduction of the authorised records authority content, created for accessibility purposes


The National Archives of Australia has developed this Records Authority to set out the requirements for keeping or destroying the records relating to Grant Management.

This Authority is based on the identification and analysis of the business of Grant Management. The Authority sets out those Grant Management records that need to be retained as national archives and specifies the minimum length of time that temporary records need to be kept. This Authority gives agencies permission under the Archives Act 1983, for the destruction of the temporary records described after the minimum retention period has expired.Retention periods for these temporary records are based on: an assessment of business needs; broader organisational accountability requirements; and community expectations.

As changes in circumstances may affect future records management requirements, this Authority will occasionally require amendment by the addition of new classes or variation to existing classes. The National Archives will notify agencies of any changes and the information will also be published on the Archives website.

Application of this Authority


  1. This Authority is to be used to sentence records. Sentencing involves the examination of records in order to identify the individual disposal class to which they belong.  This process enables sentencers to determine how long records need to be kept. Advice on sentencing is available from the National Archives.
  2. This Authority should be used in conjunction with Commonwealth agency specific records authorities covering the core businesses of the agency.
  3. This Authority should be used in conjunction with general records authorities such as:
    • the Administrative Functions Disposal Authority (AFDA)  and/or AFDA Express issued by the National Archives to cover business processes and records common to Australian Government agencies;
    • encrypted records; and
    • source records that have been copied.
  4. This authority provides coverage for grant management that should be suitable for all Commonwealth agencies and will therefore dispense with the need for agencies to include grant management in their agency specific records authority.  It does not supersede existing coverage for grant management in current issued records authorities and does not exclude coverage in future records authorities where an agency and the National Archives agree to the need for exceptions coverage.
  5. The Normal Administrative Practice (NAP) provision of the Archives Act gives agencies permission to destroy certain records without formal authorisation. This usually occurs where records are duplicated, facilitative or for short-term use only. NAP does not replace arrangements agreed to in this Authority but can be used as a tool to assist in identifying records for destruction together with an agency's Record Authority or Authorities, and with AFDA and AFDA Express. The National Archives recommends that agencies develop and implement a Normal Administrative Practice policy to assist in planning and implementing activities to determine whether records should be kept or destroyed. Advice and guidance on destroying records as a normal administrative practice and on how to develop an agency NAP policy is available from the National Archives' website at
  6. Where the method of recording information changes (for example from a manual system to an electronic system or when information is migrated from one system to a new system) this Authority can still be used to sentence records created, providing the records document the same business. The information must be accessible for the period of time prescribed in this Authority. Agencies will need to maintain continuing access to the information, including digital information, for the periods prescribed in this records authority or until the information is transferred into the custody of the National Archives.
  7. In general, retention requirements indicate the minimum period for retention. Agencies may extend minimum retention periods if there is an administrative need to do so without further reference to the National Archives. Where the Commonwealth agency believes that its accountability will be substantially compromised because a retention period or periods are not adequate, it should contact the National Archives for review of the retention period.
  8. From time to time the National Archives will place a freeze on some groups of records relating to a particular topic or event which has gained prominence or provokes controversy.  While the freeze is in place no records relating to the topic or event may be destroyed.  Further information about disposal freezes and whether they affect the application of this Authority is available from the National Archives website at
  9. Records which relate to any current or pending legal action, or are subject to a request for access under the Archives Act 1983 or any other relevant ct must not be destroyed until the action has been completed.
  10. Records in the care of agencies should be appropriately stored, managed and preserved. Agencies need to meet this obligation to ensure that the records remain authentic and accessible over time. Under Section 31 of the Archives Act 1983, access arrangements are required for records that become available for public access including those records that remain in agency custody.
  11. Appropriate arrangements should be made with the National Archives when records are to be transferred into custody. The National Archives accepts for transfer only those records designated as national archives (RNA).
  12. Advice on how to use this Authority is available from your agency's Records Manager. If there are problems with the application of the Authority that cannot be resolved, please contact the National Archives.


Contact Information

For assistance with this authority or for advice on other records management matters, please contact National Archives' Agency Service Centre.

Queen Victoria Terrace
Parkes ACT 2600

PO Box 7425
Canberra Mail Centre ACT 2610


Person to whom notice of authorisation is given:

Heads of Commonwealth institutions under the Archives Act 1983 responsible for the Grant Management records.


Authorises arrangements for the disposal of records in accordance with Section 24(2)(b) of the Archives Act 1983.


All core business records relating to Grant Management

This authorisation gives permission for the destruction, retention or transfer to the National Archives of Australia of the records described. The authority will apply only if these actions take place with the consent of the agency responsible for the core business documented in the records.

Authorised by:

Ross Gibbs
National Archives of Australia

23 November 2010



Grants Management

The business of providing and administering grant funding to achieve aims and objectives that are consistent with government policy and legislation and where recipients are required to act in accordance with specified terms or conditions for the funding received. The funding can be for grant programs and projects including fellowships and scholarships. Includes designing and planning activities; calling for applications and assessing them; monitoring progress and reviewing and evaluating.

Excludes Commonwealth payments to State, Territory or Local Governments, funding of activities relating to the provision of goods and services directly to a Government agency, payments and entitlements, investments or loans of public money, compensation and any other exclusions in relevant financial management legislation.

Grant Management includes the following tasks:

Designing and developing the grant program and project 

  • Establishing the need for and the purpose and objectives of each program and project
  • Developing and approving program and project policies, guidelines and procedures
  • Developing assessment criteria including performance measures and assessment processes
  • Managing stakeholder consultations
  • Managing risk including conflicts of interest
  • Financial planning and analysis 
  • Seeking approvals for grant program and project financial allocations
  • Authorising and delegating powers
  • Developing communication strategies, information packs, promoting the program and project and responding to enquiries;

Assessing applications and nominations

  • Receiving and acknowledging applications and nominations
  • Establishing assessment panels (where applicable)
  • Processing and assessing applications and nominations
  • Advising applicants of assessment outcomes
  • Managing complaints and formal appeals;

Managing grant progress

  • Establishing and varying funding agreements
  • Performance monitoring
  • Financial monitoring, fund acquittal
  • Managing debt recovery and fraud;

Winding up and assessing the grant program and project

  • Reporting 
  • Auditing, evaluating and reviewing.

For the agency's Grant Management strategic policies use AFDA STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT – Policy.

For the payment of grant money and managing the financial transactions to support the Grant Management business, use AFDA FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT.

For the procurement of goods and services to support the operations of the Grant Management business use AFDA PROCUREMENT.

For the agency's own applications for and receipt of grants use AFDA COMMUNITY RELATIONS.

Class no Description of records Disposal action

The following high level records for those grant programs and projects that (based on the context and responsibilities of the agency) have long term or widespread economic, environmental or social impact; or have cultural or community importance such as national events;  or have been subject to significant public controversy:

  • final versions of planning,policies, assessment criteria, reports, audits, evaluations, and reviews and their major supporting documents including results of consultations;
  • summary records of successful and unsuccessful grant applications; and
  • final version of promotional material.

Case files of successful and unsuccessful grant applicants, (and where applicable, the grant outcome eg a film, report, research paper), that have significant research value, including those relating to:

  • a significant creative or innovative work or project (such as those commended  via an award, expert, public interest, review etc);
  • a national event;
  • a grant made to a well known recipient (such as a national public figure, major organisation, celebrated artist, writer or researcher);
  • a major grant, fellowship or scholarship (such as provides significant funding, and those with high prestige);
  • a controversial case; and
  • a precedent setting appeal case.
Retain as national archives
21868 Signed grant agreements under seal prior to 15 November 2005 and supporting records: Western Australia Destroy 21 years after completion or other termination of agreement
21869 Signed grant agreements under seal and supporting records: Victoria and South Australia. Destroy 15 years after completion or other termination of contract
21870 Signed grant agreements under seal and supporting records: New South Wales, Western Australia (from 15 November 2005), Queensland, Tasmania, Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory. Destroy 12 years after completion or other termination of contract
21871 Records documenting case files of unsuccessful grant applicants not covered in class 21867. Destroy 2 years after last action

Records documenting:

  • routine operational administrative tasks supporting grant management; and
  • records of grant management programs and projects other than those covered in classes 21867 to 21871. Includes case files of successful grant applicants not covered in 21867.
Destroy 7 years after last action


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