Grants management

Indigenous Advancement Strategy Grant Guidelines - March 2016

The Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) Grant Guidelines (Guidelines) apply to most grant activities under the IAS and provide information about applying for grant funding and managing projects under the IAS.

The current Guidelines were revised in response to submissions received at the Senate Inquiry (Finance and Public Administration References Committee – Commonwealth Indigenous Advancement Strategy Tendering Processes) and from feedback received at public forums held across the country in October 2015.

The Department will continue to review the Guidelines based on our experience in working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities, and based on feedback received from our funded providers.

Incorporation requirements

Organisations receiving grants of $500,000 or more in a single financial year from funding administered by the Indigenous Affairs portfolio within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet are required to incorporate under Commonwealth legislation.

Organisations may incur some additional one-off costs for independent legal advice and accountancy services to support the transfer of incorporation. To assist organisations required to transfer their incorporation status, the Department will provide a one-off $10,000 payment from the granting activity upon receipt of evidence that the transfer has occurred.

More information can be found by reading incorporation requirements.

Funding Agreement

Under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS), funding recipients for Indigenous grants sign a single Head Agreement with the Commonwealth, as represented by the Department of the Prime Minster and Cabinet (PM&C). The Head Agreement sets out the general terms and conditions applying to all projects and grants.


The Department acknowledges that the large majority of funded organisations are willing and able to comply with the obligations of their grant funding agreements.

However, some organisations may be inadvertently non-compliant, may engage in inappropriate activities which do not meet requirements, or in a small number of cases, may have entrenched non-compliance issues that will require remediation.

In circumstances of non-compliance, the Department considers an appropriate response. Where there is suspected complex or serious non-compliance, the Department undertakes a compliance review to address any allegations or potential breaches of the funding agreement. The Indigenous Advancement Strategy Guidelines March 2016 provides an overview of the Department’s management of organisational risk and compliance.

Performance reports

The Department will email providers notifying them of their reporting obligations and attach an IAS Performance Report Smart Form for each project.

Performance reports are submitted by the provider to the Department via the Online Performance Reporting System, or in the case of Legacy IAS Activities, via the PDF Smart Form.

When reporting via the new Departmental Online Performance Reporting System, organaisations will receive an auto-generated email containing instructions on how to log-on and complete their online performance report.

The IAS Online Performance Report User Guide - DOCX 877 KB provides an overview and general instructions on how to complete the Performance Report.

For Legacy IAS Activities which still report via the IAS PDF Smart Form, the IAS KPI Handbook provides an overview and general instructions on how to complete the Performance Report.

Organisations completing their IAS Performance Reports should note the following:

  • Certain fields in the Performance Report will be automatically pre-populated. This data has been sourced from the Department’s grant system and cannot be changed in the Performance Report.
  • Organisations using the IAS PDF Smart Form to report will need Adobe Reader version 8.1 or later in order to submit the Performance Report form electronically. Adobe Reader can be downloaded for free from Adobe Australia.
  • The Performance Report also contains tips (hover cursor over text) on each question to indicate whether the question is mandatory, has any size limits and what type of information is required.

If organisations have any questions regarding the Performance Reporting process, they should call the contact officer for their project on 1800 079 098, quoting the Review ID (located on the front page of your IAS Performance Report form).

If your organisation experiences any difficulties submitting the Performance Report electronically or does not receive confirmation that the Department has received their report, they should email the IAS Performance Reporting helpdesk via the email address:

If organisations experience any difficulties using Adobe Reader, please refer to the Electronic PDF Form Troubleshooting Guide - DOCX 429 KB.


The Department does not tolerate dishonest or fraudulent behaviour. We are committed to deterring, preventing and detecting such behaviour in the delivery of programmes to disadvantaged Australians. For further information refer to our Control and Fraud Reporting page.

If you ever suspect any fraudulent behaviour in relation to funding provided by the Department, please report it to


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