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Government Grant Standards

Volume 617: debated on Friday 2 December 2016

Today I am publishing new standards which will ensure the effectiveness of grant management across Government. These standards will be adopted by all Departments to make sure that taxpayers’ money, awarded through Government grants, is properly agreed and spent.

The grants improvement programme aims to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of grant making across Government. The programme includes incorporating recommendations from the Public Accounts Committee and Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee inquiries into Kids Company as well as reviewing grant programmes already underway.

The standards are a transparent, robust, and proportionate solution to manage risks in the Government grants process.

We need to make sure the UK taxpayer is getting value for money and grants are awarded with sufficient scrutiny and more accountability. The detailed work we have undertaken since February with Government Departments, research organisations and the voluntary sector has enabled us to develop these standards through a constructive and collaborative process. They will protect taxpayers’ money, while at the same time delivering key policy outcomes through our many partners.

The Government have engaged with a broad range of key partners, including those in the academic and research community, to understand the effect these standards will have on all sectors and to avoid any unintended consequences. Standards will also include a requirement for Departments to ensure that grant agreements provide a clear outline of what the funding is to be spent on and how this would be monitored. They would put an end to grant money being wasted on activities not specified in the grant agreement, such as political lobbying.

Government grants are an important part of the funding mix for many charities. These new grants standards will protect the role of charities to speak out on behalf of the communities and people they benefit, while ensuring public funds are used as intended. They will help create new opportunities for the sector to work in partnership with Government, increasing their social impact.

Copies of the associated documents will be placed in the Library of the House and published on the website:, as well as any future updates to the guidance.