Who is the Approved Delegated Authority?

  • The NSW Catholic Block Grant Authority (CBGA) needs to delegate responsibility for projects to the relevant Diocesan, Parish or School Authority who will act as the Delegated Approved Authority (DAA).
  • The person carrying out the roles of the DAA is nominated in the CBGA Membership Agreement between the Diocesan School System, Religious Institute, or Independent Catholic School.
  • The Delegated Approved Authority is responsible for the receipt, expenditure and accountability of and for the grant. Because public monies are involved in the payment of capital grants, the Delegated Approved Authority is required to comply with general conditions of funding that are applicable to both NSW Government grants and Australian Government grants.

What are the General Conditions that must be complied with?

  • The DAA must confirm in writing either acceptance or rejection of the Final Grant Offer within 14 days. The DAA needs to complete the Acceptance of Final Grant Offer form. This can be found here.
  • Grant monies must be spent on the approved project only as agreed at the time of recommendation to the relevant Minister. Funding authorities can undertake spot checks on project to ensure compliance with this condition.
  • The final offer of a grant is based on the tendered works presented to the CBGA, and usually results in an increased local contribution, as will be indicated in the final offer. Where the final cost of the approved project is less than the estimated cost upon which the grant offer is based, that is the initial offer, the grant amount will be reduced by the amount of the saving thus affected.
  • The DAA is required to provide full recognition of funding sources for all projects that have been funded by contributions from the Australian and/or NSW Governments.

How is Government funding to be recognised?

  • For NSW Government funded projects an appropriately sized sign is to be displayed during the construction period indicating that assistance with the project is being provided by the NSW Government. Specific requirements can be found here. There is no such requirement for Australian Government funded projects.
  • For Projects estimated to cost $75,000 or more:
    • Appropriately placed plaques are to be attached at completion of the project, to all buildings constructed/renovated with the Australian Government and / or NSW Government assistance.
    • All plaques are to be placed in a prominent position and are to be accessible to the public. The wording on the plaque should indicate that funds to assist the project were provided by the either Government wholly, principally, or partly. Further information on requirements can be found here.
    • Where the project is opened by the Australian Education Minister or NSW Education Minister or a representative of either Minister that person must be referred to by name on the plaque. Further information on acceptable wording to be placed on plaques, including information on the opening ceremony and other requirements, can be found here.
  • For Projects estimated to cost less than $75,000:
    • Where the school has a practice of providing information to parents in the form of printed notices or bulletins, the announcement of the project and either Government’s contribution would be appropriate. Other similar recognition would be sufficient.

What happens if no recognition is made?

Where the appropriate sign/plaque has not been erected or has been removed prematurely, further payments of the grant may be withheld pending the provision of satisfactory recognition of Australian Government and/or NSW Government assistance.

Where the grant recipient fails to undertake a recognition ceremony without the express approval of the funding government department, the entire grant amount may need to be refunded.

Why should Government funding be recognised?

The answer is simple – it’s a requirement of receiving the funding that either government’s substantial contribution be recognised. In the final analysis the funds are taxpayers’ funds and the parents and teachers at the school concerned are making a contribution through their taxes anyway.

Is there a time limit on accepting a grant?

A commitment means:

  • in the case of construction/refurbishing projects, a legal commitment in the form of a signed contract or of a letter of intent to sign a contract;
  • in the case of furniture and equipment projects, satisfactory written evidence that goods have been ordered and an explanation for their non-receipt;
  • in the case of land and/or building purchase projects, provision of a completed Contract of Sale or a solicitor’s letter indicating that a Contract of Sale is being prepared;
  • in the case of planning projects, evidence of satisfactory progress made in the development of the planning project.

What if a commitment is not entered into by 31 December?

If the DAA does not enter into a commitment by the due date, then government approval (both State and Commonwealth) could be withdrawn. Furthermore, the CBGA will be unable to reallocate those funds to another school project. Any anticipated delay in entering into a contract must be notified to the CBGA well before 31 December. Proposed action at any stage after the Final Offer has been accepted that could vary the number, type or area of the facilities proposed in the approved project must be referred in advance to the CBGA for consideration of approval prior to implementation.

When and how will grants be paid?

Grants will usually be paid in the year(s) specified in the final offer letter from the CBGA. However, the DAA must provide satisfactory evidence of actual expenditure or commitments being made that are equal or greater than the grant payment.

What is the satisfactory evidence of actual expenditure or commitments that is required?

Satisfactory evidence means providing the CBGA with the notification of Commencement of Project and Execution of Contract form. This form can be found here. Payment of the grant is also subject to the CBGA receiving sufficient funding from the State or Commonwealth Governments.

What if payment has not been received?

Payment of grants to projects may be delayed should Monthly Progressive Expenditure Statements to the CBGA not be received by the first week of each month from the time the project commences until the time of project is completed. The Monthly Progressive Expenditure Statement form can be found here

Is a specifically designated building account needed?

Yes. The account should be for either the school or the Parish concerned. A Diocesan development fund account is permissible. The account must be the subject of regular audit and cannot be used for general recurrent purposes.

Why is only 90% of the grant paid?

Payment is made throughout the project consistent with the allocations of funds when the project is approved. 

When expenditure is reported through the submission of Monthly Progressive Expenditure Statements (MPES), payments stop when funding in a particular year is exhausted or when 90% of the grant amount is reached.

The release of the remaining 10% is dependent upon the receipt of:

a. Architects Certificate indicating that the works have been completed in accordance with the tender drawings provided during the Results of Tender stage;

b. Certification or the supply of an opinion by and Independent Accountant stating what the total expenditure on the project (this should align with the final MPES; and

c. The notification of an Opening Ceremony (often referred to an Opening and Blessing) has been submitted and approved by the Commonwealth or State Minister.

What is the timeframe for the provision of Architect/Supervisors Certificate and the Independent Accountant’s Certificate?

The Architect’s Certificate should be submitted after the project has been provided an Occupation Certificate allowing the use of the facilities.

The Independent Accountants Certificate, or Audit Opinion should be provided once all outstanding financial obligations have been paid. This may need to be delayed until after the Defect’s Liability Period expires but should not unduly delay the provision of this certificate. 

(Note: The figures presented in the Accountant’s Certificate should be in alignment with the reporting of expenditure in relation to the information provide in the Financial Questionnaire as required by the Australian Education Act, 2013).

Is insurance required for the project?

Yes. The project must be insured against all normal risks for not less than its full value throughout its useful life.

A copy of the updated Property Insurance Certificate is required to be supplied with the Independent Accountant’s Certificate/Audit Opinion.

Under what conditions may the grant have to be fully or partially refunded?

Where projects funded wholly or in part with a NSW Government or Australian Government grants are to be adequately maintained and if sold or otherwise disposed of within the designated use period, which is based on the grant amount, the DAA may need to refund a portion of the grant equal to the number of years the facility is not being used for the approved purpose within the designated use period.

If within the designated use period:

  • an asset (being land, building or equipment) in respect of which an amount paid to the DAA in relation to the project was expended, ceases to be used or
  • such an asset ceases to be used principally for an approved purpose, or
  • the DAA sells or otherwise disposes of such an asset to a person for use principally for an approved purpose, without that person having entered into an agreement with the NSW Government or the Australian Government under which that person has the same obligations in relation to the asset as the DAA has by virtue of this paragraph before the sale or other disposal of the asset the DAA will, if so required, repay to the Australian Government or the NSW Government (whichever is relevant) the amount ascertained in accordance with the formula contained in the Australian Government’s Department of Education Administrative Arrangements or the NSW Building Grants Assistance Scheme Guidelines.

What does Approved Purpose in relation to an asset mean?

Approved Purpose in relation to an asset means the use of the asset as a school or part of a school or for the purposes of a school being a school that, or a school that is part of a school system that, in respect of its recurrent expenditure in a year is entitled to receive payments from a State for this expenditure pursuant to the Australian Education Act 2013 and/or the NSW Education Act 1990 and any other legislation varying or replacing that Act/s or that subsequently comes into force and that makes provisions of a similar nature to that Act/s in relation to recurrent expenditure.