Non Government Organisation Treatment Grants Program guidelines

Information about funding arrangements and application processes for prospective applicants for the Non-Government Organisation Treatment Grants Program (NGOTGP).

Page last updated: November 2011

Non Government Organisation Treatment Grants Program guidelines (PDF 115 KB)

1. Overview
2. Funding arrangements
3. The application process
Part A - compliance checklist


Purpose of this document

The Non Government Organisation Treatment Grants Program (NGOTGP) guidelines (the guidelines) are designed to provide prospective applicants for NGOTGP with funding arrangement and application process information.

Before submitting an application, applicants should read these guidelines and the associated invitation to apply (ITA) documentation carefully to ensure that their organisation is eligible to apply for funding under the NGOTGP.

1. Overview

1.1 Policy context

The NGOTGP was established as a result of the Australian Government's commitment to improving options for those seeking treatment for their substance abuse.

Since 1997 the Australian Government has provided funding through the NGOTGP to non government drug and alcohol services to increase the number of treatment places available and strengthen their capacity to achieve improved service outcomes. Organisations funded under NGOTGP provide treatment services that include outpatient counselling, outreach support, peer support, home detoxification, therapeutic communities and rehabilitation.

1.2 How will the NGOTGP work?

The NGOTGP is an ongoing initiative that provides funding to non government organisations to operate a range of drug and alcohol treatment services. A new grant round is being made available initially for one year with an option to extend for a further two years, at the discretion of the department. Funding available under the NGOTGP for 2012-13 to 2014-15 is $125 million.

Funds will be made available through an open grant round. This is a competitive funding round which opens and closes to applications on nominated dates. Eligible applications will be assessed against selection criteria set down for the grant round and then prioritised against competing, eligible applications for available funding.

1.3 The program objectives

The NGOTGP's primary objective is to achieve improved drug and alcohol treatment service outcomes across Australia. The funding aims to achieve the objective through strengthening the capacity of NGOs to achieve improved service outcomes and to increase the number of treatment places available. Additional key objectives and aims are identified at section 2.4 Conditions of funding.

1.4 Selection criteria

Detailed selection criteria for NGOTGP applications will be provided as a component of the ITA package (refer section 3 Application process).

The selection criteria will clearly set out how the applicant is to identify achievement against the program objectives and primary aims.

2. Funding arrangements

2.1 About the funding process

The Department of Health and Ageing (the department) will seek applications from eligible organisations through a competitive 'open grant round'. The ITA for NGOTGP grants will be advertised in the national and regional press and on the tenders and grants page of the department's website.

The assessment process (section 3) will be conducted using the selection criteria provided in the ITA. Once applications are assessed, a recommendation will be made to the departmental delegate, proposing a merit-based list of preferred applicants. Once approved, a letter will be sent to each successful applicant inviting them to enter into negotiations with the department.

For each grant, once a successful outcome to negotiations has been reached, the preferred applicant will be formally offered funding on the basis of the proposed terms and conditions included in the template funding agreement which forms part of the ITA package.

Upon execution of each funding agreement, details of each grant will be published on the department's website.

Unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing that their application has been unsuccessful as detailed below at section 3.5 Feedback.Top of page

2.2 Who can apply?

Applications are encouraged from a wide range of non government organisations. Applicants are not required to have had a prior funding relationship established with the department, but must be a legal entity to be eligible for funding.

Examples of eligible organisations are the following:
  • a non government organisation
  • an incorporated body under state/ territory legislation or
  • a community based not-for-profit organisation.
Please note that the above list is not exhaustive.

2.3 What can the funding be used for?

To be considered for funding, applications must propose to undertake activities that meet the expectations, objectives and aims of the NGOTGP, and comply with the terms of the ITA documentation (refer section 3 Application process).

The NGOTGP key objectives (section 2.4) include filling geographic and target group gaps such as women, youth, and families with children, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.

Under the NGOTGP, grants can be provided to NGOs for treatment interventions that adhere to expectations identified at section 2.4, and may include but are not limited to the following interventions:
  • counselling
  • outreach support
  • peer support
  • home detoxification
  • detoxification and withdrawal
  • rehabilitation (residential and day programs and post rehabilitation aftercare) and
  • therapeutic groups or communities. Top of page

2.4 Conditions of funding

Successful applicants funded under the NGOTGP will be required to enter into a funding agreement with the Commonwealth (represented by the department).

Australian Government funding will be provided through a funding agreement, based on the proposed terms and conditions of the templates available for download as part of the ITA package. Applicants should ensure they are familiar with, and seek legal advice on, the terms and conditions of the proposed funding agreement for the NGOTGP.

There may be specific conditions attached to the funding approval required as a result of the appraisal process or imposed by the departmental delegate. These will be identified in the offer of funding or during contract negotiations.

Surplus (ie unexpended and uncommitted) funding identified through audit processes at the end of an agreement must be returned to the Commonwealth.

All applicants should ensure that they have in place, or if successful are able to obtain, sufficient insurance to comply with the requirements for insurance specified below:
  • workers compensation to an amount required by law
  • $20 million public liability and
  • $10 million professional indemnity
A deed for multi project funding with a successful applicant will not be executed until the required insurances have been obtained and copies of certificates of currency for the required insurances provided to the department.

The department requires organisations to maintain appropriate levels of public liability (PL) and professional indemnity (PI) insurance as a minimum and in some circumstances other types of insurance may be required.

The performance of organisations will be assessed against the funding agreement requirements and the objectives and aims of the NGOTGP.

Projects funded under the NGOTGP must:
  • provide capacity for reducing and treating illicit drugs use
  • be informed by evidence and use models of good practice
  • improve physiological and psychological health and
  • improve social functioning for people attending treatment for substance misuse.

Key objectives:

Top of page
  1. Improve drug and alcohol treatment service outcomes.
  2. Increase the number of treatment placements available.
  3. Fill geographic and target group gaps (identified in section 2.3).

Key aims:

  1. Strengthen the capacity of NGOs to achieve improved alcohol and drug treatment service outcomes.
  2. Increase access to a greater range of high quality alcohol and drug treatment services.
  3. Reduce drug related harm for individuals, families and communities.

Reporting requirements:

Successful applicants will be required to submit reports against the agreed milestones to the department as set out in the funding agreement. These reports will also include funding acquittal requirements and the timing of progress reports will be negotiated and form part of the final contractual arrangement. The format and framework for providing progress reports will take into account the size, cost and relative risks of the initiative/ project being undertaken by the funding recipient.

The reports may include:
  • an annual plan and budget, program activities and associated budget allocation
  • reporting against the program objectives and outcomes
  • progress reports (three or six monthly)
  • audited financial report and
  • evaluation reports

2.5 Payment arrangements


No payment will be made to an organisation until a funding agreement has been signed by the intended funding recipient and executed by the department's delegate.

Payments will usually be made on achievement of agreed milestones. Before any payment can be made funding recipients will be required to provide:
  • evidence of meeting the obligations of the funding agreement and
  • a tax invoice for the payment amount.
Where payments are linked to the achievement of specific milestones, payments will only be made after the department is satisfied that those milestones and associated obligations of the contractual arrangement have been met. Top of page

2.6 Marketing and branding

All funding recipients will be required to give due recognition to the Australian Government's investment in the project.

As such, funding recipients will be subject to common communications, marketing and branding protocols, which will be reflected in funding agreements.

The department will issue further advice and guidance on these matters in due course to successful applicants.

2.7 Monitoring

The funding recipient will be required to actively manage the delivery of the project. The department will monitor progress against the funding agreement through assessment of reports and by conducting site visits as necessary.

2.8 Evaluation


The department may undertake an evaluation of the NGOTGP during the funding period to determine how the funding provided has contributed to the objectives of the program. If requested by the department, funding recipients will be required to provide information and participate in any evaluation of the program.

Funding recipients under the NGOTGP accept funding based on the understanding that they are required to cooperate in any evaluation of the NGOTGP.


Funding recipients will be required to monitor and report on the progress of the project using project-specific performance indicators identified in their application that will be provided by the department. The department will evaluate the reports to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the project against its objectives to provide evidence that the project was carried out as agreed. Top of page

2.9 Data collection

Consistent and accurate data assists the department to monitor and evaluate the NGOTGP and provides important information on the drug and alcohol treatment sector. This data will contribute to future planning and policy development to improve the quality of drug and alcohol treatment services in Australia.

Alcohol and other Drugs Treatment Service (AODTS) – National Minimum Data Set (NMDS)

The department is responsible for providing the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare (AIHW) with service user level data, for the NMDS, from NGOs that are receiving drug and alcohol treatment services funding solely from the Australian Government.

The AODTS–NMDS assists in the planning, management and quality improvement of drug and alcohol treatment services in Australia. It provides ongoing national, state and territory statistical information on the demographics of clients who use these services, the treatment they receive and administrative information about the agencies that provide treatment services.

Collection of the data is compulsory for all funding recipients and will not be waived without written agreement from the Australian Government and specification of an alternative data set. The department must be notified if a funding recipient claims that the data set is not appropriate for the collection of data on their services. Consideration will be given to an alternative data set if appropriate.

The processes and technical requirements for this data collection will be advised in the ITA documentation. Top of page

2.10 Important notice to applicants


Applicants are advised to carefully consider the likely taxation treatment of any funding provided by the Australian Government as part of the NGOTGP.

For some general guidance on the taxation treatment of grants and funding from the Commonwealth, applicants may wish to refer to the Australian Tax Office website. However, applicants are advised to seek independent advice from a taxation professional on how funding paid to you (or to any entity you propose to establish to receive funding) under the NGOTGP would be treated for tax purposes.

Goods and Services Tax (GST)

Applicants are advised to consider the likely implications of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (GST Act) on the funding provided by the Commonwealth.

Where GST is payable, the Commonwealth will increase the funds payable to the funding recipient by the amount of GST that is payable for the purposes of the GST Act. For example, if the payment due at a particular milestone is $50,000 and GST is payable on that amount, then the Commonwealth will increase the payment provided to the funding recipient to $55,000 to include the $5,000 GST. Top of page

3. The application process

3.1 Invitation to apply (ITA)

The ITA package will be available for download from the department's tenders and grants website. Notification of the opening of the ITA process will be sent to all currently funded NGOTGP recipients.

The ITA package for the NGOTGP is provided as part of these program guidelines. The package will include but not be limited to:
  • Procedures for submitting an application
  • Selection criteria
  • A detailed assessment process
  • Funding available
  • Timeline for funding and
  • Proposed contractual arrangements.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide accurate and sufficient details, to ensure that they can be contacted, should any updates be issued.

Applications are to be submitted directly to the department's email inbox at The period in which applications may be submitted is six weeks from the date of advertisement in the national and regional press and on the tenders and grants page of the department's website.

The department will carry out a compliance check against each application for inclusion of the mandatory requirements. Only compliant applications will be assessed by the application assessment panel (see further details under section 3.4 Assessment process). Top of page

3.2 Roles and responsibilities

This section identifies the roles and responsibilities for stakeholders involved in the NGOTGP application process.

The Department of Health and Ageing

The department will have final responsibility for the allocation of funding under the NGOTGP. It will also be responsible for the development and dissemination of all application documentation under the NGOTGP and for ensuring that such documentation is in accordance with the NGOTGP aims and objectives. The department will be responsible for notifying applicants of the outcomes of any funding arrangement process and will be responsible for responding to queries in relation to the application process, and for resolving any uncertainties that may arise in relation to application requirements.

The department will also be responsible for all management and monitoring requirements of funding recipients in any process under the NGOTGP such as:
  • Developing funding agreements or any alternative contractual arrangement
  • Monitoring the performance of projects to ensure the conditions of the contractual arrangement are met
  • Assessing performance and financial reports and undertaking follow up activity as necessary
  • Making payments on acceptance of milestone reports as specified in the contractual arrangement and
  • Providing feedback to funded organisations on the overall project following the conclusion of activities.

The applicants

Applicants applying for grants under the NGOTGP are responsible for the development of their application. As part of any application process organisations submitting applications must ensure all information they provide is accurate and complete.

The department will enter into contractual arrangements for funding under the NGOTGP with single agencies only. Where two or more organisations seek funding as a consortium, an applicant organisation must be appointed as the lead applicant and the organisation that will enter into any subsequent contractual relationship with the department. The lead applicant must be identified in any application for funding and that application should identify all applicants of the proposed consortium.

All organisations applying for funding must be prepared to meet the costs associated with the development and lodgement of their application. Top of page

The funding recipient

The funding recipient is responsible for the efficient and effective delivery of the service in accordance with the obligations contained in any funding agreement or contractual arrangement entered into under the NGOTGP. Organisations funded under the NGOTGP are also responsible for:
  • Ensuring they meet the obligations of the funding agreement or other contractual arrangements
  • Ensuring the project is managed in a cost effective and efficient manner
  • Maintaining contact with the department and advising of any emerging issues that may impact on the success of the project
  • Identifying and documenting risks and the appropriate control strategies
  • Reporting on project performance and expenditure in accordance with the contractual obligations and
  • Assisting with evaluation activities as required.

3.3 Mandatory requirements

All applications will be checked for compliance with the mandatory requirements. Any application that does not comply with any or all of these requirements will not be further assessed for funding. It is the responsibility of each applicant to check that the registration and mandatory requirements have been met. Part A of the guidelines provides a compliance checklist against the below mandatory requirements.

The first level of assessment for any grant arrangement will be to determine that applications have met with all aspects of a compliance checklist (the mandatory requirements).

The mandatory requirements include:
  • That the application addresses all procedures for submitting an application (provided in the ITA package, refer section 3.1)
  • Application is from an organisation that is eligible for funding (refer section 2.2).
  • The capacity of the applicant and the proposed project meets the key objectives and aims of the program.
  • Financial viability – provision of the applicant's audited financial statement and profit & loss statement for the previous financial year.
  • Identification of the type(s) and level(s) of insurance that the applicant already holds. Top of page

3.4 Assessment process

Upon closure of the application period (six weeks after the date of advertisement of the ITA), the department will carry out a compliance check against each application for completeness and to ensure that the registration and mandatory requirements set out in these guidelines have been met.

Applications will then be considered in two stages:

Stage 1

Applications will be assessed by the department's application assessment panel to be established by the department.

Applications will be initially assessed to ensure that proposed activities meet the objectives and outcomes of NGOTGP in accordance with the selection criteria set out in the ITA documentation.

Stage 2

Following an appraisal of the application/s by the application assessment panel, advice will be provided to the department's delegate on the merits of the application/s with recommendations. The final decision about the approval of a grant will be made by the department's delegate.

The department's delegate will consider whether the proposal will make an effective, efficient, ethical and economical use of Commonwealth resources, as required by Commonwealth legislation, and whether any specific requirements will need to be imposed as a condition of funding.

3.5 Feedback

Successful organisations receiving an offer of funding, may have the organisation's name, and the amount of funding awarded, published in media releases and on the department's website (refer section 2.1).

Applicants may expect to be notified of the outcomes for the NGOTGP funding by no later than April 2012. Applicants will be advised by letter of the outcome of their application. Letters to successful applicants will contain details of any specific conditions attached to the funding.

The department will negotiate a funding agreement based upon your successful project proposal and the amount of funding awarded. The funding recipient can only use NGOTGP funding to deliver the project for which funding is offered. Funding will be paid to the organisation as specified by the funding agreement and will only be paid if the department is satisfied that the organisation's performance has met the requirements of the funding agreement.

The department will notify unsuccessful applicants in writing (to the address nominated in the application). Top of page

3.6 Funding complaints procedures

The department's role is to achieve the Australian Government's priorities for health and ageing. In order to achieve these priorities the department invests a substantial amount of Commonwealth monies in programs via a range of procurement and funding activities.

In order to ensure administrative transparency the department has a fair, equitable and non-discriminatory complaints handling process.

This site provides guidance to participants in either procurement or funding processes as to the procedure for lodging a complaint about either of those processes and the review process.

3.7 Probity

Any enquiries relating to decisions on funding under this program should be directed to the NGOTGP inbox at

The Australian Government is committed to ensuring that the process for providing funding under the NGOTGP is transparent and in accordance with published program guidelines. The ITA documentation will contain detailed guidance on the specific requirements for that process.

These NGOTGP guidelines may be varied from time-to-time by the Australian Government as the needs of the program require. Amended program guidelines or program management guideline updates will be published on the department's website in advance of any grants process.

3.8 Conflict of interest

A conflict of interest may exist, for example, if the applicant or any of its personnel:
  • Has a relationship (whether professional, commercial or personal) with a party who is able to influence the application assessment process, such as a department staff member
  • Has a relationship with, or interest in, an organisation, which is likely to interfere with or restrict the applicant in carrying out the proposed activities fairly and independently or
  • Has a relationship with, or interest in, an organisation from which they will receive personal gain as a result of the granting of funding under the NGOTGP.
Each applicant will be required to declare as part of the application process, existing conflicts of interest or that to the best of their knowledge there is no conflict of interest, including in relation to the examples above, that would impact on or prevent the applicant from proceeding with the project or any contractual arrangements it may enter into with the Australian Government.

Where an applicant subsequently identifies that an actual, apparent, or potential conflict of interest exists or might arise in relation to an application for funding, the applicant must inform the department in writing immediately. Top of page

3.9 Confidentiality and protection of personal information

Each applicant will be required to declare as part of their application, their ability to comply with the proposed contractual arrangement to be entered into with the Australian Government.

The protection of personal information clause requires the funded organisation to:
  • comply with the Privacy Act (1988) ('the Privacy Act'), including the 11 Information Privacy Principles (IPPs), as if it were an agency under the Privacy Act, and the National Privacy Principles (NPPs)
  • refrain from engaging in direct marketing (s 16F of the Privacy Act), to the extent that the NPP and/or s 16F apply to the funded organisation and
  • impose the same privacy obligations on any subcontractors it engages to assist with the project.
The confidentiality clause in any subsequent contractual arrangement imposes obligations on the funded organisation with respect to special categories of information collected, created or held under the agreement. The funded organisation is required to seek the Commonwealth's consent in writing before disclosing confidential information.

The specific clauses governing the confidentiality provisions of any grant process under this funding will be contained in the contract that will form part of any grant application documentation available to potential applicants.

Each applicant will be required to declare as part of the application process, existing conflicts of interest or that to the best of their knowledge there is no conflict of interest, including in relation to the examples above, that would impact on or prevent the applicant from proceeding with the project or any contractual arrangements it may enter into with the Australian Government.

Where an applicant subsequently identifies that an actual, apparent, or potential conflict of interest exists or might arise in relation to an application for funding, the applicant must inform the department in writing immediately. Top of page

Part A – Compliance checklist

Applicants must satisfy all the following mandatory requirements in order to be considered for funding under this program.
  • Complete and sign declaration form in the application for funding.
  • Have provided the insurance details as per section 2.4 of the guidelines.
  • Provision of audited financial and profit and loss statements for the 2010-11 financial year.
  • Provide evidence of the organisation's eligibility, identified in section 2.2 of the guidelines.

Page last reviewed: 22 March 2013

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