Research report

How long is a piece of red tape? The paperwork reporting cost of government grants

7 Apr 2008

A common anecdotal complaint of third sector organisation managers concerns the amount of paperwork associated with the submission, reporting and acquittal of government grants. This study quantifies the time and cost of paperwork using an intense research methodology compared to the orthodox compliance questionnaire. A number of Queensland third sector grant recipients kept logs to record government generated paperwork over a 12 month period. The grant recipients also provided through a series of interviews, data about grant submission and reporting processes. The nature and quantity of paperwork identified and its compliance cost is reported. This article concludes with proposed directions for the reduction of government grant paperwork costs.

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