The Community Sport Infrastructure Grant Program (CSIG/the program) was established in 2018 to ensure more Australians have access to quality sporting facilities, encouraging greater community participation in sport and physical activity.
The program is administered by the Australian Sports Commission (Sport Australia). The published program guidelines outlined that all eligible applications would be assessed against the three weighted merit criteria, with funding to be awarded on a competitive basis by the Minister for Sport. The guidelines further set out that funding announcements were expected from 1 November 2018 onwards and that projects were expected to be completed by 30 June 2019.
The decision to undertake the audit followed a request from the Shadow Attorney-General, the Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP, for an audit into the circumstances surrounding the Liberal candidate for Mayo’s presentation of a cheque to the Yankalilla Bowling Club for a project that received $127,373 in funding under the second round. The key rationale for undertaking an audit was that Sport Australia (as a corporate Commonwealth entity) is not subject to the Commonwealth Grant Rules and Guidelines (CGRGs) when administering its grant programs.
The objective of the audit was to assess whether the award of funding under the CSIG program was informed by an appropriate assessment process and sound advice.
- The award of grant funding was not informed by an appropriate assessment process and sound advice.
- The design of the program was deficient in a number of important areas. A positive aspect was that the program guidelines were well structured and included clear assessment criteria with transparent weightings. A significant shortcoming was that, while the program guidelines identified that the Minister for Sport would approve CSIG funding, there are no records evidencing that the Minister was advised of the legal basis on which the Minister could undertake an approval role, and it is not evident to the ANAO what the legal authority was.