Perrottet to end pork-barrelling grants

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The NSW premier is backing the recommendations of an independent review into the much-maligned multi-billion-dollar NSW grants scheme.

"Grants need to be delivered fairly and deliver value for the NSW taxpayer, and I am committed to seeing positive changes put in place as swiftly as possible," Dominic Perrottet said on Tuesday.

The review released last month into the $4 billion annual grants scheme called for more transparency, with Labor saying the system had been vulnerable to "a culture of pork barrelling".

Led by the Department of Premier and Cabinet, the review made 19 recommendations, including more open and honest communication around the distribution of grants.

The review was ordered by Mr Perrottet after an auditor-general's report revealed 95 per cent of the $252 million Stronger Communities Fund grants were awarded to coalition-held electorates.

In the same week an analysis found 75 per cent of ClubGRANTS funds were also funnelled into coalition seats.

The DPC review recommended that all new grants have published guidelines stating "the purpose of the grant, clear selection criteria, and details of the application and assessment process".

Grant information should be made available on a publicly accessible website and all grants "must have a funding agreement" making grantees accountable for how they spend public funds.

The premier announced "support in principle" for all of the recommendations.

"Grants are an important part of everyday life in our state - from sports clubs to disaster recovery, business assistance to COVID support programs - and we need to do everything we can to ensure every dollar of grant money is appropriately directed and invested," Mr Perrottet said.

"The NSW government is committed to ensuring this discretion is exercised as fairly, transparently and effectively as possible.

The state spends around $4 billion each year on grants but that amount had "increased significantly as we have responded to support people through bushfires, the pandemic, droughts and floods".

Key reforms include: replacing the current Good Practice Guide to Grants with a new Grants Administration Guide, and establishing a cross-agency "community of practice" comprising officials with expertise in grants administration.

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