A performance audit of the Australian Research Council found (nearly) all well
The Australian National Audit Office reports favourably on the ARC’s management of the Commonwealth National Competitive Grants Programme.
The ANAO concludes;
* guidelines are clear and consistent with policy
* processes to, “assess grants, manage conflicts of interest and provide funding recommendations” are “mature and effective”
* arrangements to manage actual and perceived conflicts of interest in the NCGP process are “appropriate”
Criticism, such as it is, isn’t all that critical. The ANAO suggest while KPIs for grants are relevant, “not all are reliable.”
“Assurance arrangements could be more risk-based to provide greater assurance that administering organisations comply with grant agreement requirements and the program is achieving its objectives.”
And the ANAO reported universities wanted the ARC stop setting application due dates in February-March.
Overall however, “university stakeholders were strongly supportive of the ARC and indicated that the ARC’s administration of the NCGP was effective.”