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Unspent funds are funds provided by DCJ in relation to the services or project agreed in a contract that:

  • haven’t been spent, including as a result of an underspend of the funds, and
  • haven’t been contractually committed to be paid to a third party.

You must return unspent DCJ funds to us for repurposing or return to the NSW Government budget.

These requirements apply to the funding provided under a contract or grant by DCJ. It doesn’t include funds that providers may contribute from other sources such as philanthropic funds.

Some DCJ contracts including grants make provision for dealing with unspent funds. It’s important that you read your contract to see if there are any relevant provisions.

Unspent DCJ funds are addressed at different points throughout the contract lifecycle, specifically:

  • at the end of a financial year, addressed during the annual accountability process
  • when contracts end for reasons such as termination, end of contract term, or novation of a contract following a merger, acquisition or amalgamation
  • when contracted services are being relinquished by you.

The approach enables us to:

  • reduce the level of unspent funds across programs, so that funding can be redirected to deliver the services for which it has been allocated
  • pool program funds to address strategic priorities, or for greater purchasing power and capacity to respond to those priorities.

Unspent funds must be returned to DCJ unless they meet notified exceptions or where:

  • the amount of unspent funds is below the administration costs of recovery. This amount must be retained and used for services under the contract and accounted for in the following financial year, or
  • the funding was paid in advance for use in following financial years
  • an application to retain funds has been approved, in accordance with advice provided annually as part of annual accountability.
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Last updated: 19 Jul 2023