Independent performance review of GRDC

Client: Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)


The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is one of five Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) which are statutory corporations or authorities owned by the Commonwealth Government. GRDC exists to drive the discovery, development, and delivery of world-class innovation to enhance the profitability and sustainability of Australian grain growers and benefit the grains industry and the wider community.

ACIL Allen’s report provides the results of an independent review of GRDC between 2015 and 2019. The review is a requirement of the Statutory Funding Agreement (SFA) held between GRDC and the Commonwealth Government. The report is the first independent review of GRDC that has been undertaken.

The review’s terms of reference (ToR) required consideration of GRDC’s compliance against legislation and formal obligations, considerations of its efficiency and effectiveness in developing and executing strategies and plans, and its benefits to industry. A specific requirement of the ToR was to consider the effectiveness of GRDC’s regional presence.

The review found that GRDC is a mature and well-managed organisation. GRDC has in place the architecture, systems, and processes that make it accountable to levy payers, Government, and other stakeholders. GRDC has provided ample evidence and documentation to demonstrate that it meets the requirements of the SFA and related legislation. GRDC is also a constantly evolving organisation. Since 2014, GRDC has sought to transition from an inwardly-focused and bureaucratic organisation to one more focused on agility, commercialisation and growers. These reforms position GRDC for a promising future. Most stakeholders consulted are optimistic about GRDC’s future, however, suggest that it is too early to tell whether GRDC can deliver on its promise, and encourage GRDC to finalise and then bed down the reforms initiated.

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