The Abrupt Cancellation of the Minimum Viable Product Grant by the NSW Government: A Case of Poor Governance

In the realm of government policies and programs, it is not uncommon for new administrations to cancel initiatives implemented by their predecessors. Such decisions may stem from ideological differences or budgetary constraints. However, the cancellation process should ideally be handled with due consideration and transparency, ensuring that applicants are given sufficient warning and their efforts are not in vain. This article delves into the cancellation of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Grant by the New South Wales (NSW) Government, highlighting the lack of foresight and poor governance that accompanied the decision.

To shed light on the issue at hand, let’s examine two recent program cancellations: one by the federal government and the other by the NSW government. The federal government displayed commendable practice when it ceased the Entrepreneurs Program. They allowed all applications received before the cancellation date to be processed, ensuring that the efforts of the applicants were duly acknowledged. By doing so, the federal government demonstrated an understanding of budget reliability and the importance of honouring commitments.

Contrastingly, the NSW government abruptly halted the MVP program without providing any prior warning to its own department or the applicants. The decision was made hastily, and the closing date was abruptly changed from 26 December to immediately at four o’clock on 22 May. This sudden decision left numerous applicants, who had diligently submitted their claims up to 39 days prior, without the opportunity for their applications to be processed or to secure the funding they sought.

Governments have the authority to set closing dates for program applications at any given moment, regardless of when it is decided. However, what is crucial is that they have access to the necessary information regarding budgetary liability. By determining the budgetary impact and assessing the ideological alignment of existing programs, governments can make informed decisions about whether to continue or terminate them. Consequently, it is imperative that governments, both in power and in opposition, declare their stance on existing programs, enabling transparency and informed public discourse.

The abrupt cancellation of the MVP program by the NSW State Government raises concerns about their commitment to efficient governance and the welfare of their constituents. While they may have had valid reasons for discontinuing the program, the lack of warning and consideration for the applicants’ efforts reflects a lack of accountability and poor performance. The government’s actions disregard the time and resources invested by individuals and businesses who were counting on the program’s support.

The cancellation of government programs is an inherent prerogative of any new administration. However, responsible governance necessitates that such decisions are made transparently, with adequate warning provided to applicants. The case of the NSW Government’s cancellation of the MVP Grant serves as an example of poor governance practices, lacking the foresight and consideration necessary to ensure a fair and orderly process. It is essential for governments, both at the state and federal levels, to adopt transparent policies and procedures that prioritise the needs of the applicants and uphold the principles of good governance.