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Purchasing

The AEC’s approach to procuring goods and services is consistent with the:

  • Public Governance Performance and Accountability Act 2013
  • Commonwealth Procurement Rules
  • Department of the Environment and Energy’s Sustainable Procurement Guide

The AEC applies these rules through its accountable authority instructions, supporting operational guidelines, and by continuing to develop procurement skills and processes to improve efficiency and value-for-money outcomes.

The AEC has centralised expertise to manage its procurement and contracting framework, including panel arrangements. Tenders are evaluated for:

  • value for money
  • energy and consumption demand
  • unnecessary consumption
  • end-of-life disposal arrangements

Australian National Audit Office access clauses

All AEC contract templates include a standard clause to provide Auditor–General access to a contractor’s premises. The AEC did not execute any contracts in 2019–20 without the Australian National Audit Office access provisions.

Small business

The AEC supports small business participation in Commonwealth Government procurement. Small and medium enterprises and small enterprise participation statistics are on the Department of Finance website at www.finance.gov.au.

The AEC recognises the importance of ensuring small businesses are paid on time. The results of the Survey of Australian Government Payments to Small Business are available on Treasury’s website at www.treasury.gov.au.

Publication of contracts on AusTender

Information on the value of AEC contracts and consultancies—as well as expected procurements—is available on the Austender website at www.tenders.gov.au

In 2019–20:

  • no contracts or standing offers greater than $10,000 (including GST) were exempt from publication on AusTender on the basis that they would disclose exempt information under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
  • the AEC did not administer any discretionary grant programs
  • Seven open-tender requests were published

Consultants

Consultants are engaged to provide specialist expertise, independent research, or to review or assess particular elements of electoral events. These decisions are made in accordance with section 35(2) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, the PGPA Act and related Regulations (including the Commonwealth Procurement Rules), and relevant internal policies.

Table 4: Number and expenditure on new and ongoing consultants, current report period (2019–20)

Total

Number of new contracts engaging consultants entered into during the period

8

Total actual expenditure during the period on new contracts (inc GST)

$1,085,852.50

Number of ongoing contracts engaging consultants that were entered into during a previous period

1

Total actual expenditure during the period on ongoing contracts (inc GST)

$ 462,000.00

Further information on consultancy expenditure is in the financial statements