The AIC’s approach to procuring property and services, including consultancies, is consistent with the Australian Government’s procurement policy and legislation. The Commonwealth Procurement Rules are applied to activities through the Accountable Authority Instructions and supporting operational policies and procedures, which are reviewed for consistency with the Commonwealth Procurement Framework. The procurement framework reflects the core principle governing Australian Government procurement—value for money. The Institute’s policies and procedures also focus on:
- encouraging competitive, non-discriminatory procurement processes;
- efficient, effective, economical and ethical use of resources; and
- accountability and transparency.
During 2018–19 the AIC continued to participate in whole-of-government, coordinated procurement initiatives and sought opportunities to lower tendering costs and provide savings through economies of scale.
Property and corporate services
Support services including functions relating to finance, human resources, ICT and property are provided by the ACIC. The AIC currently occupies space leased by the ACIC.
The AIC engages legal services from the Legal Services Multi-Use List framework, in accordance with the Legal Services Directions 2005. Legal services include both contract and consultancy services relating to legislation, governance, contracting and human resource matters.
During 2018–19, the AIC made no expenditure on legal services (2017–18: $0).
Consultants are engaged where particular specialist expertise is necessary, sufficiently skilled expertise is not immediately available in-house, or independent advice on a matter is required.
We make decisions to engage consultants in accordance with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and related regulations including the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and relevant internal policies.
During 2018–19, no new consultancy contracts were entered into. In addition, no ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the period. During the previous reporting period, one consultancy contract was entered into.
Annual reports contain information about actual expenditure on contracts for consultancies. Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website: www.tenders.gov.au. Contracts in excess of $100,000 are reported in accordance with the requirements of Senate Order 192 and detailed on the AIC website: aic.gov.au.
Supporting small business
The AIC supports small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market. Small and medium enterprise and small enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance’s website: www.finance.gov.au/procurement/statistics-on-commonwealth-purchasing-contracts/.
The AIC recognises the importance of ensuring that small businesses are paid on time. We support the use of small and medium enterprises through various means, including the use of template contracts for both low risk and higher risk procurements and compliance with the Australian Government’s Supplier Pay on Time or Pay Interest Policy.
Australian National Audit Office access
The AIC’s contract templates contain standard clauses to provide for the Auditor-General to have access to the contractor’s premises. All contracts entered into during the reporting period contained these standard clauses.
The AIC has not entered into any contracts or standing offers that have been exempted from publication on AusTender.