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Appendix F — Other management issues

Compliance with finance law

In 2019–20, the ANAO had no significant issues under paragraph 19(1)(e) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 relating to noncompliance with the finance law.

Asset management

The ANAO’s assets management policy is set out in the Auditor-General Instructions and supporting financial management procedures. High-value assets are subject to whole-of-life management, including formal tendering for acquisition, scheduled maintenance, and detailed accounting of disposal or return at the end of the useful life of the asset. The ANAO’s asset management practices are designed to protect the interests of the Australian Government.

Purchasing and procurement

The ANAO’s approach to procuring goods and services, including consultancies, is consistent with, and reflects the principles of, the Commonwealth Procurement Rules. These rules are applied to activities through the Auditor-General Instructions and supporting financial management procedures and guidelines.

The ANAO’s procurement plan is published annually and is available on the AusTender website, tenders.gov.au. The plan is updated when circumstances change.

The ANAO’s tender evaluation processes are designed to be fair and equitable and to enable potential suppliers to compete for ANAO business. Before proceeding to a substantive evaluation, the ANAO undertakes a check against all mandatory requirements that are listed in the tender documentation.

All tenders and contractual arrangements undertaken in 2019–20 were carried out in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules.

No contracts in excess of $10,000 (including GST) or standing offers were exempted by the Auditor-General from being published on AusTender on the basis that they would disclose exempt matters under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.


The ANAO engages consultants as required to undertake a variety of tasks. The most common uses of contracted consultants include the application of expert professional skills to:

  • investigate or diagnose a defined issue or problem;
  • provide independent advice, information or creative solutions; and
  • provide specialised services, including assistance with actuarial calculations, probity services and legal advice.

The major competitive tendering and contracting activities in 2019–20 were to obtain professional skills to assist with certain financial statements audits and performance audits, and the ANAO accommodation project.

During 2019–20, three new consultancy contracts were entered into involving total actual expenditure of $0.190 million. In addition, 11 ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the period, involving total actual expenditure of $0.427 million.

Annual reports contain information about actual expenditure on contracts for consultancies. Information on the value of the ANAO’s contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website, tenders.gov.au.

Procurement initiatives to support small business

The ANAO supports small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market. Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and Small Enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance’s website: Statistics on Australian Government Procurement Contracts. In addition, the ANAO updated its payment terms on 14 April 2020 to 7 days to support suppliers’ cash flow during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Procurement practices support SMEs by the use of the Commonwealth Contracting Suite for low-risk procurements valued under $200,000. Practices also support the use of electronic systems or other processes to facilitate on-time payment, including the use of payment cards.

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

Advertising and market research

The ANAO did not undertake media advertising campaigns and therefore did not make any payments to advertising agencies in 2019–20. The ANAO did not make any payments to direct mail organisations or polling organisations.

Payments over $13,000 (including GST) to market research organisations and media advertising organisations, incurred in the course of HR, audit and assurance reviews, are set out in Table F.2.

Table F.1: Payments made to market research organisations, 2019–20



Amount ($)

Orima Research (market research organisation)

Client Survey


Orima Research (market research organisation)

Client Survey


Orima Research (market research organisation)

Client Survey


Orima Research (market research organisation)

Client Survey


Grant programs

The ANAO does not administer any grant programs.

Environmental performance

Section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) requires that Australian Government entities include a section detailing their environmental performance and contribution to ecologically sustainable development in their annual report.

The EPBC Act requires Commonwealth agencies to report against two core criteria:

  • how the agency accords with and contributes to the principles of ecologically sustainable development; and
  • the environmental performance of the agency, including the impact of its activities on the natural environment, how these are mitigated and how they will be further mitigated.
Contribution to ecologically sustainable development

The ANAO accords with and contributes to environmentally sustainable development by actively taking steps to reduce our environmental impact and adopting environmentally friendly options where practical.

In 2019–20, the ANAO continued to improve its environmental performance and mitigate the effects of our impact on the environment through:

  • relocating to smaller premises, reducing the footprint of the agency;
  • relocating to premises with a higher NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) rating;
  • procuring energy-efficient equipment and lighting solutions, including sensor-controlled lighting;
  • energy-efficient power management settings on office equipment;
  • updated videoconferencing facilities to reduce the need for local, interstate and international travel;
  • ensuring that new leases entered into comply with the Australian Government’s energy policy;
  • recycling of paper, cardboard, office furniture, batteries and printer cartridges; and
  • fostering employee awareness of environmental issues, including reconsidering the need to print documents in line with ‘paper-lite’ principles.

The integration of energy-efficiency practices into our organisation and planning processes allows us to reduce our energy costs and decrease the consumption of resources.

Effect of activities on the environment

The ANAO monitors its energy and water usage and waste management as core indicators of the effect of its activities on the environment.

In December 2019, the ANAO relocated to new premises following fit-out and base building construction works. During the construction phase, the building contractor was legally responsible for the removal and disposal of debris generated by the works, with a particular focus on recycling as much waste as possible and reducing landfill. Further, the building contractor was legally obligated to take all precautions necessary to prevent the discharge of mud, dust, water, fumes, smoke, rubbish, and other pollutants from the work site to any adjacent areas.

We will continue to improve our collection and monitoring of data on energy use, water consumption and waste management in our office building.

Disability reporting

The National Disability Strategy 2010–2020 is Australia’s overarching framework for disability reform. It acts to ensure the principles underpinning the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are incorporated into Australia’s policies and programs that affect people with disability, their families and carers.

All levels of government will continue to be held accountable for the implementation of the strategy through biennial progress reporting to the Council of Australian Governments. Progress reports can be found at dss.gov.au.

Disability reporting is included in the Australian Public Service Commission’s State of the Service reports and the APS Statistical Bulletin. These reports are available at apsc.gov.au.

Work health and safety

Under section 35 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, the ANAO is required to notify Comcare of any incidents arising out of the conduct of the ANAO’s operations that result in death, serious injury or serious illness of a person, or involve a dangerous incident. No incidents were reported in 2019–20.

Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 provides the Auditor-General with an exemption from the provisions of the Act, and in 2015 the Australian Information Commissioner determined that the Auditor-General’s exemption extends to the ANAO.

Performance audits, assurance reviews and audit opinions are tabled in the Parliament and/or published on the ANAO’s website. Correspondence with members of parliament and senators is published on the ANAO’s website. Other corporate information is also published on the ANAO’s website, including:

  • the Auditor-General’s credit card transactions;
  • meetings held with members of parliament and senators;
  • Senior Executive Service remuneration policy and details;
  • gifts and benefits received and declined; and
  • the ANAO’s risk management framework.

Service charter

As the ANAO does not provide services directly to members of the public, it does not have a service charter. However, the ANAO recognises that it provides a service to the community through the delivery of a range of audit services, and welcomes feedback. Comments and suggestions can be made via the ANAO website, anao.gov.au, or by phone on (02) 6203 7300. Members of the public are also invited to make contributions to specific audits, with each audit having a facility for contributions to be received while the audit is in progress.