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Purchasing and procurement

Procurement

As a non-corporate Commonwealth entity, our purchasing and procurement policies and practices are consistent with:

  • all relevant Commonwealth legislation
  • the Australian Government financial framework, including the Commonwealth Procurement Rules
  • the Chief Executive Instructions and relevant Clean Energy Regulator policies, and
  • all connected policies including the Indigenous Procurement Policy.

All open tender opportunities of $80,000 and above (inclusive of GST) are advertised on the AusTender website. Reviews of all procurements of $10,000 and above (inclusive of GST) are conducted to ensure they are completed in accordance with the procurement framework. Our procurement methods aim not to discriminate against small and medium-sized enterprises.

We update our Annual Procurement Plan as required. This plan, available on the AusTender website, outlines the planned procurement for the forthcoming year. This gives prospective suppliers the opportunity to prepare for potential work with our agency.

Consultants

We procure consultancy services in accordance with our procurement framework.

During 2018–19, a total of 10 new consultancy contracts were entered into, involving total actual expenditure of $1,093,591.25 (inclusive of GST). In addition, 10 ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the period, involving total actual expenditure of $6,706,792.00 (inclusive of GST).

All consultancy contracts valued at $10,000 (inclusive of GST) or more awarded in 2018–19 are published on the AusTender website.

Annual reports contain information about actual expenditure on contracts for consultancies. Information on the value of individual contracts for consultancies is available on the AusTender website.

Engagement of consultants

We engage consultants through fair and equitable processes, selecting multiple providers through panel or Open Tender processes and conducting a value for money assessment. We conduct all procurement activities in accordance with policies, regulations and legislative requirements.

Australian National Audit Office access clauses

Any contracts of $100,000 (inclusive of GST) or more awarded during 2018–19 included a provision for the Auditor-General to have access to the contractor’s premises.

Exempt contracts

In 2018–19 the Chair did not exempt any standing offer or contract in excess of $10,000 (inclusive of GST) from being published on the AusTender website.1

Procurement initiatives to support small business

We support small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market. Small and medium enterprises and small enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance website.

Consistent with paragraph 5.4 of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules, we use the following initiatives and practices to support small and medium enterprises:

  • the Commonwealth Contracting Suite for low-risk procurements valued under $200,000 (inclusive of GST)
  • Australian Industry Participation Plans in whole-of-government procurement where applicable
  • the Small Business Engagement Principles (outlined in the Government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda), such as communicating in clear, simple language and presenting information in an accessible format, and
  • electronic systems or other processes used to facilitate on-time payment performance, including the use of payment cards.

We comply with the requirements set out in the Indigenous Procurement Policy. In 2018–19 we entered into six contracts and one sub-contracting arrangement for the supply of goods and services from Indigenous suppliers.

Information and communications technology

The reporting year was a period of preparation and planning for the growth and change in the energy sector, while we also continued to focus on continuous improvement of our systems and services. We are proud of the reliability of our registries, which in 2018–19 were available 99.5 per cent of time.

Our agency is one year into a three-year improvement program to:

  • improve our participant, stakeholder, and citizen experience
  • reduce red tape and regulatory burden by streamlining and automating our processes, and
  • enhance our efficiency by standardising and consolidating our regulatory systems.

We have completed a large user research project that sought feedback and insight from a cross-section of scheme participants. This project provided valuable insight into how people interact with our online systems, which will inform the next phase of designing more user-focused interactions.

In addition, we are very conscious of the increased risk of cyber-attacks facing government and other organisations. We have developed a Cyber-Resilience Framework for improving our system’s defences and our capabilities of detection and response if we are breached.

These ambitious activities will deliver systems that are user-centred, fit-for-purpose, efficient and robust, while also providing greater access to trusted information and data. This all builds on previous achievements, as we leverage technology to enhance our effectiveness as a regulator, and reduce regulatory burden for our participants.

Footnotes

  1. Emissions Reduction Fund carbon abatement contracts are exempt.