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External service providers

Procurement

Our department is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity. Our procurement policies and practices are consistent with:

  • relevant Commonwealth legislation
  • the Commonwealth resource management framework, which includes the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act)
  • our accountable authority instructions.

Our procurement practices focus on value for money, encouraging competition, efficient, effective, economical and ethical procurement, and accountability and transparency.

We provide departmental guides, specialist advice and assistance to all our divisions to help ensure we meet our obligations.

Supporting small and medium enterprises

We support small business participation in Commonwealth procurement. Aggregated small and medium-sized enterprise participation statistics are on the Department of Finance website.

We recognise the importance of ensuring small businesses are paid on time. Our payment practice complies with the Commonwealth’s Supplier pay on-time or pay interest policy. The results of the government’s pay on-time survey are on the Treasury website.

Our procurement practices support small and medium enterprises by using:

  • the Commonwealth Contracting Suite for low-risk procurements valued at under $1 million
  • small business engagement principles, such as communicating in clear, simple language and presenting information in an accessible format
  • credit cards where possible for purchases under $10,000.

Supporting sustainable procurement

We support the National Waste Policy commitment to significantly increase government’s use of recycled content.

In 2020–21 we published a new procurement policy and a supporting guideline on sustainable procurement. We also revised our accountable authority instructions to embed environmental sustainability in our procurement practices.

Other contract information

During 2020–21 the secretary did not exempt any contracts or standing offers from being published on AusTender.

We are not aware of any contract entered into during 2020–21 that might limit the Australian National Audit Office’s access for the purposes of performing an audit.

Consultancies

The department engages consultants where it lacks specialised expertise or requires independent research, review or assessment. We typically engage consultants to:

  • investigate or diagnose a defined issue or problem
  • carry out defined reviews or evaluations
  • provide independent advice, information or creative solutions to assist in the department’s decision-making.

Before we engage consultants, we consider the skills and resources required for the task, the skills available internally and the cost-effectiveness of engaging external expertise. We make decisions to engage consultants in accordance with the PGPA Act and related rules, including the Commonwealth Procurement Rules.

During the year we established a pool of consulting services firms (strategic and delivery partners) to assist in implementing key projects and initiatives. These partners provide our staff with surge capacity and access to additional expertise to tackle priority activities – building a more agile and flexible organisation. Partner firms are available to work alongside us, embedded in our organisation and working closely with us in joint teams. This will help us to develop key relationships with partners who will build a deep understanding of our business and help guide us in reforming the way we work.

Reportable consultancy and non-consultancy contracts

The following tables contain information about actual expenditure, inclusive of goods and services tax (GST) on reportable consultancy and non-consultancy contracts. In summary, during 2020–21 we entered into:

  • 252 new reportable consultancy contracts involving total actual expenditure of $29.474 million (GST inclusive). In addition, 97 ongoing reportable consultancy contracts were active during the period, involving total actual expenditure of $21.534 million (GST inclusive).
  • 3,068 new reportable non-consultancy contracts involving total actual expenditure of $230.983 million (GST inclusive). In addition, 2,213 ongoing reportable non-consultancy contracts were active during the period, involving total actual expenditure of $469,616 million (GST inclusive).

Annual reports contain information about actual expenditure on reportable consultancy contracts. Information on the value of reportable consultancy and non-consultancy contracts is on the AusTender website.

Table 19 Expenditure on reportable consultancy contracts

Item

Number

Expenditure $

New contracts entered into during the reporting period

252

29,474,688

Ongoing contracts entered into during a previous reporting period

97

21,534,547

Total

349

51,009,235

Table 20 Organisations receiving a share of reportable consultancy contract expenditure

Name of organisation

Expenditure $

WSP Australia Pty Limited

7,318,504

AECOM Australia Pty Ltd

7,224,829

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

4,001,123

KPMG Australia

2,611,498

Price Waterhouse Coopers Consulting

2,565,519

Note: Expenditure may be against multiple contracts.

Table 21 Expenditure on reportable non-consultancy contracts

Item

Number

Expenditure $

New contracts entered into during the reporting period

3,068

230,983,683

Ongoing contracts entered into during a previous reporting period

2,213

469,616,286

Total

5,281

700,599,969

Table 22 Organisations receiving a share of reportable non-consultancy contract expenditure

Name of organisation

Expenditure $

Jones Lang Lasalle (ACT) Pty Limited

76,817,356

Hays Specialist Recruitment

34,662,653

DXC Enterprise Australia Pty Ltd

26,667,379

Local Land Services

25,475,364

Dell Australia Pty Ltd

15,960,073

Note: Expenditure may be against multiple contracts.

Advertising and market research

Advertising campaigns

During 2020–21 we conducted the following advertising campaigns:

  • Product emission standards for outdoor power equipment and marine engines
  • Harvest Trail social media campaign
  • Murray–Darling Healthy Rivers Program
  • Murray–Darling Basin Economic Development Program
  • Waste plastic export ban.

Further information on these advertising campaigns is available in the reports on Australian Government advertising prepared by the Department of Finance. Those reports are available on the Department of Finance website.

Expenditure

In 2020–21 we did not make payments to advertising agencies, polling organisations or direct mail organisations. Table 23 lists payments to market research organisations and media advertising organisations (including advertising and recruiting) in 2020–21.

Table 23 Advertising and market research expenditure

Type

Organisation

Description

Expenditure $

Market research

JWS Research

Product stewardship logo – market concept testing

30,000

Market research

JWS Research

Market research on biosecurity communication on African swine fever

61,600

Market research

Instinct and Reason

Biosecurity Market research – Pacific Island country exporters

25,000

Market research

Instinct and Reason

Biosecurity brand market research

49,995

Media advertising

Universal McCann

Advertising

278,509

Media advertising

Universal McCann

Recruitment

135,375

Total

580,479

Note: Market research values are over the whole contract length, not just the 2020–21 reporting year. The figures have been rounded.