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Purchasing and Grants

The department is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity, and its procurement and grant policies and practices are consistent with:

  • the Commonwealth Procurement Rules, the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines, and the PGPA Act
  • the department’s Secretary’s Instructions, and internal policies.

The department has a devolved procurement framework; however, this is supported centrally, with procurement and grants advice and support to ensure the best procurement outcomes for the department and the Commonwealth.

Through regular communications and training, the department engages with staff about procurement and grant obligations under this framework.

The department encourages open procurement and grant opportunities. Its policy is to use panel arrangements to select appropriate providers where possible, and conducting procurement activities in accordance with relevant policies and regulations.

The department publishes details of procurements and plans on AusTender. During 2018–19, the department reported 1,224 contracts on AusTender, with 77 contracts exempt from publication.

The department uses the Industry Grants Hub for grants management. Details of grants awarded are available at grants.gov.au.

Support for Indigenous businesses and small and medium enterprises

The department has embedded the Indigenous Procurement Policy into internal procurement processes to increase opportunities for businesses owned by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The department uses Supply Nation to support Indigenous business participation in Commonwealth procurements.

The portfolio’s 2018–19 Indigenous procurement target was 59 contracts. In 2018–19, the department engaged 49 Indigenous businesses in a total of 209 contracts.

The department supports small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market, and recognises the importance of ensuring that small businesses are paid on time. With the implementation of 20-day payment terms from 2019–20, the department is focused on meeting the new payment times and has been working with staff and service providers to ensure processes support this policy.

The department coordinates the annual Australian Government pay-on-time survey performance report. Results are available at employment.gov.au.

Small and medium enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance’s website.


The department engages consultants to provide independent and expert advice or services, and the decision to engage a consultant is made in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules.

During 2018–19, the department entered into 161 new consultancies, involving total actual expenditure of $11,726,603. In addition, 84 consultancy contracts were active across the 2017–18 and 2018–19 financial years, involving total actual expenditure of $4,540,561 in 2018–19.

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. Information on all the department’s procurements is available at tenders.gov.au.