Performance assessment against Commonwealth Procurement Rules
The Department‘s approach to procuring goods and services, including consultancies, is consistent with the principles of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules. These rules are applied to activities through the Department’s accountable authority instructions, supporting operational guidelines and procurement framework.
Information on significant procurements expected to be undertaken in 2019–20 is in the Department’s annual procurement plan, available on the AusTender website, tenders.gov.au.
No contracts in excess of $10,000 (inclusive of GST) or standing offers were exempted by the Secretary from being published on AusTender on the basis that they would disclose exempt matters under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.
Australian National Audit Office access clauses
No contracts of $100,000 or more (inclusive of GST) were entered into during 2018–19 that did not provide for the Auditor-General to have access to the contractor’s premises.
Initiatives to support small and medium-sized enterprises and Indigenous business
The Department of Finance supports small business participation in the Australian Government procurement market. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Small Enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance website www.finance.gov.au/procurement/statistics-on-commonwealth-purchasing-contracts/.
The Department's measures to support SMEs include:
- complying with the Commonwealth Procurement Framework.
- using standardised contracts for low-risk procurements valued under $200,000
- implementing the Indigenous Procurement Policy, noting that many Indigenous businesses are also SMEs
- using the Australian Industry Participation polices and programs to encourage SME engagement opportunities.
- using credit cards for procurements valued below $10,000
- complying with the government's Supplier Pay on Time or Pay Interest Policy
The Department supports SME business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market. The SME participation statistics published on the Department's website (finance.gov.au) estimate that, in 2017–18, 85 per cent of government suppliers were SMEs.
The Department recognises the importance of ensuring that small businesses are paid on time. The results of the Government Pay On-Time survey, which are available on the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business website, https://www.employment.gov.au/pay-time-survey-results, show that Finance paid 96.1 per cent of invoices for contracts valued under $1,000,000 within 30 days in 2017–18.
The Department supports the goals of the Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP). This is reflected in the IPP procurement statistics which show Finance exceeded its 2018–19 IPP target by 200 per cent. Further details are available on the National Indigenous Australians Agency website (www.niaa.gov.au).
Consultancy summary statement
The Department engages consultants when it requires specialist expertise or when independent research, review or assessment is required. Decisions to engage consultants during 2018–19 were made in accordance with the PGPA Act and related regulations, including the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and relevant internal policies. Finance uses consultants to manage discrete one-off projects when specialist expertise is required for a limited time.
During 2018–19, 173 new consultancy contracts were entered into and 75 contracts were ongoing from prior years. The total spend on consultancies in 2018–19 was $14.5 million.