Finance took a proactive approach to its role as policy stewards, providing entities with web guidance and support on the Commonwealth Procurement Framework and tailored advice through a dedicated outreach program and inbox.
Finance delivered a scheduled outreach program, providing two-way communication between central procurement areas and the policies which support the Commonwealth Procurement Framework. Engagement on strategic procurement matters and related policies takes place through the Senior Procurement Officials Reference Group (SPORG).
In 2020–21, Finance hosted 26 outreach sessions attended by 106 entity representatives and nine SPORG meetings attended by 103 entity representatives. Finance facilitated workshops with the states and territories on engagement with Australian business in major civil construction projects.
Finance enhances procurement capability and productivity across the public sector by sharing experiences, knowledge and better practice, strengthening partnerships with industry and promoting self-help procurement tools.
In 2020–21, through the Centre of Procurement Excellence (CoPE), Finance delivered:
● two Secretaries’ Procurement Consultative Roundtable meetings
● two CoPE Steering Group meetings
● the Commonwealth Procurement Capability Self Assessment Survey, providing reports to participating entities.
In 2020–21, the AusTender platform and data were available to users more than 99.5 per cent of the time.
In 2020–21, Finance participated in:
● five rounds of trade negotiations with the United Kingdom
● four rounds of trade negotiations with the European Union
● one round of trade negotiations with the Association of South East Asian Nations and New Zealand
● one meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Working Party of the Leading Practitioners on Public Procurement
● four meetings of the World Trade Organization Committee on Government Procurement
● five surveys by international organisations on issues related to public procurement such as gender, infrastructure, responses to COVID-19, support to small and medium-sized enterprises and anti-corruption in procurement.
Under the Commonwealth Procurement Framework, prior to formalising the extension of the WoAG Air Services Arrangement, Finance analysed performance and compliance with the Panel Deed and considered new pricing proposals. Finance determined that all suppliers continued to represent value for money for the Australian Government. Updated pricing, including route deals, point of sale discounts and other additional value-adds came into effect from 1 July 2021.
Extensions to the travel management services and car rental WoAG coordinated procurement arrangements were also exercised. This followed reviews that confirmed the arrangements are meeting their objectives and continue to deliver value for money, and the benefits of extending arrangements outweighed the costs and risks associated with approaches to market.