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Managing our financial resources

Assets management

Internal allocations for capital investments are set by the department’s executive following assessment of key work units’ planned programs of work. The executive reviewed capital investment throughout the year and reallocated resources as necessary. The finance division supported this through long-term strategic planning of the department’s investments through implementation of a capital management plan. We conduct reviews and impairment testing of asset classes annually to ensure asset values are fairly stated in the end-of-year financial statements, and use this as a basis for forward planning.


The department’s purchasing was undertaken in accordance with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) and the Commonwealth Procurement Rules.

We continued to support the government’s Indigenous supplier diversity strategy, including through our Reconciliation Action Plan, Indigenous Business Charter and Indigenous People’s Strategy.

The department has consistently met its annual targets since the inception of the Indigenous Procurement Policy. In July we won the 2019 Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply Australasia award for our ongoing commitment to engaging the Indigenous business sector in our international development program.

We encouraged best practice in Indigenous procurement, including by showcasing Indigenous businesses to posts and embedding Indigenous procurement in our policies and practices. We profiled a number of export-ready Indigenous businesses and their details on our website https://dfat.gov.au/about-us/business-opportunities/Pages/indigenous-business-engagement.aspx


During 2019–20, six new consultancy contracts were entered into involving total actual expenditure of $176,193 (inclusive of GST). In addition, 13 ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the period, involving total actual expenditure of $672,035 (inclusive of GST).

The department engaged consultants when required in accordance with the PGPA Act and related rules, including the Commonwealth Procurement Rules, and relevant departmental policies. We engaged consultants when required for specialist expertise or independent research, review, assessment or creative solutions to assist decision-making.

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.

Table 2: Consultants


No. of new contracts entered into during the period 6


Total actual expenditure during the period on new contracts (inc GST)


No. of ongoing contracts engaging consultants that were entered into during a previous period


Total actual expenditure during the period on ongoing contracts (inc GST)


ANAO access clauses

The department’s standard contract templates include provisions allowing the ANAO to access a contractor’s premises.

Exempt contracts

There were 14 contracts in excess of $10,000 (inclusive of GST), with a value of $19,298,025 exempted from being published in AusTender on the basis that publication would disclose exempt matters under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

Procurement initiatives to support small business

The department supports small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market and we continued to support small business throughout the reporting period. In collaboration with the National Bushfire Recovery Agency, Austrade and local councils, we supported over 60 bushfire-affected small businesses by purchasing products for major overseas promotions. Over 97 per cent of the bushfire recovery funding managed by the department was spent in Australia. Small and medium enterprises and small enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance’s website.

We held our fourth Aid Supplier conference and tradeshow in November to foster communication and understanding of working with the department to deliver the international development program. The event attracted widespread interest from diverse suppliers, and helped participants build networks with government and the private sector.

The department recognises the importance of small businesses being paid on time. The results of the Survey of Australian Government Payments to Small Business are available on the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources website: industry.gov.au


Information on grants awarded by the department during 2019–20 is available at www.grants.gov.au