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Performance assessment against Commonwealth Procurement Rules

The Department’s approach to procurement activity is driven by the core principles of the Commonwealth’s financial management framework. The framework encourages competition, value for money, transparency, and accountability as well as the efficient, effective, ethical and economical use of Commonwealth resources.

During 2017-18, the Department continued to focus on enhancing procurement communication, education and quality assurance processes to improve compliance. The Department’s Procurement Transformation Project, which was completed in 2017-18, enhanced our corporate service offering, specifically, refining our procurement and contract management process tools, guidance and education material.

Indigenous Procurement Policy

Indigenous businesses are vital to creating jobs and employing more Indigenous Australians. The Indigenous Procurement Policy aims to enable these Indigenous businesses to grow and create opportunities for Indigenous Australians.

The Department’s target of 73 contracts with Indigenous businesses was exceeded with 142 new contracts entered into with Indigenous businesses during 2017-18, worth a combined value of $21.4 million. In addition, the Department had a total of 21 continuing multi-year contracts entered into from previous financial years with a combined value of $8.1 million.

The Department continues to promote awareness of opportunities to procure goods and services from Indigenous businesses. Together with the implementation of the Department’s Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2017–19, launched in early July 2017, which incorporates Indigenous business development targets, these initiatives have provided greater awareness and recognition of Indigenous suppliers and the benefits of their involvement in the Department’s procurements.
The Department is a member of Supply Nation, which supports and empowers Indigenous enterprises to achieve success and build business.

Consultancies Consultancy summary statement

During 2017-18, a total of 548 new consultant contracts were awarded, with a combined value of $44.0 million. This represents a 2.1 per cent decrease in the number of contracts from 2016-17 where 560 consultancy contracts were awarded and a 55.6 per cent decrease in the value of contracts from 2016-17 where $99.3 million was committed to consultancies.
Furthermore, at the end of the 2017-18 financial period, a total of 27 consultancy contracts with a combined value of $22.4 million remain ongoing from previous financial years.

Consultancy contracts summary

During 2017-18, 548 new consultancy contracts were entered into involving total actual expenditure of $44.0 million. In addition, 27 ongoing consultancy contracts were active during 2017-18 involving total actual expenditure of $22.4 million.

Consultancy selection procedure summary

The Department takes into account the skills and resources required for the task, the skills available internally and the cost-effectiveness of engaging external expertise. Decisions to engage consultants are made in accordance with the PGPA Act and related regulations including the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and other internal policies.

Consultancy category/purpose summary

The Department engages consultants to provide specialist expertise, independent research, reviews or assessments in relation to:

  • investigating or diagnosing a defined issue or problem;
  • carrying out defined reviews or evaluations; or
  • providing independent advice, information or creative solutions to assist the Department in decision-making.
Consultancy AusTender reference

Further information on the value of contracts and consultancies valued over $10,000 is available on the AusTender website1.

Contracting Contracts exempt from Publishing on AusTender

In 2017-18, a total of 136 contracts were exempt from reporting on AusTender on the basis that publishing contract details would disclose exempt matters under the Freedom of Information Act 1982. This represents an increase from 2016-17 where 116 contracts were exempt from reporting.

ANAO Access Clauses Contract Details

In 2017-18, there were no departmental contracts exempt from the standard contract clauses which grant the Auditor-General access to contractor premises.

Small and medium enterprise Certification of support for SME participation

Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) make up the majority of all Australian businesses, contribute billions of dollars to the economy and provide employment for millions of Australians. In addition to the use of mandatory Whole of Australian Government panels, the Department supports small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market. SME participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance’s website at: www.finance.gov.au/procurement/statistics-on-commonwealthpurchasing-cont...

Outline of SME procurement practices

Initiatives to support small business

The Department’s measures to support SMEs include:

  • ongoing promotion and application of the Indigenous Procurement Policy, of which detailed information is included below;
  • Small Business Engagement Principles clearly communicated in simple language and in an accessible format as outlined in the Government’s Industry Innovation & Competitiveness Agenda;
  • use of the Commonwealth Contracting Suite (CCS) to minimise the burden on businesses contracting with the Commonwealth Government; and
  • internal guidance and advice to support the Indigenous Procurement Policy, Small Business Engagement Principles and the CCS.
Results of Pay on time survey

The Department recognises the importance of ensuring that small businesses are paid on time. The results of the most recent Survey of Australian Government Payments to Small Business are available on the Treasury’s website2.

Over the 2017-18 financial year, the Department has continued to enhance and mature its Vendor Invoice Management System to ensure timely payment to small businesses.


  1. 86 Available at: www.tenders.gov.au
  2. 85 Available at: www.treasury.gov.au