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Financial management

The Commission continues to maintain a strong focus on financial management, ensuring resources are utilised in the most efficient and effective manner to deliver the greatest benefit and impact for the Australian community.

The Commission’s financial results for 2019–20 are outlined in Appendix D: Annual financial statements. The total comprehensive loss before an asset revaluation surplus was $11.456 million. The loss includes expenses of $10.683 million which are not funded in line with the Australian Government’s net cash appropriation arrangements.

During the financial year, the Commission engaged an independent valuer to complete a valuation of all non‑financial assets which resulted in a revaluation surplus of $1.328m.

In 2019–20, we reported no significant non‑compliance with finance law.

Asset management

The Commission’s main asset types are leasehold improvements, computer equipment and computer software. As asset management is not considered to be a significant aspect of the Commission’s strategic business, the effectiveness of the Commission’s asset management processes is not reported.

Purchasing

The Commission’s approach to procuring goods and services, including consultancies, is consistent with, and reflects the principles of, the Commonwealth Procurement Rules. The rules are applied to activities through the accountable authority instructions, supporting operational guidelines and the Commission’s procurement framework.

Consultants

The Commission engages external consultants where the necessary specialised or professional skills are unavailable within the Commission or where there is a need for independent research or assessment.

The Commission’s practices on the selection and engagement of consultants are in accordance with the PGPA Act and related Regulations, including the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and relevant internal policies. The methods of selection used for consultancies include open tender, select tender, direct sourcing and panel arrangements (initially selected through either an open tender or select tender process).

During 2019–20, ten new consultancy contracts were entered involving total actual expenditure of $220,719 (including GST). In addition, two ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the period, involving total actual expenditure of $82,854 (including GST).

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 at tenders.gov.au.

Australian National Audit Office access clauses

No contracts of $100,000 or more (including GST) were let during 2019–20 that did not provide for the Auditor‑General to have access to the contractor’s premises.

Exempt contracts

No contracts in excess of $10,000 (including GST) or standing offers were exempted by the General Manager from being published on AusTender on the basis that they would disclose exempt matters under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

Procurement initiatives to support small business

The Commission supports small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and small enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance’s website at finance.gov.au.

The Commission’s procurement practices support SMEs, including by the use of the Commonwealth Contracting Suite for low‑risk procurements valued under $200,000. The Commission communicates using clear, simple language that is presented in an accessible format throughout the procurement process.

The Commonwealth’s Indigenous Procurement Policy, which commenced on 1 July 2015, is reflected in the Commission’s procurement policy and practices.