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The National Archives’ approach to procurement of goods and services, including consultancies, is consistent with the requirements of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules. These rules are applied to procurement activities through accountable authority instructions and supporting guidelines and templates.

A holistic review of the procurement framework was completed in 2018–19. As a result, guidance material to help staff undertaking procurement was updated with the inclusion of a simplified four-step decision tree. Links to further material available through the Department of Finance website (BuyRight) were also provided.

In 2018–19, the National Archives sourced goods and services through mandated Commonwealth panels and via cooperative procurement arrangements, such as panels established by Commonwealth agencies deemed appropriate to meet the National Archives’ requirements. Open approaches to market included procurement of:

  • office and repository relocation and removalist services for the Western Australia Office and repository
  • an integrated archival management system
  • non-standard compactus shelving for the New South Wales Office and repository.


During 2018–19, 21 new consultancy contracts were entered into, involving total expenditure of $911,745. In addition, seven ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the period, involving total actual expenditure of $470,941.

Typical reasons for engaging consultancy services included a requirement for specialist or professional skills, independent research and/or assessment. Consultants were engaged in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and selection processes may have involved an open tender, including the use of an existing Australian Government panel arrangement, or limited tender.

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: tenders.gov.au

Table 27 | Number and expenditure on consultants during 2018–19


No. of New contracts entered into during the period


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)


Australian National Audit Office access clauses

One contract of $100,000 or more (GST inclusive) was let during 2018–19 that did not provide for the Auditor-General to have access to the contractor’s premises. Details are as follows:

Name of supplier/contractor

Purpose of contract

Value of contract ($)


Electricity Generation and Retail Corporation trading as Synergy

Provision of electricity – Western Australia


Supplier's terms and conditions

Exempt contracts

During 2018–19, the National Archives had no exempt contracts.

Procurement initiatives to support small business

The National Archives supports small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market by:

  • using the Commonwealth Contracting Suite for low-risk procurements, communicating clearly in accessible formats
  • using electronic payment systems to expedite payments.

The National Archives recognises the importance of ensuring that small businesses are paid on time. The results of the Survey of Australian Government Payments to Small Business are available on the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business’ website: employment.gov.au

Small and medium enterprise (SME) and small enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance’s website: finance.gov.au/procurement/statistics-oncommonwealth- purchasing-contracts

Significant non-compliance with finance law

No significant instances of non-compliance requiring a report to the responsible minister in accordance with the PGPA Act were recorded by the National Archvies in 2018–19.

Advertising and market research

During 2018–19, the National Archives conducted the following media advertising:

Table 28 | Advertising amounts of $13,200 or more paid (including GST) 2018–19



Cost ($)

Universal McCann

Media advertising for exhibitions and events



Media monitoring service




The National Archives did not conduct any advertising campaigns in 2018–19.

Grant programs

Information on grants awarded by the National Archives during 2018–19 is available at naa.gov.au