Our operations are primarily funded through parliamentary appropriations but we also receive a small component (12.5 per cent) of revenue independently. For example, the Australian Taxation Office transfers part of its appropriation to us to cover the cost of prosecutions for offences under goods and services tax (GST) legislation. The amount receipted in 2019–20 under this arrangement was $3.5 million. This is accounted for under an arrangement pursuant to section 74 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) as agency revenue, and retained for our use.
Our operating revenue for 2019–20 was $95.431 million, which is an increase of $9.017 million from 2018–19.
Operating expenses for 2019–20 were $94.511 million (including principal repayments—leased assets ($5.826 million) and excluding depreciation and amortisation expenses ($10.337 million)). This is an increase of $5.168 million compared with 2018–19. The increase was mainly due to our expenses for employee benefits, information and communications technology, advice and training and changes to accounting for leased premises under AASB 116 Leases.
The operating result for 2019–20 was a surplus of $0.920 million, including principal repayments—leased assets and excluding depreciation and amortisation expenses (in line with the Australian Government’s net cash appropriation arrangements).
Our major assets are right‑of‑use leased premises, office fit out, office furniture, computer equipment, purchased software, and library holdings. We conduct an annual stocktake to ensure the accuracy of our asset records.
We undertook our procurement and purchasing in 2019–20 in accordance with the principles set out in the Commonwealth Procurement Rules, which are underpinned by value for money.
We adhered to the core purchasing policies and principles in the Commonwealth Procurement Rules including encouraging competition among actual and potential suppliers, promoting the use of resources in an efficient, effective, economical and ethical manner, and being accountable and transparent during the procurement process.
We apply these principles to our procurement activities through the Director’s Finance Instructions and supporting guidelines, which have been developed to ensure we undertake competitive, non‑discriminatory procurement processes, use resources efficiently, effectively, economically and ethically, and make decisions in an accountable and transparent manner
We engage consultants where we lack specialist expertise or when independent research, review or assessment is required. Typically, we engage consultants to investigate or diagnose a defined issue or problem, carry out defined reviews or evaluations, or provide independent advice, information or creative solutions to assist in our decision making.
Before we engage consultants, we take into account the skills and resources required for the task, the skills available internally, and the cost‑effectiveness of engaging external expertise. We make decisions to engage a consultant in line with the PGPA Act and related regulations (including the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and relevant internal policies).
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 www.tenders.gov.au.
During 2019–20, we entered into 13 new consultancy contracts with a total actual expenditure of $269,665 (including GST). In addition, three ongoing consultancy contracts were active during 2019–20, involving a total actual expenditure of $234,243 (including GST).
Australian National Audit Office access clauses
During the reporting period, we did not enter into any contracts for $100,000 or more (including GST) that do not provide for the Auditor‑General to have access to the contractor’s premises.
We have exempted the publication of details of prosecution legal counsel on the basis that to do so would disclose exempt matters under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.
Procurement initiatives to support small business
We support small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market. Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and Small Enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance’s website at www.finance.gov.au.
We recognise 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 Treasury website at www.treasury.gov.au.
Some of the ways our procurement practices support SMEs include:
- using the Commonwealth Contracting Suite for low‑risk procurements valued under $200,000
- communicating in clear, simple language and presenting information in an accessible format and
- adhering to the Pay on Time Policy relating to paying small business suppliers.