The Mint’s procurement framework reflects the core principle governing Australian Government procurement – value for money. Procurement of goods and services are consistent with the Mint’s AAIs and the Commonwealth Procurement Rules. The AAIs on procurement reflect the principles and need for compliance with Commonwealth policy for sourcing potential suppliers or entering into contracts. Details of procurement arrangements with a value of $10 000 or more are published on AusTender (www.tenders.gov.au).
These policies and practices focus on:
- value for money
- open and effective competition
- ethics and fair dealing
- accountability and transparency
- national competitiveness and industry development, and
- compliance with other Australian Government policies.
The Mint’s purchasing activities are coordinated through the Finance Branch, which advises on government procurement requirements. Its services include contract management advice, complying with Commonwealth policy, rules and guidelines on all aspects of the procurement cycle, tendering process preparation including evaluations, procurement and evaluation plans, and the annual procurement plan.
As in previous years, the bulk of the Mint’s procurement consisted of coin blanks. The largest quantities of coin blanks purchased were for circulating coins, and the highest value blanks purchased were for 99.99 per cent gold and 99.9 per cent silver coins.
To support small to medium enterprises, the Mint uses the Commonwealth Contracting Suite for low-risk procurements valued under $200 000 and adheres to payment term deadlines.
Purchasing officers regularly draw on the capabilities and products of small to medium enterprises, and provide selected businesses with the opportunity to compete. The Mint also recognises the importance of ensuring small businesses are paid on time. To assist cash flow, these entities are paid on invoice with terms that are often less than the broader Commonwealth prescribed timeframes.
The Mint currently has a number of contracts exempt from AusTender in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules, Clause 2.9 (e): ‘procurement of goods and services for resale or procurement of goods and services used in the production of goods for resale’. These are for:
- freight services
- printing and packaging
- precious metals
- machinery used for coin production, and
- circulating coin blanks.
Australian National Audit Office Access
All Mint contracts are free of provisions limiting access by the Auditor-General.