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Financial overview

Safe Work Australia is jointly funded by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments, as set out in the Intergovernmental Agreement for Regulatory and Operational Reform in Occupational Health and Safety. In 2019–20 the agency received $21.041 million in funding.

In 2019–20, Safe Work Australia had an operating surplus of $0.933 million.

Asset management

Safe Work Australia manages assets in accordance with Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) standards 116 and 138. The agency maintains a detailed asset register and conducts an annual asset stocktake. Assets are regularly reviewed for any impairment or fair value adjustments.

Purchases of property, plant and equipment are initially recognised at cost in the statement of financial position, except for purchases less than $2,000 which are fully expensed in the year of purchase.

Australian National Audit Office access clause

All contracts with a value of more than $100,000 (inclusive of GST) entered into during 2019–20 contained an ANAO ‘access to premises’ clause.

Exempt contracts

Safe Work Australia had no contracts or standing offers with a value greater than $10,000 (inclusive of GST) that were exempt from being published on AusTender during 2019–20.


Safe Work Australia makes reasonable enquiries to satisfy itself that a procurement:

  • achieves value for money
  • encourages competition and is non-discriminatory
  • uses public resources in an efficient, effective, economical and ethical manner that is not inconsistent with the policies of the Commonwealth
  • facilitates accountable and transparent decision-making
  • encourages appropriate engagement with risk, and
  • is commensurate with the scale and scope of the business requirement.

The Legal and Procurement section is responsible for coordinating key procurements for the agency, developing and maintaining procurement policies, procedures, templates and forms, and providing advice and support for staff undertaking a procurement process. To promote best practice, the Legal and Procurement section has undertaken a wholesale review of the agency’s procurement practices and continues to review and update procurement procedures, templates and guidance material for staff.

Compliance reporting

The agency monitors compliance with the Commonwealth Resource Management Framework and finance law, and reports regularly to senior management. There were no instances of significant non-compliance during 2019–20.

Safe Work Australia’s support of Indigenous businesses and small and medium enterprises

Safe Work Australia’s implementation of the Australian Government’s Indigenous Procurement Policy is designed to increase opportunities for businesses owned by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The agency works in partnership with Supply Nation in applying this policy and engaging in ongoing monitoring and improvement of our procurement and contracting practices.

Safe Work Australia continues to monitor developments in Commonwealth procurement practices and liaises with the Department of Finance and other agencies to ensure its practices are commensurate with the risks involved and as simple as possible.

The agency generally uses the Department of Finance’s Commonwealth Contracting Suite as required and, for other low-risk procurements, enabling the use of a set of terms and conditions that are consistent with those of other agencies that Indigenous businesses and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) would be familiar with.

Safe Work Australia supports small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market. SME and small enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance’s website.

Safe Work Australia 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 Treasury’s website.


Information on grants awarded by Safe Work Australia during 2019–20 is available on GrantConnect.

Legal costs

Information required by the Legal Services Directions 2017 on Safe Work Australia’s legal services expenditure for 2019–20 will be made available on our website at www.swa.gov.au/collection/legal-services-expenditure-reports by 30 October 2020.

Consultancy contracts

During 2019–20, 7 new consultancy contracts were entered into, involving total actual expenditure of $0.642 million. In addition, 6 ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the period, involving total actual expenditure of $0.602 million.

Safe Work Australia engages consultants when specialist expertise or independent research, review or assessment is required. Consultants are typically engaged to investigate or diagnose a defined issue or problem; carry out defined reviews, evaluations or data collection for research; or provide independent advice, information or creative solutions to assist in Safe Work Australia’s decision-making. Prior to engaging consultants, Safe Work Australia considers the skills and resources required for the task, the skills available internally and the cost-effectiveness of engaging external expertise. The decision to engage a consultant is guided by the requirements of the finance law, the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and associated guides.

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.