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Financial management

FEES

TEQSA operates on a partial cost-recovery basis, consistent with the Commonwealth Cost Recovery Guidelines. Section 158 of the TEQSA Act states that TEQSA may determine fees for things done in the performance of its functions. Fees collected by TEQSA under cost recovery arrangements are returned to the Australian Government’s Consolidated Revenue. TEQSA cannot determine fees without the Minister’s approval.

As part of the Australian Government's Higher Education Relief Package, TEQSA refunded fees and charges invoiced from 1 January 2020. This measure will be in place until 30 June 2021. As of 30 June 2020, $1.1 million in fees for 70 providers had been waived and $0.65 million in fees had been refunded to 31 providers.

TEQSA developed its initial fee schedule based on parameters set by the Australian Government in 2011 and TEQSA’s status as a partial cost recovery agency. In the 2018-19 Budget it was announced that TEQSA will progressively transition from partial cost recovery to a full cost recovery model, now scheduled to commence on 1 July 2021.

Fees payable as at 30 June 2020 are available at: www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2020C00728.

PERFORMANCE AGAINST CORE PURCHASING POLICIES

All contracts adhered to the core policies and principles of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules throughout the reporting period. An appropriate approach to market was made for all procurements covered by the Commonwealth Procurement Rules.

COMPETITIVE TENDERING AND CONTRACTING

TEQSA’s Accountable Authority Instructions and Procurement Manual require compliance with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules.

All contracts with a value of $10 000 or more (inclusive of GST) entered into by TEQSA in 2019-20 were lodged on AusTender.

PROCUREMENT INITIATIVES TO SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESS

TEQSA supports 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.

TEQSA employs a number of procurement practices to support SMEs including:

  • use of the Commonwealth Contracting Suite for low-risk procurements valued under
    $200 000
  • applying the Small Business Engagement Principles to effectively engage and communicate with small businesses
  • seeking opportunities to engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses
  • use of electronic payment systems to facilitate on-time payments.

EXEMPT CONTRACTS

TEQSA had no contracts in excess of $10 000 (inclusive of GST) that were exempted by the Chief Executive Officer from being published on AusTender because it would disclose exempt matters under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL AUDIT OFFICE ACCESS CLAUSES

No contracts were let during the year for $100 000 or more (inclusive of GST) with provisions to exempt Australian National Audit Office access to contractors’ premises.

CONSULTANCIES

TEQSA uses consultancy services to obtain specialist expertise or independent advice to investigate or diagnose a defined issue or problem, carry out defined reviews or evaluations, and provide creative solutions to assist in the agency’s decision making.

The selection and engagement of consultants was conducted in accordance with the PGPA Act, Commonwealth Procurement Rules, and internal policies and procedures. Table 19 states the number of new and ongoing contracts during 2019-20 and the expenditure on them.

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.

Table 19: Consultancy contracts and expenditure, 2019-20

Total

Number of new contracts entered into during the period

7

Total actual expenditure during the period on new contracts (including GST)

$ 310 755

Number of ongoing contracts engaging consultants that were entered into during the previous period

2

Total actual expenditure during the period on ongoing contracts (including GST)

$ 116 786

GRANTS

TEQSA does not administer any discretionary grants programs.