Chapter 4—Management and accountability

Procurement

All procurement and purchasing activities in 2011–12 were conducted in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines (2008) and their principles, such as value for money and encouraging competition; the Chief Executive’s Instructions; and administrative procedures and accounting policies. All of these were available to staff online or in hard copy from the Finance Section. Procurement training was also provided to staff.

Framework

Although the agency has a dedicated procurement officer to coordinate and advise on procurement, it operates a devolved framework that places responsibility for procurement activity with line area managers. During the year new procurement guidelines were developed, along with standardised contracts and request for quote and request for tender documentation, based on Department of Finance and Deregulation templates. Procurement guidelines were also reviewed and updated where necessary in anticipation of the new Commonwealth Procurement Rules which will take effect from 1 July 2012. Information sessions on the new rules were provided for staff.

Purchaser-provider arrangements

The agency had no purchaser-provider arrangements in 2011–12, as it is not appropriated funds to deliver outcomes through purchaser-provider arrangements.

Consultancies

Consultants are engaged where the agency lacks specialist expertise or when independent research, review or assessment is required. Consultants are typically engaged 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 decision making. Prior to engaging consultants, the agency takes into account 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 made in accordance with the FMA Act and related regulations including the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines 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, www.tenders.gov.au

During 2011–12, two new consultancies were entered into, involving total actual expenditure of $55,000 (GST inclusive). These were for the provision of professional services in relation to developing a privacy policy and intellectual property. No consultancy contracts were ongoing from 2010–11.

Details of consultancies with a value of $10,000 or more (GST inclusive) are available on AusTender. No contract for $10,000 or more (GST inclusive) was exempted by the Chief Finance Officer from publication on AusTender.

There were no grants made by the agency.

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