Appendix B - Procurement practices and outcomes

This appendix focuses on the Department's procurement practices and outcomes, with attention to:

  • procurement policies and practices
  • competitive tendering and contracting arrangements
  • use of consultancies, and
  • payments for marketing research and advertising.

Procurement policies and practices

The Department's approach to the procurement of goods and services, including consultancies, is consistent with the requirements of the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines-December 2008-Financial Management Guidance No.1 (CPGs). The CPGs are applied to procurement activities through the Chief Executive's Instructions (CEIs) and supporting operational guidelines. The Department's procurement policies and processes have been developed to help ensure that it undertakes competitive, non-discriminatory procurement processes, uses resources efficiently, effectively, economically and ethically, and makes decisions in an accountable and transparent manner.

As part of these arrangements, in 2010–11 the Department published the following on the AusTender website

  • a procurement plan providing details of expected procurements for 2010–11
  • details of publicly available procurement opportunities with a value of $80,000 or more, and
  • details of all contracts, standing offers and consultancies awarded with a value of $10,000 or more.

The Department also publishes on its website, at, details of all contracts with a value of $100,000 or more entered into or active during the previous 12 months.

The Department supports its staff in managing procurements appropriately by providing information and training on procurement policies and procedures, and maintaining a single point of contact for staff to seek advice on the CPGs, the CEIs and tendering processes. Standard tendering and contracting documentation has also been developed to ensure that consistent procurement practices are undertaken.

Australian National Audit Office access clauses

All contracts valued at $100,000 or more routinely include a requirement for access to the contractor's premises by the Auditor-General.

Exempt contracts

In 2010–11, no contracts were exempt from publication on AusTender on public interest grounds.

Consultancy contracts

The Department engages consultants to carry out research or to provide professional or technical advice that cannot be provided by departmental staff. Consultants are engaged as required, and in accordance with the CPGs, the CEIs and the Infrastructure Procurement Manual.

During 2010–11, 80 new consultancy contracts were entered into, involving total actual expenditure of $11.6 million. In addition, 19 ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the 2010–11 year, involving total actual expenditure of $3.8 million.

Details of consultancies valued at $10,000 or more let in 2010–11 are available as a supplement to the online version of this annual report, at

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

Table B.1 Trends in consultancies, 2008–09 to 2010–11 (GST inclusive)
2008–09 2009–10 2010–11
All consultancies, including consultancies let in previous years
Total expenditure $11.3m $8.5m $15.4m
New consultancies valued at $10,000 or more
Number let 113 76 78
Total value over the life of these contracts $12.9m $9.9m $14.9m

Payments for advertising and market research

In 2010–11, the Department paid $117,623 for advertising and market research. Table B.2 lists payments of $11,200 or more during the financial year, as required by section 311A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

Throughout 2010–11, the Department undertook no reportable advertising campaigns.

Table B.2 Details of advertising and market research payments of $11,200 or more
Creative advertising agencies
Firm Service provided Payment made 2010–11
Market research/polling
Firm Service provided Payment made 2010–11
Media advertising agencies
Firm Service provided Payment made 2010–11
Adcorp Advertising for staff vacancies $29,632*
Sensis Whitepages Whitepages listing for the Department $70,486

* This is the combined amount of all recruitment advertising payments in 2010–11

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Last Updated: 29 October, 2014