Consultants and competitive tendering and contracting

Consultants

The policies and procedures for selecting and contracting consultancies, and approving expenditure in relation to consultancies, are set out in the Clerk’s Instructions, which have taken account of the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines, the FMA Act and regulations, and Senate standing order 25(17) relating to approval of consultants for committees.

During the year, the department let six consultancy contracts to carry out specialist projects or to provide independent professional and technical advice. A further five consultancies continued from previous years. A total of $286,220 (including GST) was paid in relation to consultancy services, an increase of $2,495 over 2005–06.

Table 13 provides details of consultancy contracts let during 2006–07 to the value of $10,000 or more.

Table 13 Consultancy services let to the value of $10,000 or more, 2006—07
Consultant name Description Contract
price ($)
Selection processa Justificationb
Eureka Strategic
Research
Survey of senators 21,876 Direct sourcing C
Deloitte Touche
Tohmatsu
Review of asset
management systems
20,000 Direct sourcing C
GHD Pty Ltd Senate mail room design
study
10,945 Panel B, C
Ball Solutions
Group
Security risk audit and
development
33,000 Select tender B
Total   85,812    
a

Explanation of selection process terms drawn from the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines (January 2005):
Open tender—a procurement procedure in which a request for tender is published inviting all businesses that satisfy the conditions for participation to submit tenders. Public tenders are sought from the marketplace using national and major metropolitan newspaper advertising and the Australian Government AusTender internet site.
Select tender—a procurement procedure in which the procuring agency selects which potential suppliers are invited to submit tenders. Tenders are invited from a shortlist of competent suppliers.
Panel—an arrangement under which a number of suppliers, usually selected through a single procurement process, may each s upply property or services to an agency as specified in the panel arrangements. Tenders are sought from suppliers that have pre-qualified on the agency panels to supply to the government. This category includes standing offers and supplier panels where the consultant offers to supply goods and services for a predetermined length of time, usually at a prearranged price.

b Justification for decision to use consultancy:
A—skills currently unavailable within agency
B—need for specialised or professional skills
C—need for independent research or assessment.

Competitive tendering and contracting

The Clerk’s Instructions set out the policies and procedures for conducting tenders, contracting and approving expenditure.

All contracts with a potential value greater than $80,000 are open to a competitive tendering process through AusTender.

The department listed all its contract details on the internet in accordance with the Senate Order for Departmental and Agency Contracts.

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