House of Representatives Committees

Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit

Contents

Australian Government Procurement

Recommendation 1

That the Department of Finance and Administration develop and administer an accreditation system for assessing the purchasing performance of individual agencies.

Recommendation 2

That Financial Management and Accountability Regulation 8 be amended to read that 'An Official performing duties in relation to the procurement of property or services must act in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines'.

Recommendation 3

Measurement of the performance of the senior management, including Chief Executive Officers, of Commonwealth agencies should include reference to how efficiently and effectively the purchasing function is administered, and whether agreed objectives are being met, such as ANZ content and the commitment to maximise opportunities for SMEs.

Recommendation 4

The decision made in Commonwealth Procurement Circular 98/3 to change from mandatory to best practice the requirement that all persons undertaking procurement functions meet appropriate Commonwealth Procurement Competency Standards should be reversed immediately.

Recommendation 5

The Department of Finance and Administration and the Office of Small Business develop and agree on appropriate definitions to cover small and medium enterprises, and circulate this information across government for universal application. The agreed definitions should be included in the next edition of the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines.

Recommendation 6

That the Government upgrade its commitment so that Commonwealth departments and agencies will source at least 20 per cent of their purchases from SMEs.

Recommendation 7

That where Australian–New Zealand (ANZ) products are equal to overseas items in terms of value for money and other principles in the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines, then the ANZ products must be purchased.

Recommendation 8

That, for agencies under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997, Model Industry Development Criteria for Major Projects should apply to procurement projects of $5 million or more.

Recommendation 9

That the Office of Small Business and the Department of Industry, Science and Resources conduct research into Commonwealth Government buying trends and their implications for Australian New Zealand small and medium enterprises.

Recommendation 10

That all Commonwealth agencies, if they have not already done so, sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with ISONET. This MOU, among other things, must:

guarantee lines of communication between agencies and ISONET; and

include commitments to maximising the involvement of ISONET in the purchasing process.

An agency will be expected to include, in its Annual Report, confirmation of its MOU, initiatives that it will be taking to increase the involvement of ISONET in its procurement, and an appraisal by ISONET of the agency's performance against objectives set out in the MOU.

Recommendation 11

To improve access by SMEs to smaller purchases, all Commonwealth departments and agencies will publish electronically the reasons why officers have gone offshore for goods and services for all purchases worth $100 000 or more.

Recommendation 12

That all Commonwealth agencies under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997, and government business enterprises report, on an annual basis in their Annual Reports, their performance against key purchasing objectives. This information should also be made available on agency internet websites and be linked to purchasing electronic commerce systems.

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