All goods and services were purchased in accordance with the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997, theCommonwealth Procurement Guidelines and the Clerk's Instructions.
The most significant procurement activities during the financial year included:
- the joint project with the Department of the House of Representatives to implement the Table Office Production System
- digital imaging of the Senate's tabled documents
- ongoing furniture refurbishment
- 300 desktop computers for senators' Parliament House offices and departmental staff.
The Senators' Services, Information Technology, and Financial Management sections are responsible for the effective management of departmental assets in accordance with the Clerk's Instructions.
At 30 June 2012, the department controlled 3,604 assets with a fair value of $2.43 million (last year's total was 3,389 assets with a fair value of $1.92 million). A full revaluation of assets was conducted in 2011–12. In 2011–12, 315 assets were added and 100 assets were disposed of.
On completion of the annual stocktake in June 2012, 101 assets—with a combined depreciated value of $7,108—were not located. The missing items result is immaterial and subsequent follow-up is expected to improve it further.
Consultants and competitive tendering and contracting
The department's policies and procedures for conducting tenders, selecting consultants, contracting, and approving expenditure are set out in the Clerk's Instructions. Those instructions take into account the requirements of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997, the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines and standing order 25(17) (relating to approval of consultants to assist committees).
Competitive tendering and contracting
All contracts with a potential value greater than $80,000 are open to a competitive tendering process through AusTender (www.tenders.gov.au).
In accordance with recommendation 9 of the second report of the Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration on the operation of the Senate order relating to departmental and agency contracts, information on the value of the department's contracts is available on the AusTender website.
In accordance with the Senate order relating to departmental and agency contracts, details of the department's contracts valued at greater than $100,000 are also listed on the internet, at www.aph.gov.au/senate/dept/contracts.
The department engages consultants to facilitate specialist projects or to obtain independent professional and technical advice.
In 2011–12, the department entered into two new consultancy contracts involving total expenditure of $0.028 million. One further ongoing consultancy contract was active during the 2011–12 year, involving total expenditure of $0.13 million.