The department conducted its procurement activities in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs). The Accountable Authority Instructions are reviewed periodically to ensure procurement activities and related policy and procedural publications remain aligned with the CPRs and the Commonwealth procurement framework.
In 2015-16 the department continued to provide specialist procurement advice, training and assistance to staff undertaking procurements to ensure compliance with the CPRs-in particular, that they deliver value for money.
The department contributed to the review and ongoing maintenance of a number of whole-of-government coordinated procurement initiatives led by the Department of Finance. We also refreshed and maintained the arrangements that support sourcing of communications-related services by 49 Australian Government agencies.
Procurement initiatives to support small business
The department supports small business participation in the Australian Government procurement market. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and small enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance’s website at finance.gov.au/procurement/statistics‑on‑commonwealth-purchasing-contracts
We recognise the importance of ensuring that small businesses are paid on time. The results of the Survey of Australian Government Payments to Small Business are available on the Treasury’s website at treasury.gov.au
In undertaking its procurement activities, the department supports SMEs through a range of measures including:
- use of the Commonwealth Contracting Suite for low-risk procurements valued under $200,000
- implementation of a Supplier Diversity Strategy to increase the level of activity between the department and supplier groups such as Australian Disability Enterprises and Indigenous SMEs
- membership of Supply Nation, a non-profit organisation established to grow the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business sector by promoting supplier diversity in Australia
- mandatory reporting against both the Indigenous Procurement Policy and the department’s Reconciliation Action Plan 2015-17 (RAP) on the number of contracts, contract values and expenditure for all Indigenous SMEs. In 2015-16 the department spent $6,894,424 (GST inclusive) with Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander businesses, exceeding our RAP target of $3.5 million
- use of Australian Industry Participation Plans in whole-of-government procurement where applicable
- encouraging credit card use to expedite payments