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Resource management

DVA's financial accountability responsibilities are set out in the Commonwealth Resource Management Framework, which governs how officials in the Commonwealth public sector use and manage public resources.

Asset management and accommodation

DVA runs an effective asset management program, registering assets on receipt in the financial management system and conducting an annual stocktake. Asset accounting functions and the management of intangible assets are centrally controlled, while day-to-day management of physical assets is decentralised to regional locations.

In 2016–17, DVA continued to review its accommodation requirements across Australia, aiming to minimise the expense and extent of leased accommodation while maintaining quality and service delivery capability. As a part of that process, the Townsville office of the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service was refurbished, and some minor changes were made to optimise the fit-out of the Brisbane and Melbourne State offices.

Compliance report for financial year 2016–17

There are no significant instances of non-compliance.

Purchasing

The Contract Advisory Unit provides services in support of procurement and contracting activities in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Framework. The unit provides specialist business advice to the Repatriation Commission, the MRCC and all areas of the Department engaged in procurement. Services include developing contract templates, providing better practice guides on all aspects of the procurement cycle, providing contract management advice, and ensuring compliance with mandatory reporting requirements.

DVA is subject to internal and external (Australian National Audit Office) audits of compliance with the Commonwealth Procurement Framework. The Contract Advisory Unit works with auditors to improve the Department's performance against the core principles of Commonwealth procurement.

Consultants

DVA engages consultants where it lacks specialist expertise or when independent research, review or assessment is required. DVA's selection processes:

  • observe government and departmental procurement policies
  • are publicly defensible, promoting fair competition and effective service
  • are based on predetermined selection criteria
  • realise best value for money.

During 2016–17, 54 new consultancy contracts were entered into involving total expenditure of $11.13 million. In addition, 36 ongoing consultancy contracts were active during 2016–17, involving total expenditure of $5.03 million.

Table 38 shows the total expenditure on consultancies over the past three years.

Table 38—Total expenditure on consultancies 2014–15 to 2016–17
  2014–15 2015–16 2016–17
Expenditure ($m) 11.03 10.01 16.16

Note: Total comprises expenditure paid in departmental and administered programs during the reporting period, inclusive of applicable GST.

AusTender

Annual reports contain information about actual expenditure on contracts for consultancies. Information on the estimated value of contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website (www.tenders.gov.au).

Exempt contracts

DVA did not seek to have any contracts exempted from publication in AusTender under the FOI Act in 2016–17.

ANAO access clauses

All DVA contractual arrangements have in place a facility for the Auditor-General and accountability personnel to access contractual material, including at the contractor's premises.

Procurement initiatives to support small business

DVA supports small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market. Participation statistics for small and medium-sized enterprises are available on the Department of Finance's website (www.finance.gov.au/procurement/statistics-on-commonwealth-purchasing-contracts).

DVA recognises 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 (www.treasury.gov.au).

The Indigenous Procurement Policy requires agencies to direct a percentage of business to Indigenous suppliers. The target for DVA in 2016–17 was four contracts, which it exceeded by letting seven contracts in the period.

DVA's procurement practices support small and medium-sized enterprises, consistent with paragraph 5.4 of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules. DVA:

  • uses the Commonwealth Contracting Suite for low-risk procurements valued under $200,000
  • strives to communicate in clear, simple language and presents information in an accessible format, in all documents
  • uses electronic systems to facilitate on-time payment performance, including the use of payment cards.
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