26 September 2023

Audit stands up to test office furniture

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The Australian National Audit Office has looked at the systems in place for the procurement of furniture for Government offices, choosing as examples the Department of Home Affairs and Services Australia.

Acting Auditor-General, Rona Mellor said the audit found that between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2022, the Government spent more than $355 million on office furniture.

“During this period, Services Australia recorded 990 contracts on AusTender under the categories of ‘office furniture’, ‘office and desk accessories’ and ‘work-stations and office packages’ with a total value of $180 million,” Ms Mellor said.

“This accounted for 51 per cent of total estimated contract value across Government.”

She said during this same period, Home Affairs recorded 28 contracts on AusTender against the same categories with a total estimated contract value of $1.7 million.

The Acting Auditor- General noted that Home Affairs and Services Australia were within the top five Australian Government Agencies with the highest estimated contract value for office furniture.

“The objective of the audit was to examine whether procurements of office furniture were consistent with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs) and achieved value for money,” Ms Mellor said.

“We concluded that Home Affairs largely complied with the CPRs, with most contracts reviewed demonstrating how value for money was achieved.”

Services Australia partially complied with the CPRs. In most contracts reviewed it did not demonstrate how value for money was achieved.

Similarly, in most contracts reviewed, Home Affairs demonstrated how value for money was achieved. However, in most contracts reviewed, Services Australia did not demonstrate how value for money was achieved.

It recommended Services Australia strengthen its processes for planning procurements, and implement processes for officials to evaluate value for money for procurements.

The audit team was Jessica Carroll, Kai Clark, Michaelia Liu, Sophie Crandall and Michelle Page.

The 57-page report can be accessed at this PS News link or online at this link.

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