26 September 2023

Auditor delivers on procurement contracts

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The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has released its second analysis report of Australian Government procurement contract reporting, revealing contract values totalling $490.8 billion had been reported to AusTender over the past decade.

“In 2018-19, there were 78,150 contract notice publications with a combined value of $64.5 billion reported by relevant entities on the AusTender website,” the ANAO said.

“Over the 10 years up to and including 2018-19, contract values totalling $490.8 billion were reported.”

The Office said that from 1 July 2018, reporting entities had been required to record their justification for undertaking any Aprocurement through limited tender that had an estimated value above the relevant procurement threshold.

“To date, there has been a high level of compliance with this requirement,” it said.

“Specifically, 99.1 per cent of contract notices with a value above $80,000 (99.9 per cent by value) have an exemption or condition recorded.”

It found that since 2010-11, 55 per cent of parent contracts were reported as having resulted from a limited tender procurement method.

“Competition is a key element of the procurement framework,” the ANAO said.

“More than half of all contracts have been reported as resulting from a limited tender rather than an open tender,” it said.

“Reporting also indicates a small number of suppliers are dominant providers.”

The Office found delays with AusTender reporting had been common, with 17 per cent of publications in 2018-19 taking longer than the prescribed 42 days.

“Delays are often significant, with it being common for reporting to take more than twice as long as it is supposed to,” it said.

The ANAO also noted that since 2010-11, the total contract values reported for consultancies reached its lowest point in 2013-14 but had grown each year since.

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