Audit Office shines a light on procurement

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has released a major report on procurement in the Federal Government.

It is an information report that says it is “not an audit nor an assurance review” and that no conclusions or opinions are represented. But it does present a useful overview of government procurement.

The report is based on a comprehensive analysis of contract data from all Australia Government Departments and agencies over the last five years. It does say that “contract notices may be amended or updated, which would impact on the analysis. In addition, contract notifications may not reflect actual expenditure in each instance.”

Nevertheless, the data makes interesting reading. Some key points:

  • Total Australian Government procurement in 2016-17 was $47.4 billion, from 64,092 separate contracts.
  • By far the largest agency, in terms of both number and value of contracts, is the Department of Defence (including the Defence Materiel Organisation). In the five years to 30 June 2017, that total value of its procurement exceeded $112 billion. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection was a distant second, on $15.3 billion.
  • The largest item across all agencies was ‘commercial and military and private vehicles and their accessories and components’, at $42 billion. Defence was responsible for most of this.
  • Contracts for consultancy rose from just under $400 million in 2012-13 to nearly $700 million in 2016-17.
  • Contracts with the ‘Big Four’ consultancy firms (Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PwC) reached nearly $2 billion over the five years, with 2014-15 and 2015-16 the biggest years.
  • July is by far the most common month for contracts to start.

The report breaks down contracts by type of tender, by location, all across various agencies. It looks at the usage of panels, the size of organisations awarded contracts, confidentiality provisions (and the reasons for them), the frequency of contract amendments, and much more.

It is a goldmine of information, if you’re interested in that sort of thing. The report is available here.

Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at  

Sign up to the Government News newsletter

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required