The federal government has announced new rules that require its agencies to report spending on contracts and consultants on an annual basis.
First reported by The Mandarin, the rules were part of the government’s latest budget announced this week.
Beginning July 2021 with financial management advisory services, federal agencies will be required to report costs on external contracts annually with the aim of ensuring consistency across all agencies. Subsequent phases of corporate and commercial services will go into effect in 2022.
The Department of Finance will also establish a whole-of-government procurement panel for consultancy services to ensure best value when engaging with suppliers.
The panel will be mandatory for non-corporate agencies and will consolidate some existing arrangements to provide a consistent framework and cut down on admin and tendering costs.
In the budget papers, finance minister Mathias Cormann said, “The government continues to promote a flexible approach to resourcing that strikes the right balance between a core workforce of permanent public servants and selective use of external expertise.”
“The government recognises that access to skills can come through training, recruitment and procurement. These different approaches all have their time and place to give the public the best possible support.”