Consultancies

During 2011–12, the AEC entered into new consultancy contracts involving total actual expenditure of $489 055.

A total of nine new consultancies with a value of $10 000 or more were let during 2011–12. There were no ongoing consultancy contracts and there was no related ongoing expenditure for 2011–12.

Annual reports contain information about actual expenditure on contracts for consultancies. Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on theAusTender website.

In 2011–12, we engaged consultants for the following purposes:

  • market research,
  • accounting services,
  • application implementation services,
  • business intelligence consulting services,
  • strategic planning consultation services,
  • research programs,
  • human resources services,
  • economic or financial evaluation of projects, and
  • business administration services.

We define consultants as an individual, partnership or corporation engaged to provide professional, independent and expert advice or services, which is in accordance with the Requirements for Annual Reports, issued by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and approved by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit.

Table 50 contains detailed information on consultancy contracts let to the value of $10 000 or more during the year. It also contains a summary of our policy on the procurement of consultancies.

Table 50: Consultancy contracts to the value of $10 000 or more let during 2011–12
Consultant Description Contract price inc GST ($) Selection process1 Justification2

Cultural
Perspectives

Advice on CALD community
education

11 000

Panel

B

Total Decision
Support Pty Ltds

Cost model for joint roll
arrangements

31 680

Panel

B

Vision Australia

Accessibility audit and
statement of accessibility for
online enrolment

23 320

Open

B

Department of
Finance and
Deregulation

Financial review consultants

194 600

Direct

B

Ergo Asia Pty Ltd

Print consultancy and
strategic print management
services

20 000

Panel

B

University of
Technology

Research services and report
regarding social media

35 002

Select

B

Verifact Pty Ltd

Investigative services

19 998

Panel

B

Anne Markiewicz
& Associates Pty
Ltd

Evaluation of Indigenous
Electoral Participation
Program

95 172

Direct

B

Hay Group Pty Ltd

Review of work level
classifications and market
review of salaries

58 283

Panel

C

Total

489 055

GST = goods and services tax; CALD = culturally and linguistically diverse.

  1. See Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines (December 2008) for an explanation of the procurement process.
  2. A = skills currently unavailable within agency; B = need for specialised or professional skills; C = need for independent research or assessment.

We may engage consultants under s.35(2) of the Electoral Act, and may determine the terms and conditions of engagement of those consultants under s.35(4) of that Act. Consultants may also be engaged in accordance with the FMA Act.

We also consider whether:

  • the services involve the development of an intellectual output that assists with agency decision making, and
  • the output reflects the independent views of the service provider.

If the answer to both questions is ‘yes’, we categorise the arrangement as a consultancy.

When engaging consultants for work with a value up to $79 999, we generally seek quotes from prospective consultants according to the AEC policy and procedures for procurement.

If the expected value of the consultancy is $80 000 or more, our staff are required to follow the policy and procedures in the Department of Finance and Deregulation’s Guidance on the Mandatory Procurement Procedures—January 2005 (Financial Management Guidance No. 13).

Consultants can only be engaged by senior management in accordance with the AEC Financial Delegations Schedule.

Australian National Audit Office access clauses

During 2011–12, we did not let any contract in excess of $100 000 (GST inclusive) that did not provide for the Auditor-General to have access to the contractor’s premises.

Exempt contracts

During 2011–12, no contract or standing offer in excess of $10 000 (GST inclusive) was exempted from publication on AusTender on the basis that it would disclose exempt matters under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

Advertising and market research

In 2011–12, we conducted the Count Me In advertising campaign. We also undertook preparation for advertising campaigns around the next federal election and a possible referendum. Further information on our Count Me In campaign is available on the AEC website.

Table 51 provides particulars of payment of $11 900 or more (GST inclusive) made in 2011–12 to advertising agencies, market research organisations, polling organisations, direct mail organisations and media advertising organisations, as required to report under s.311A of the Electoral Act. No payments of $11 900 or more were made to polling organisations.

Table 51: Payments, $11 900 or more (GST inclusive), on advertising and market research
Agency type Agency name Details Amount ($)

Advertising agencies

BMF Advertising

Provide creative advertising services for pre-election and election campaigns.

327 500

Market research organisations

Ipsos Social Research Institute

Provide qualitative and quantitative market research services.

300 330

Direct mail organisations

Australia Post

Provide handling, and distribution of Count Me In campaign postcard to Australian households.

1 159 798

BMF Advertising

Production budget for Count Me In postcard.

17 287

Media advertising organisations

Adcorp

Provide media placement on campaign advertising.

277 588

Universal McCann

Provide media placement on non-campaign advertising.

508 239

TOP