During 2012–13, the AEC’s new consultancy contracts involved total actual expenditure of $1 069 989. There were 24 new consultancies, with a value of $10 000 or more, let during 2012–13. This was almost double the total actual expenditure on consultancy contracts in 2011–12, of $537 982. Preparations for the 2013 federal election was responsible for the increase in consultancy contracts.

There were no ongoing consultancy contracts or related ongoing expenditure.

The AEC engaged consultants for the following purposes:

  • accounting services
  • internal audits
  • public relations
  • management advisory services
  • feasibility studies or screening of project ideas
  • education and training services
  • business intelligence consulting services
  • human resources services
  • economic or financial evaluation of projects.

Table 19 details consultancy contracts let to the value of $10 000 or more. Further information on the value of AEC contracts and consultancies is on AusTender.

Consultancy policy

The AEC 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. Engagement of consultants may also be in accordance with the FMA Act.

The AEC also considers whether:

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

If the answer to both questions is ‘yes’ the arrangement is categorised as a consultancy.

When engaging consultants for work with a value up to $79 999, the AEC generally seeks 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, AEC staff 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). Senior management engage consultants in accordance with the AEC Financial Delegations Schedule.

Table 19: Consultancy contracts to the value of $10 000 or more let 2012–13
Consultant Description Contract price inc GST ($) Selection process 1 Justification 2
Carbon Media Indigenous-focused Facebook page 94 460 Limited A
Cultural Perspectives Consultant – Assistance delivering formality strategy 75 003 Open A
Equity Partners Accountants Advisors – Accounting services 79 200 Prequalified A
Total Decision Support Pty Ltd Develop – Product and service costing model for joint roll 25 610 Open A
KPMG Internal audit: Review FMA requirement for compliance 48 950 Open A
KPMG Internal audit – Review of services 16 500 Open A
KPMG Internal audit – Review of contract management 31 900 Open A
KPMG Internal audit 11 000 Open A
KPMG Internal audit 26 400 Open A
KPMG Internal audit 24 200 Open A
KPMG Internal audit – BRIDGE, provision of services 29 597 Open A
Internal Audit Bureau Investigative services 19 998 Open A
Anne Markiewicz & Associates Pty Ltd Review and re-develop monitoring & evaluation framework 27 680 Limited A
Corporate Success Group Investigative services 19 998 Open A
Anne Markiewicz & Associates Pty Ltd Reconciliation of field work 10 285 Limited A
Agile Digital Engineering Pty Ltd Feasibility and scoping study – Alignment with Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) geography 22 137 Open B
Price Waterhouse Coopers Audit of AEC’s disclosure compliance function 109 841 Open A
Ron McLeod Review of AEC’s disclosure compliance 143 000 Limited B
Ergo Asia Pty Ltd Consultation of print and Production Services 55 000 Open B
Anne Markiewicz & Associates Pty Ltd Evaluation – Delivery of final report 26 301 Limited A
Anne Markiewicz & Associates Pty Ltd Evaluation – Commencement of field work 72 212 Limited A
Anne Markiewicz & Associates Pty Ltd Evaluation – Delivery of draft report 56 837 Limited A
Yellow Edge Pty Ltd Review of training architecture 33 880 Open A
Mentoring And Corporate Affairs Advisory services 10 000 Open A
Total   1 069 989    
  1. See Commonwealth Procurement Rules (1 July 2012) for explanation of procurement process.
  2. A = need for specialised or professional skills; B = need for independent research or assessment.

Australian National Audit Office access clauses

During 2012–13, all AEC contracts in excess of $100 000 (GST inclusive) included provisions for the Auditor-General to have access to the contractor’s premises.

Exempt contracts

During 2012–13, 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.

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