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Purchasing and procurement

​​Procurement

As a non-corporate Commonwealth entity, our purchasing and procurement policies and practices are consistent with:

  • all relevant Commonwealth legislation
  • the Australian Government financial framework, including the Commonwealth Procurement Rules
  • the Chief Executive Instructions and relevant Clean Energy Regulator policies, and
  • all connected policies including the Indigenous Procurement Policy.

All open tender opportunities of $80,000 and above (inclusive of GST) are advertised on the AusTender website. Reviews of all procurements of $50,000 and above (inclusive of GST) are conducted to ensure they are completed in accordance with the procurement framework. Our procurement methods aim not to discriminate against small and medium-sized enterprises.

We update our Annual Procurement Plan as required. This plan, available on the AusTender website, outlines the planned procurement for the forthcoming year. This gives prospective suppliers the opportunity to prepare for potential work with our agency.

Consultants

We procure consultancy services in accordance with our procurement framework.

During 2017–18, 13 new consultancy contracts were entered into involving total actual expenditure of $2,186,131.22 (inclusive of GST). In addition, three ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the period, involving total actual expenditure of $2,474,113.15 (inclusive of GST).

All consultancy contracts valued at $10,000 (inclusive of GST) or more awarded in 2017–18 are published on the AusTender website.

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

Engagement of consultants

We engage consultants through fair and equitable processes, selecting multiple providers through panel or Open Tender processes and conducting a value for money assessment. We conduct all procurement activities in accordance with policies, regulations and legislative requirements.

Australian National Audit Office access clauses

Any contracts of $100,000 (inclusive of GST) or more awarded during 2017–18 included a provision for the Auditor-General to have access to the contractor’s premises.

Exempt contracts

In 2017–18 the Chair did not exempt any standing offer or contract in excess of $10,000 (inclusive of GST) from being published on the AusTender website.21

Procurement initiatives to support small business

We support small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market. Small and medium enterprises and small enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance website.

Consistent with paragraph 5.4 of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules, we use the following initiatives and practices to support small and medium enterprises:

  • the Commonwealth Contracting Suite for low-risk procurements valued under $200,000 (inclusive of GST)
  • Australian Industry Participation Plans in whole-of-government procurement where applicable
  • the Small Business Engagement Principles (outlined in the Government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda), such as communicating in clear, simple language and presenting information in an accessible format, and
  • electronic systems or other processes used to facilitate on-time payment performance, including the use of payment cards.

We comply with the requirements set out in the Indigenous Procurement Policy. In 2017–18 we entered into 13 contracts and one sub-contracting arrangement for the supply of goods and services from Indigenous suppliers.

Information and communications technology

We have built and maintained a resilient and reliable ICT services capability that underpins the importance of our regulatory activities.

Our ICT strategy 2017–19 informs investment and guides the development of system and business process capability to support our agency in achieving our purpose. As part of this strategy, this year we developed a roadmap for business systems that will better meet the needs of our clients, our agency, and alignment with the Australian Government’s digital transformation agenda (see feature in Purchasing and procurement).

In 2017–18 we embarked on an innovative model to create business value, by ensuring that our activities in building business systems solutions are business-led and agile (see Feature in Purchasing and procurement).

Our agency business leaders are driving this change by setting and agreeing to a three-year business value program that focuses on three themes:

  1. Improve our client, stakeholder, and citizen experience.
  2. Reduce red tape and regulatory burden by streamlining and automating our processes.
  3. Enhance our efficiency by standardising and consolidating our regulatory systems.

During the year we also:

  • undertook actions to better manage cyber-related risk by performing Information Security Registered Assessors Program assessments on key systems, with identified issues being priority actions for 2018–19
  • extended the use of data analytics and data visualisation to better inform agency decisions and manage risk
  • introduced a Graphical Information System (GIS) capability to support Emissions Reduction Fund project assessment and improve our risk management of those projects
  • integrated data feeds to support the co-designed pilot solution that will reduce risk caused by installation of inferior solar panels, while also improving assessment efficiency and reducing regulatory burden
  • provided open-source technology to extend the use and real-time access to scheme data
  • reviewed internal capability and contracts with providers to optimise the cost and reliability of our technology services, and
  • commenced implementing an agile delivery capability that supports business-lead value.

We will continue to consolidate and build on these achievements as we leverage technology to enhance our client experience, continuously improve our effectiveness as a regulator, and reduce regulatory burden.

Photo: Boco Rock Wind Fa​rm, Australian Capital Territory

FEATURE

Mapping our business systems into the future

Over the next three years we are overhauling our business systems to better meet the needs of our clients and our agency, while also aligning our standards with the government’s digital transformation agenda.

Our business systems roadmap, developed in 2017–18, outlines the steps we are taking to improve or replace our business systems. The changes are business-led, rather than being driven by information technology.

To develop our roadmap, we brought together business leaders from across our agency to discuss how we can create greater business value through our systems. We also used feedback provided in the 2017 client survey on the use of agency systems.

Client experience emerged as the top priority, followed by how we manage the data we collect, and then improvements to our internal processes and systems.

Our aim is that by 2021, our systems will provide a consistent user experience, be user-centric in design, supported by flexible architecture, deliver improved data quality, have lower operating costs, and future-proof our capability beyond 2021.

Like many agencies, over time we have developed and acquired a range of bespoke systems using different technologies. In implementing our business systems roadmap, we will move away from this piecemeal approach to a greater enterprise-wide view, with common priorities guiding all business system decisions and enhancements.

In the first six months of 2018–19 we are focusing on two projects. The first is to improve our website with a simpler, more user-centric design. This refreshed design and user-centric approach will set the scene for our second project, which is to improve our Client Portal. We will engage with our clients to co-design the revised website and portal. Improvements such as a single sign-on across all our schemes, standardising the user experience, improving the client interactions, and speeding up the way we validate data, will save time and reduce regulatory burden for our clients. Standardisation will also save us time and resources, and enable us to more easily and effectively match and check information across all our schemes, so we can leverage better value from the data we collect.

We are implementing our business systems roadmap in parallel with two other roadmaps—our data services roadmap to improve data quality and mature and embed data analytic and related tools, and our ICT roadmap to improve the underlying technology infrastructure that supports our systems and services. All our redesign work is underpinned by security, privacy and integrity.

Along with the shift to a business-led model, we have introduced multidisciplinary teams and a new way of funding our business systems improvements, which allows for a truly agile approach driven by business value. This will ensure we are well-placed to take on business in the digital era.

Footnotes

21. Emissions Reduction Fund carbon abatement contracts are exempt.

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