The Department engages consultants where it lacks specialist expertise or when independent research, review or assessment is required. Consultants are typically engaged to investigate or diagnose a defined issue or problem; carry out defined reviews or evaluations; or provide independent advice, information or creative solutions to assist in the Department’s decision making.
Prior to engaging consultants, the Department takes into account the skills and resources required for the task, the skills available internally and the cost-effectiveness of engaging external expertise. The decision to engage a consultant is made in accordance with the Financial Management and Accountability (FMA) Act 1997 and related regulations including the CPRs and relevant internal policies.
Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website at www.tenders.gov.au.
During 2013–14 59 new consultancy contracts were entered into by the Department, involving total actual expenditure of $2.36 million. The increase reflected the significant increase in PM&C’s size as a result of the machinery of government changes. In addition, 15 ongoing consultancy contracts were active during 2013–14, involving a total actual expenditure of $1.59 million. Details of trends in consultancies are shown in Figure 3.6.
|Number of existing consultancies||5||7||15|
|Number of new consultancies||33||37||59|
1 On 18 September 2013 Indigenous affairs functions were transferred into the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. The contractual arrangements that were current (five in total) were transferred as part of the machinery of government changes and expenditure has been included in the table above. Details of expenditure for these contracts prior to the machinery of government changes are included in the relevant former departments’ annual reports. Of the 59 new consultancies in 2013–14, 29 relate to the Indigenous affairs function.