National Archives of Australia and National Archives of Australia Advisory Council Annual Report 2015-16

The Archives’ Procurement Framework places responsibility for procurement with delegated officers within operational line areas. During 2015–16 the Archives updated its procedures to reflect the requirements of the Indigenous Procurement Policy, which came into effect on 1 July 2015. Under the Indigenous Procurement Policy the Archives has entered into a number of arrangements including freight services for touring exhibitions ($247,362 including GST) and paper supplies ($13,771 including GST). The Archives also reviewed its procurement templates to ensure they remain current and in line with government procurement policies.

Contract committees

The Archives’ Procurement Framework requires that contract committees be established to examine the letting of any contract valued at more than $80,000 (including GST). Contract committees include both independent representatives and those with expertise in the relevant area. All committees examining contracts valued at $1 million or more (including GST) must include a member of the Executive Board.


During 2015–16, a total of 21 new consultancy contracts were entered into, involving total actual expenditure of $1,380,407 (including GST). Five ongoing consultancy contracts were active during 2015–16, involving total actual expenditure of $247,338 (including GST).

Typical reasons for engaging consultancy services include a requirement for specialist expertise not available within the Archives or where an independent assessment is considered desirable. The selection process may involve open tender, select tender, direct sourcing or use of an existing Australian Government panel arrangement.

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

Australian National Audit Office access clause

The Archives’ standard contract templates include an Australian National Audit Office access clause. All contracts for complex procurement signed during the reporting period for $100,000 or more (including GST) had provision for the Auditor-General to access the contractor’s premises. The Archives continues to rely on the Department of Finance Commonwealth Contracting Suite of documentation for low-risk/low-value procurements.

Exempt contracts

During 2015–16 the Archives had no exempt contracts.

Small business

The Archives supports small business participation in the Australian Government procurement market. Small and medium enterprises, and small enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance’s website at

The Archives’ procurement practices support small and medium enterprises by:

  • using the Commonwealth Contracting Suite for low-risk procurements valued under $200,000
  • communicating in clear, simple language
  • presenting information in an accessible format
  • using electronic payment systems to ensure small and medium enterprises are paid on time, including the use of credit card payments.