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Financial management

Our strong focus on budget management continues to ensure resources are allocated to deliver the greatest benefit and impact.

Our financial results for 2015-16 are outlined in the FWO Financial Statements. The operating loss for 2015-16 was $13.763 million and includes depreciation expense of $13.924 million, which is not funded by Government appropriations.

An increase in the operating loss compared to 2014-15 was budgeted for, but was compounded after we reviewed the useful life of a number of assets. This resulted in accelerated depreciation for these assets and a greater depreciation expense for 2015-16.

We maintained sufficient cash through the year to fund our operations. There are adequate funds held in the Official Public Account as undrawn appropriations, which will be used to pay employee entitlements and other liabilities as and when they fall due.

In 2015-16, we reported no significant non-compliance with finance law.

Purchaser-provider arrangements

During 2015-16, we purchased information technology services and other administrative functions on a fee-for-service basis through a memorandum of understanding. The services were provided by the Department of Employment and Department of Education and Training Shared Services Centre.

Procurement initiatives to support small and medium enterprises

The FWO supports small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market by:

  • reducing tendering burden through use of the Commonwealth Contracting Suite for low-risk procurements under $200 000
  • adhering to the Commonwealth’s 30-day payment policy
  • engaging with small business organisations to increase the understanding of each other’s offerings and needs
  • using credit cards to facilitate on-time payments.

Small and medium enterprises (SME) and small enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance website external-icon.png.

The FWO recognises the importance of ensuring that small businesses are paid on time. The results of the Survey of Australian Government Payments to Small Business are available on the Treasury website external-icon.png.

Procurement to support Indigenous enterprises

The Commonwealth’s Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) commenced on 1 July 2015. We amended our procurement policy and practices to meet the new requirements.

Procurement targets were allocated to portfolios, who then assigned targets to individual portfolio agencies. The FWO was allocated one contract as its target for 2015-16. This was exceeded, with five contracts awarded to Indigenous suppliers over the year, totalling $101 209.


We engage consultants if we need specialist expertise or independent research, reviews or assessments to support our decision making. Providers are selected through open tender, pre-qualified tender, limited tender or an established panel arrangement.

The decision to engage a consultant is made in accordance with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) and related regulations, including the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and internal policies.

During 2015-16, eight new consultancy contracts were entered into involving total actual expenditure of $588 953 (including GST). In addition, four ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the period, involving total actual expenditure of $490 340. Two ongoing consultancy contracts were active in the previous financial year, 2014-15, involving total actual expenditure of $84 370.  

Table 19: Consultancy contract spending

2015-16 2014-15 2013-14
Number of new consultancy contracts 8 19 15
Value $588 953 $1 366 356 $581 438

Annual reports contain information about actual expenditure on contracts for consultancies. Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender websiteexternal-icon.png.

There were no requests for exemption or exemptions given from publishing a contract on AusTender.

All our contracts allow for the Auditor‑General to access the contractor’s premises.


The FWO administers the Community Based Employment Advisory Services (CBEAS) grants program.

Information on grants awarded under the CBEAS during 2015-16 is available on the FWO website.

Advertising and market research

Payments made to market research and media advertising organisations in 2015–16 are detailed in Table 20.

Where the total amount paid to an organisation is less than $12 700, details haven’t been included, consistent with the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

No advertising campaigns, for which expenditure was greater than $250 000, were undertaken in 2015–16.

Table 20: Market research, direct mail and media advertising contracts over $12 700, 2015-16
Category Organisation Service provided Total $ paid in 2015-16 (GST inclusive)
Media advertising organisations
Dentsu Mitchell Media Australia Communication campaigns $206 504
Media advertising organisations Dentsu Mitchell Media Australia Media advertising $24 855
Market research
U1 Group
$26 641
Market research  Taylor Nelson Sofres Australia Pty Ltd $132 000