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Financial management

We continue to maintain a strong focus on financial management, ensuring resources are utilised in the most efficient and effective manner to deliver the greatest benefit and impact for the Australian community.

Our financial results for 2017-18 are outlined in the financial statements. The operating loss for 2017-18 was $9.204 million and includes depreciation expense of $10.102 million, which is not funded by government appropriations.

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 2017-18, we reported no significant non-compliance with finance law.

Purchaser-provider arrangements

During 2017-18, we purchased IT services and a number of other administrative functions on a fee-for-service basis through a longstanding arrangement with the Technology Services Group within the Department of Jobs and Small Business under a Memorandum of Understanding.

The management of enterprise resource planning services was provided to the Entity on a fee-for-service basis under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Service Delivery Office within the Department of Finance.

Procurement initiatives to support small and medium enterprises

We support 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 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 (

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

A total of six contracts were awarded to Indigenous suppliers during the year, totalling $1 575 429.58 (GST inclusive).


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 tenders, limited tender or an established panel arrangement.

The decision to engage a consultant is made in accordance with the PGPA Act and related regulations, including the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and internal policies.

During 2017-18, eight new consultancy contracts were entered into involving a total expenditure of $509 168 (including GST). In addition, seven ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the period, involving a total expenditure of $835 277.

Table 30: Consultancy contract spending
2017-18 2016-17 2015-16
Number of new consultancy contracts 8 17 8
Value $509 168 $976 186 $588 953

Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website external-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.


During 2017-18, the FWO continued to administer the Community Engagement Grants Program (CEGP). The CEGP is a four-year program that is scheduled to conclude on 31 December 2020.

Information on grants awarded under the CEGP is available at

Advertising and market research

Payments made to market research and media advertising organisations in 2017-18 are detailed in Table 31.

Where the total amount paid to an organisation is less than $13 000, details have not been included, consistent with the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

No advertising campaigns for which expenditure was greater than $250 000 were undertaken in 2017-18.

Table 31: Market research, direct mail and media advertising contracts over $13 000 in 2017-18
Organisation Service provided Total paid in 2017-18 (GST inclusive)
Media advertising organisations
Dentsu Mitchell Media Australia Communication campaigns $18 499
Dentsu Mitchell Media Australia Media advertising $154 519
Market research
Instinct and reason
$66 200