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Australian Government - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Advancing the interests of Australia and Australians internationally

Australian Government - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Advancing the interests of Australia and Australians internationally

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade :: 2001-2002 Annual Report
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Output 4.2:

Contract management

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Overview

The department moved ahead with a number of major property projects, including plans to construct secure residential accommodation in Honiara and new chanceries in New Delhi and Colombo. We continued the construction of a new chancery in Berlin. We also continued a program of refurbishment and maintenance, with $16.75 million expended.

We took over a contract with PricewaterhouseCoopers for the provision of property services for the overseas owned estate.

In discharging our responsibilities for managing the overseas owned estate, we made extensive use of contracted service providers selected in accordance with the department's competitive tendering and contracting procedures. These contractors provided services in areas such as construction, project management, property disposal and audit services.

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Construction projects

The department worked during the year to develop and advance a number of construction projects.

Construction continued on the Berlin chancery project, which involves the refurbishment of two heritage-listed buildings that will become the Australian chancery in Berlin and an associated apartment complex. The project is on schedule and within budget, with completion expected in December 2002. The authorised budget totals $37.28 million, with an additional budget of $4.6 million for fit-out. Construction started in February 2001.

We carried out preparatory work towards new constructions in New Delhi and Colombo. The New Delhi project will construct a new chancery on the existing site. The Government approved the proposal in the 2001-02 Budget at a cost of $17.4 million. This includes integrated fit-out and security provisions and will also enable construction of two townhouses and conversion of an existing house into three apartments. A proposal for the construction of a new Chancery in Colombo was also included in the 2001-02 Budget, at a cost of $8.19 million, including integrated fit-out. This proposal is due to be examined later in 2002 by Parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Public Works.

We consulted widely on these projects with all agencies represented in New Delhi and Colombo. A team led by the department visited both posts in May 2002 to determine users' needs for the buildings. In New Delhi the team also canvassed options for interim accommodation. On the basis of advice from the team, we selected consultants for both projects to provide project management, engineering services and quantity surveying.

We appointed project managers to advise on necessary refurbishment works to existing owned staff houses in Honiara. Negotiations began to purchase two additional houses in order to create two small secure compounds, at an estimated overall project cost of approximately $2 million, with work to begin in late 2002.

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Contract with PricewaterhouseCoopers

The department's contract with PricewaterhouseCoopers took over the overseas property component of the contract that PricewaterhouseCoopers held previously with the Department of Finance and Administration for an alliance to manage domestic and overseas Commonwealth owned property.

Under the contract, we directly manage and measure PricewaterhouseCoopers' performance in delivering overseas property management services-including global portfolio management, long-term assets management, day-to-day property management, day-to-day facilities management, and management of the divestment program and capital works.

The department, after assuming responsibility for managing the overseas owned estate, carried out two surveys of posts to measure tenant satisfaction (including that of attached agencies) with the delivery of services under the contract with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The survey results indicated higher levels of satisfaction at locations where a PricewaterhouseCoopers facility manager was on site. The second survey showed greater satisfaction with PricewaterhouseCoopers' service delivery. The department and PricewaterhouseCoopers agreed on a number of initiatives that PricewaterhouseCoopers would implement to ensure further improvement in service and satisfaction levels (see quality and quantity information on page 190 for further detail).

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