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Consistent with the Government's policy to focus available resources on core functions, and recognising the value of the different perspectives that consultants can bring to policy and operational issues, the department engages consultants where it lacks specialist expertise, or where independent assessments or input are considered desirable.
The process used for selecting consultants, both in Australia and at overseas posts, is consistent with the department's broader procurement policies and the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines, and is based on the principle of 'value for money'. Selection methods are as follows:
Public tender: Consultancies are advertised in the daily press. In Australia they are also advertised on the department's website, and through the services of the Government's electronic publishing service (www.ads.gov.au).
Restricted tender: A limited number of organisations or individuals are invited to submit quotations for particular consultancies. These firms are identified:
through their expertise in a particular field
through their involvement in related work with the department or government
as representing a particular cultural or interest group.
Direct engagement: Consultants are selected from those identified on whole-of-government endorsed supplier arrangements or competitive tendering and contracting panels. Alternatively, a recognised pre-eminent expert or authority in a particular field may be engaged directly. In these instances, the consultant's fees are compared to those in the market, to ensure that value for money is being obtained.
All business opportunities available through a full tender process, and all contracts (including consultancies) with values over $2000 entered into in Australia, are published in the Government's electronic gazettal system (www.contracts.gov.au).
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Table 34. Consultancies undertaken during 2001-02
The following table lists all consultants engaged during 2001-02 with a contract valued at $10 000 or more (inclusive of GST), together with the amount of the contract and reasons for engagement.
This table has been removed to a separate page to enhance viewing.
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