Annual Report 2007-2008

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Your location: Performance > Outcome 4 > Output 4.2 > Reporting against effectiveness indicators

OUTPUT 4.2: Contract management

Reporting against effectiveness indicators

On this page: Overview :: Construction projects :: Contract with United Group Services (UGS) :: Outlook


The department made extensive use of contracted services in managing the overseas property estate. These services included project design, management and construction, property purchase and disposal, audit and legal. Service providers were selected in accordance with the Government’s competitive tendering and contracting procedures.

During 2007–08 a range of outsourced property services was provided to the overseas owned estate under the department’s long-term contract with United Group Services (UGS).

Construction projects

We managed a substantial construction program in the overseas owned estate throughout 2007–08. New chanceries in New Delhi and Vientiane were completed, as were refurbishment works on the high commissions in London and Singapore. Work continued on refurbishment of our high commission in Kuala Lumpur. Construction commenced of our new chancery in Phnom Penh.

We obtained Parliamentary approval for refurbishment works on staff apartments in Tokyo. We reached agreement on the purchase of land for a new chancery in Jakarta.

In addition to projects in the owned estate, the Overseas Property Office (OPO) commenced work on new leased chancery offices in Belgrade, Madrid and Tel Aviv.

Details of projects undertaken in 2007–08 are provided under output 4.2 quality and quantity information.

Outsourced property services contract

The contract with UGS for the provision of property services across the overseas owned estate expired on 31 March 2008 but continued under transitional provisions until 30 June 2008.

Under the contract, UGS provided facilities management including servicing of plant and equipment and preventive maintenance programs in posts. At some posts UGS provided on-site facilities managers who oversaw locally employed UGS staff. Posts reported faults or problems to the company’s 24-hour call service in Australia.

New chancery in New Delhi

We completed construction of a new chancery and related works at the high commission compound in New Delhi in September 2007. The chancery replaced an ageing and overcrowded building that no longer met the requirements of Australia’s expanding diplomatic relationship with India.

Construction began in the latter half of 2003, following consideration by the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Public Works and approval by Parliament in September of that year.

Both the post and the department’s Overseas Property Office (OPO) faced a major logistical task as the high commission had to remain fully operational while the new chancery was being constructed. The old chancery building was demolished, and a temporary chancery built on the compound. To meet increased staff accommodation requirements, two new townhouses were constructed as part of the project.

The new chancery was the largest and most complex project undertaken by OPO since its establishment in 2001. The building was designed by Australian architects Woodhead International. It fully meets functional and security requirements and provides safe, efficient and pleasant office space for Australian Government agencies represented in New Delhi. The general design philosophy was to represent an image of Australia through the use of Australian materials and finishes in public areas, and to respect local culture by building in sympathy with the surrounding environment.

The department maintained a continuous dialogue with UGS to ensure effective provision of services under the contract. Posts’ satisfaction with services provided by UGS was surveyed by OPO throughout the year. Survey results demonstrated a good level of performance by UGS in 2007–08 (see output 4.2 quality and quantity information).

Under a tender process begun in June 2007, bids were sought for the provision of these outsourced services on the expiration of the contract. UGS was the successful tenderer.

Under the new contract arrangements, UGS will continue to provide the services they provided under the former contract, including facilities management and financial processing and reporting. In addition the new contract extends technical assistance to posts in their management of leased properties.

Mobilisation of the new contract commenced on 1 April 2008 with services to commence from 1 July 2008.


In 2008–09 the department will continue to manage the Government’s construction and refurbishment program in the overseas property estate in accordance with legislative and governance requirements.

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