The Australian Government developed a legal and regulatory framework set by the Financial Management and Accountability Act (1997).
The framework has three primary elements:-
- Commonwealth’s Procurement Guidelines (issued by the Finance Minister) which establish the procurement policy framework for agencies;
- Finance Circulars (issued by the Department of Finance and Administration/DOFA) which advise of any key changes in the procurement policy framework ; and
- A range of web-based and printed publications designed to assist agencies in conforming to the procurement policy framework.
The principal objectives of Australian Government procurement are;
- Value for Money
- Open and Effective Competition
- Ethics and Fair dealing
- Accountability and Reporting
- National Competitiveness and Industry Development
- andsupport for other Commonwealth Policies (including policies on the environment, workplace relations, trade and foreign policy, etc.)
Most procurement activities are executed within the Department of Finance and Administration, the Department of Communications (E-Government, E-Procurement)and the Department of Defence, which is the largest buyer.
Procurement is decentralised to individual entities and the Chief Executives have the responsibility in line with the PFMA and Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines (CPGs).