The purpose of the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) is to improve public sector performance and support accountability and transparency in the Australian Government sector through independent reporting to the Parliament, the Executive and the public.

Procurement is a significant public sector activity worth $47.4 billion in 2016–17. This information report seeks to provide greater transparency on procurement activity in the Australian public sector. This information report is neither an audit nor an assurance review. This means that no conclusions or opinions are presented. The report presents publicly available data from public sector procurement activity in a number of ways. The approach to analysis is set out in Appendix  which includes important background to the data and methodology used. The Auditor-General Act 1997 (section 25) enables the Auditor-General at any time to cause a report to be tabled in either House of the Parliament on any matter.

In conducting this work, the ANAO did not obtain information from individual entities in respect of the data reported on, nor did the ANAO formally communicate with the entities included in this report in respect of this analysis. However, the ANAO did release relevant parts of the report to the Department of Finance, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Australian Bureau of Statistics for comment prior to publication.

The ANAO has not tested the integrity of the underlying data contained in this report and, accordingly, does not provide any assurance in respect of the reliability of that data. The analysis contained in this report is based on the reported contract notice data as of the date it was extracted. Contract notices may be amended or updated, which would impact on the analysis. In addition, contract notifications may not reflect actual expenditure in each instance.

The Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs) issued by the Minister for Finance outline the Government’s procurement policy framework. Their core objective is to ensure relevant entities achieve value for money in the conduct of procurement activity.

The CPRs contain mandatory requirements to support this objective as well as providing tools and guidance to ensure accountability and transparency in Government contracts.

Procurements with an estimated monetary value above the relevant reporting thresholds3 must be publicly reported via the Australian Government’s procurement information system, AusTender. The objectives of AusTender are to provide timely and transparent information on Government procurement.

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