NSW Government agencies engage consultants to provide professional advice to inform their decision-making. The spend on consultants is measured and reported in different ways for different purposes and the absence of a consistently applied definition makes quantification difficult.
The NSW Government’s procurement principles aim to help agencies obtain value for money and be fair, ethical and transparent in their procurement activities. All NSW Government agencies, with the exception of State Owned Corporations, must comply with the NSW Procurement Board’s Direction when engaging suppliers of business advisory services. Business advisory services include consultancy services. NSW Government agencies must disclose certain information about their use of consultants in their annual reports.
We examined how 12 agencies complied with their procurement and reporting obligations for consultancy services between 1 July 2016 and 31 March 2018. Participating agencies are listed in Appendix two. We also examined how NSW Procurement supports the functions of the NSW Procurement Board within the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation.
This audit assessed:
- agency compliance with relevant procurement requirements for their use of consultants
- agency compliance with disclosure requirements about consultancy expenditure in their annual reports
- the effectiveness of the NSW Procurement Board (the Board) in fulfilling its functions to oversee and support agency procurement of consultancy services.