The Commission’s appropriated funding at the beginning of the 2013–14 financial year was $79.996 million. Government decisions to delay the implementation of the anti-bullying jurisdiction until 1 January 2014 and other targeted savings reduced the Commission’s available operating funding by $2.613 million during the 2013–14 financial year. The Commission reduced its operating budget in line with these reductions to funding, and as a result had a revised operating budget of $77.383 million.
While the Commission’s available funding was reduced and quarantined, no formal reduction of 2013–14 appropriation was made. As a result the audited financial statements for the 2013–14 financial year at Appendix Q reflect the original funding of $79.996 million as appropriated, rather than the available funding of $77.383 million. The $2.613 million reduction is expected to be formally reduced in July 2016.
Using the adjusted funding which takes into account the delay in the anti-bullying jurisdiction to 1 January 2014, the Commission recorded a funded surplus excluding depreciation and amortisation of $167 000. This compares to a funded surplus in 2012–13 of $1.198 million.
Per the financial statements on a comprehensive basis, which reflect the unadjusted funding, the Commission recorded a funded surplus of $2.780 million compared to a $1.198 million surplus in 2012–13. Including depreciation and amortisation the Commission recorded a surplus of $170 000 compared to a deficit of $907 000 in 2012–13.
Operating expenses increased in 2013–14 to $80.8 million (compared with $79.407 million in 2012–13). The major expenses in 2013–14 were $50.8 million in respect of employee expenses, $27.3 million relating to supplier payments, and $2.6 million in asset depreciation, amortisation and related expenses.
The Commission has undertaken a number of initiatives to improve the efficiency of the organisation, and reduce our cost base. Revenue increased during the 2013–14 financial year due to the introduction of the anti-bullying legislation and pay equity research function. 2013–14 was also the first full year of an increase in the Member profile, with the appointments of two Vice Presidents in March of 2013. The Commission is proactively developing contingencies and reviewing operations through a budget working group to ensure the Commission is able to meet its operating budgets into the future.
An agency resource statement table providing information about funding sources drawn upon by the agency is at Appendix R.
A summary table of resources for outcome, including total administered expenses, revenue from Government (appropriations) for outputs, and the total price of outputs can be found at Appendix S.
Information on advertising, market research, legal services expenditure and grant programs can be found at Appendix N.
The Commission’s main asset types are leasehold improvements and computer equipment. Asset management is not considered to be a significant aspect of core business and so an assessment of the effectiveness of asset management is not reported.
Major accommodation projects
During the 2013–14 financial year the Commission completed its national refurbishment projects and consolidation of tenancies in Melbourne.
The Sydney tenancy is one of the Commission’s major tenancies accommodating in excess of 35 per cent of the Commission’s Members. This tenancy had not seen a major refurbishment since 1987, and the refurbishment of the leasehold allowed for a significant reduction in floor space, a more efficient working environment, and an amenities upgrade suiting the operations of a modern tribunal.
Per the 2013–14 Budget, the Commission saw the establishment of two new functions; under Part 6–4B—Workers Bullied at Work and establishment of the Pay Equity Unit under the Child Care Workforce—Early years quality fund. To accommodate expected additional staff, by completing refurbishments to our existing 11 Exhibition Street tenancy in Melbourne, the Commission was able to substantially increase its capacity further enabling the Commission to relinquish the 1 Collins Street, Melbourne tenancy at 31 December 2013.
The Commission’s purchasing policies are outlined in the Chief Executive’s Instructions, resource management policies and the Procurement and Contract Management Practical Guide, which reflect the principles of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules.
The following criteria are applied to all the Commission procurement activities:
- value for money
- efficiency and effectiveness
- contestability and competitive neutrality
- accountability and transparent reporting, and
All open approaches are advertised on both the Commission website and the AusTender website.
Outcomes of all major procurements are referred to the Procurement Committee for approval. Details are recorded in the Financial Management Information System and the Contracts Register. All purchases with a value of $10 000 or more are reported in the Commonwealth Gazette Publishing System.
The Commission published an annual procurement plan outlining expected procurement activities during 2013–14. The plan is available on the AusTender website.
List of contracts
The Commission website lists all contracts valued at $100 000 and over that have not been fully performed or which have been entered into during the previous 12 months. Information on expenditure on contracts and consultancies is also available on the AusTender website.
Significant contracts approved by the Procurement Committee during 2013–14 included:
- procurement of multi-function devices, and
- ESX host server.
The services of consultants are engaged where the necessary specialised or professional skills are unavailable within the Commission or where there is a need for independent research or assessment.
The Commission’s policy on the selection and engagement of consultants is in accordance with the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and related regulations including the Commonwealth Procurement Rules. The methods of selection used for consultancies are open tender, select tender, direct sourcing and panel arrangements (initially selected through either an open tender or select tender process).
During 2013–14, three new consultancy contracts were entered into involving actual expenditure of $65 267 (GST inclusive). In addition, one ongoing consultancy contract was active during 2013–14, involving total actual expenditure of $56 522 (GST inclusive). The total expenditure on consultancies was $121 790 (GST inclusive).
Annual reports contain information about actual expenditure on contracts for consultancies. Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website.
Competitive tendering and contracting
At 30 June 2013 there were no active contracts relating to the outsourcing of government activities under the Commonwealth’s competitive tendering and contracting policy.
Australian National Audit Office clauses
The Commission had no contracts let during the year that did not provide for the Auditor-General to have access to the contractor’s premises.
The Commission had no contracts valued in excess of $10 000 that were exempt from reporting on AusTender.