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Financial Overview

Safe Work Australia does not have any administered funding and there were no new measures sought or provided in the 2015–16 financial year. The agency had a full year operating surplus for 2015–16 that reduces the previous years accumulated surpluses. There are steps in place to expend any remaining surplus in 2015–16 while being very mindful of the impact on the out-year budgets, particularly in terms of staffing levels.

Assets management

Safe Work Australia’s major assets are its leasehold improvements and property, plant and equipment. These assets are presented in the financial information provided in the financial statements. Software assets are recognised at cost value in accordance with the AASB 138. Purchases of property, plant and equipment are recognised initially at cost value in the statement of financial position, except for purchases costing less than $2000, which are expensed in the year of acquisition.

Exempt contracts

There were no contracts in excess of $10,000 (inclusive of GST) or standing offers that were exempt from the requirement to publish on AusTender during 2015–16.

Australian National Audit Office access clause

All contracts over $100,000 entered into during the reporting period contained an ANAO access to premises clause.


When undertaking procurement activities, Safe Work Australia adheres to the principles of:

  • value for money
  • encouraging competition among actual or potential suppliers
  • efficient, effective and ethical use of resources, and
  • accountability and transparency.

Safe Work Australia has a small procurement area responsible for co‑ordinating key procurements for the agency, developing and maintaining procurement policies, procedures, templates and forms, and providing advice and support for staff undertaking procurements.

Compliance reporting

In 2015–16 there were no instances of significant non-compliance with finance law related to Safe Work Australia.

Safe Work Australia’s support of small business

Safe Work Australia is committed to supporting SMEs by paying providers for goods and services in required timeframes, and engaging in ongoing monitoring and improvement to our procurement and contracting practices. Safe Work Australia has significantly simplified and streamlined its procurement processes by adopting the Department of Finance’s Commonwealth Contracting Suite for low-risk procurements. This has significantly reduced the length and complexity of most tender processes and contracts by using a set of Terms and Conditions that are consistent with other departments that SMEs would be familiar with.

Safe Work Australia also continues to monitor Commonwealth procurement processes and liaise with the Department of Finance and other entities to ensure they are commensurate with the risks involved and as simple as possible.

Safe Work Australia supports small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market. SME and Small Enterprises participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance’s website.

For more information about:

  • SME participation refer to the SME participation refer to the Department of Finance’s website: SME participation refer to the Department of Finance’s website, and
  • the results of the Survey of Australian Government Payments to Small Business refer to Treasury’s website.


Information on grants awarded by Safe Work Australia during the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016 is available on the Safe Work Australia website.

Information required by the Legal Services Directions 2005 on Safe Work Australia’s legal services purchasing for 2015–16 will be made available on the Safe Work Australia website by 30 October 2016.

Consultancy contracts

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. During 2015–16, 26 new consultancy contracts were entered into involving total actual expenditure of $1.436 million including GST. In addition, 4 ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the period, involving total actual expenditure of $0.691 million including GST.

Safe Work Australia engages consultants when certain specialist expertise or independent research, review or assessment is required. Consultants are typically engaged to investigate or diagnose a defined issue or problem; carry out defined reviews, evaluations or data collection for research; or provide independent advice, information or creative solutions to assist in Safe Work Australia’s decision making. Prior to engaging consultants Safe Work Australia takes into account the skills and resources required for the task, the skills available internally and the cost-effectiveness of engaging external expertise. The decision to engage a consultant is guided by the requirements under the PGPA Act, the Regulations, the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and associated Guidance Notes.

Independent auditors report

SWA audit report letter page 1 SWA audit report letter page 2

Statement by the Accountable Authority and Chief Financial Officer

In our opinion, the attached financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2016 comply with subsection 42(2) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act), and are based on properly maintained financial records as per subsection 41(2) of the PGPA Act.

In our opinion, at the date of this statement, there are reasonable grounds to believe that Safe Work Australia will be able to pay its debts as and when they fall due.


Signature of Michelle Baxter, Chief Executive Officer 

Michelle Baxter
Chief Executive Officer
23 September 2016

Signature of Danette Fenton-Menzies, Chief Financial Officer

Danette Fenton-Menzies
Chief Financial Officer
23 September 2016

Financial statements

View Safe Work Australia's Financial Statements 2015-16

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