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Financial overview

The operations of Safe Work Australia are funded through departmental annual appropriations, and contributions from the state and territory governments as established in the Intergovernmental Agreement for Regulatory and Operational Reform in Occupational Health and Safety.

In 2016–17, Safe Work Australia had an operating surplus of $1.072 million

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 Intangible Assets. Purchases of property, plant and equipment are recognised initially at cost value in the statement of financial position, except for purchases costing less than $2,000, 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 2016–17.

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 makes reasonable enquiries to satisfy itself that the procurement:

  • achieves value for money
  • encourages competition and be non-discriminatory
  • uses public resources in an efficient, effective, economical and ethical manner that is not inconsistent with the policies of the Commonwealth
  • facilitates accountable and transparent decision making
  • encourages appropriate engagement with risk, and
  • is commensurate with the scale and scope of the business requirement.

The Legal and Procurement team in Safe Work Australia is responsible for coordinating key procurements for the agency, developing and maintaining procurement policies, procedures, templates and forms, and providing advice and support for staff undertaking procurements. To promote best practice, the Legal and Procurement team is currently undertaking a wholesale review of the agency’s procurement practices, including reviewing the agency’s procurement procedures, templates and guidance material for staff.

The agency also attended training to ensure compliance with the new Commonwealth Procurement Rules that commenced in March 2017.

Compliance reporting

In 2016–17, 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 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by paying providers for goods and services in required timeframes, and engaging in ongoing monitoring and improvement to our procurement and contracting practices. The agency has significantly simplified and streamlined its procurement processes by using the Department of Finance’s Commonwealth Contracting Suite (now Commonwealth Contracting Suite Plus) as required and for other 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.

The agency continues to monitor developments in Commonwealth procurement practices and liaise with the Department of Finance and other entities to ensure its practices are commensurate with the risks involved and as simple as possible.

The agency 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.

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Information on grants awarded by Safe Work Australia during the period 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017 is available on the Safe Work Australia website.

Safe Work Australia is working towards implementing GrantConnect, the new whole of Government information system for Commonwealth grants. This will provide all potential grant applicants with a simple platform to find and access our grant opportunities. Staff attended onboarding training provided by the Department of Finance to transition staff to using GrantConnect for future grant related activities. Safe Work Australia’s sponsorship program for 2017-18 is now advertised on GrantConnect.

Information required by the Legal Services Directions 2005 on Safe Work Australia’s legal services purchasing for 2016–17 will be made available on our website by 30 October 2017.

Consultancy contracts

Annual reports contain information about actual expenditure on contracts for consultancies. Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on AusTender. During 2016–17, 11 new consultancy contracts were entered into involving total expected expenditure of $903,000 including GST. In addition, 5 ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the period, involving total expected expenditure of $325,000 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 of the finance law, the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and associated Guides.

Independent Auditor's Report

Page 1 of 2 Independent Auditor's Report from ANAO signed 22 September 2017
Page 2 of 2 Independent Auditor's Report from ANAO signed 22 September 2017

View Safe Work Australia's Financial Statements 2016-17

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