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Monday, 22 March 2004
Page: 26864

Mr Kelvin Thomson asked the Minister representing the Minister for Family and Community Services, upon notice, on 8 September 2003:

(1) Was a tender process conducted before the Government awarded a contract to the Institute of Public Affairs to audit non-government organisations.

(2) Who made the decision to award the contract to the Institute of Public Affairs.

(3) Was departmental advice given on whether or not to award this contract; if so, what was this advice.

(4) What are the terms of reference for the Institute of Public Affairs inquiry.

(5) Which government department is administering the contract.

(6) What is the value of the contract.

(7) When is the Institute of Public Affairs expected to report and will the report be made public.

Mr Anthony (Minister for Children and Youth Affairs) —The Minister for Family and Community Services has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) No. The Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines and Best Practice Guidelines notes that “The Government does not prescribe a specific purchasing method nor any arbitrary thresholds. Buyers must consider the requirements and existing market conditions of each procurement, and select a procurement method on its merits”.

(2) The delegate of the Department entered into the contract following the Prime Minister's Community Business Partnership agreement on 11 December 2002 to fund the proposal.

(3) Yes. The Department did not recommend the approval of the research proposal.

(4) The terms of reference for the research contract are:

A comprehensive assessment of the links between key Commonwealth Departments and their constituent NGOs;

A framework for assessing the role and standing of NGOs, based on the information requirements of those Departments and relevant Ministers;

A framework for a database of NGOs, including their standing;

A proposed standard of public disclosure in dealing with NGOs; and

A proposed trial Protocol that requests NGOs to supply information (based on points above) about themselves that will be publicly available.

(5) The Department of Family and Community Services

(6) $54 268

(7) An interim report has been received and is currently being considered.