Save Search

Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Monday, 24 May 1999
Page: 5231


Senator Robert Ray asked the Minister representing the Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business, upon notice, on 26 November 1998:

(1) What was the total value of market research sought by the department on a month-by-month basis between March 1996 and November 1998.

(2) What was the purpose of each contract let.

(3) In each instance, what was the involvement or otherwise of the Office of Government Information and Advertising.

(4) In each instance; (a) how many firms were invited to submit proposals; and (b) how many tender proposals were received.

(5) In each instance, which firm was selected to conduct the research.

(6) In each instance, what was the estimated or contract price of the research work and what was the actual amount expended by the department.


Senator Alston (Communications, Information Technology and the Arts) —The Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) The Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business was formed on 21 October 1998. The following information given includes the employment component of the then Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs as well as covering the former Department of Workplace Relations and Small Business. In this context, the total value of market research sought by the department for the period March 1996 to November 1998 is reflected in the table below:

Month/Year

Amount

Month/Year

Amount

Month/Year

Amount

1996

$

1997

$

1998

$

March

Nil

January

Nil

January

Nil

April

Nil

February

$25,000

February

$49,900

May

Nil

March

Nil

March

$35,594

June

Nil

April

Nil

April

$42,200

July

Nil

May

$33,851

May

$56,140

August

Nil

June

$45,844

June

$10,000

September

Nil

July

Nil

July

$46,583

October

Nil

August

Nil

August

$8,850

November

Nil

September

Nil

September

Nil

December

Nil

October

$105,500

October

Nil

November

Nil

November

Nil

December

Nil

Expenditure in any one month may cover more than one contract.

** In May 1998 a contract was let for the Labour Ministers Council for $340,000. As at 30 November 1998 no funds have been expended.

Unfair Dismissals in Small Business

(2) (i) To obtain information on the frequency of unfair dismissal claims at small businesses and the likely effect of an exemption from unfair dismissals laws on small business.

Office of the Employment Advocate

(ii)To assist in the development of a service charter for the OEA through consultation with clients on service standards, complaints handling mechanisms and information to be contained in the charter.

Office of the Employment Advocate

(iii) To assist in the development of communication strategies for the OEA by:

* providing the OEA with information about attitudes to, and understanding of, the OEA, Australian workplace agreements and freedom of association within the target audiences;

* assisting in the development of an advertising campaign and the OEA's broader communications strategy; and

* establishing a benchmark against which the strategy implementation may be evaluated.

Office of the Employment Advocate

(iv) To assist in the development of an advertising campaign for the OEA by:

* Testing for effectiveness of four competing creative approaches as part of the tender process to select an advertising agency to create an advertising campaign for the OEA; and

* Evaluating final advertising concepts from the selected advertising agency.

Employment related

(v) To undertake a competitive benchmarking study into the performance of job brokerage by employment agencies.

Employment related

(vi) To provide strategic input for, and evaluation of, a communications campaign about the changes to Commonwealth employment assistance to job seekers and employers.

Workplace Relations

(vii) To undertake qualitative testing of workplace relations module of Bizlink.

Workplace Relations

(viii) To provide senior divisional staff with an assessment of the extent of which the Department's Australian Government Employment Group's (AGEG) clients' needs were being met and what action would be required to ensure that its products, services and ideas are as effective as possible. At the time the contract as let, AGEG was also introducing a new client service arm called Work place partners. Part of the market research was to determine what products and service clients would want to be made available to them.

Workplace Reform

(ix) To obtain information on the drivers behind public attitudes to further workplace reform.

Unfair Dismissals in Small Business

(3) (i) Given the limited budget indicated for this project, and the fact that it was not communications related research, the Office of Government Information and Advertising provided informal advice only on the most effective way to conduct this research. OGIA suggested the names of some research consultants who would be capable of carrying out the project on a restricted budget.

Office of the Employment Advocate

(ii) OGIA provided advice on preparing the brief, comments on the draft brief and a list of consultants to be invited to tender for the project. A representative of OGIA was also present at question and answer sessions for the prospective tenderers and provided advice as part of the selection process.

Office of the Employment Advocate

(iii) Advice was provided by OGIA on preparing the brief, comments on the draft brief and a list of consultants to be invited to tender for the project. A representative of OGIA was also present at question and answer sessions for the prospective tenderers and provided advice as part of the selection process.

Office of the Employment Advocate

(iv) OGIA advised on the process to be used to select a consultant for project and provided comments on the draft brief prepared by the OEA. OGIA also provided advice on the reasonableness of costings provided for this project.

Employment related

(v) There was no involvement of the OGIA.

Employment related

(vi) The engagement of a consultant for campaign followed due process as advised by the OGIA; key components were:

* the Department and OGIA developed the brief and compiled a list of five consultants who could be invited to tender;

* the Ministerial Committee on Government Communications (MCGC) approved the final brief and, as a consequence, the list of consultants to be invited to tender;

* the tenders received were assessed by a committee comprised of representatives from the Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs, the Office of the Minister for Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs and OGIA; and

* final selection of the consultant was made by the department with advice from OGIA.

Workplace Relations

(vii) OGIA provided, from their database, a shortlist of two appropriate research consultants to invite to submit proposals, plus a back-up company to be invited to tender if one of the other companies were unable to tender.

Workplace Relations

(viii) OGIA examined the initial draft brief to consultants and provided a list of research consultants to whom the brief could be sent.

Workplace Reform

(ix) OGIA was not involved in this process.

Unfair Dismissals in Small Business

(4) (i) (a) Four agencies were contacted but only one could meet the department's requirements. (b) One tender proposal was received.

Office of the Employment Advocate

(ii) (a) Four companies were invited to submit proposals. (b) Three tender proposals were received.

Office of the Employment Advocate

(iii) (a) Four companies were invited to submit proposals. (b) Two tender proposals were received.

Office of the Employment Advocate

(iv) (a) One company was invited to submit a proposal. (b) One proposal was received. For this project OGIA advised that it was appropriate to invite only the successful tenderer for project (iii) to tender. This was on the basis that the project closely related to project (iii) and the knowledge of the topic area and the needs of the OEA gained through this project would be likely to result in a better outcome from project (iv) than would otherwise be possible.

Employment related

(v) (a) This was an open tender process. (b) Twenty-two tenders were received.

Employment related

(vi) (a) Five organisations were provided with a brief and invited to submit proposals. (a) Three submitted proposals.

Workplace Relations

(vii) (a) Two companies were invited to submit proposals. (b) Two proposals were received.

Workplace Relations

(viii) (a) Four firms were invited to submit proposals. (b) Three submitted a proposal.

Workplace Reform

(ix) (a) The department, on behalf of the Labour Ministers Council (LMC), has established a panel of researchers who are available to undertake workplace relations related research projects including market research. The panel was formed through an open national advertisement. (b) Thirty-four researchers submitted proposals to be part of the panel.

Unfair Dismissals in Small Business

(5) (i) Brian Sweeney and Associates.

Office of the Employment Advocate

(ii) Eureka Strategic Research.

Office of the Employment Advocate

(iii) Brian Sweeney and Associates.

Office of the Employment Advocate

(iv) Brian Sweeney and Associates.

Employment related

(v) KPMG.

Employment related

(vi) Worthington Di Marzio.

Workplace Relations

(vii) ACA Research Pty Ltd.

Workplace Relations

(viii) Consumer Contact.

Workplace Reform

(ix) Australasian Research Strategies Pty Ltd.

Unfair Dismissals in Small Business

(6) (i) The contract price and the actual amount expended was $5,500.

Office of the Employment Advocate

(ii) Contract price was $23,500. The actual amount expended was $23,500.

Office of the Employment Advocate

(iii) Contract price was $74,000. The actual amount expended was $71,700.

Office of the Employment Advocate

(iv) Contract price was $39,000. The actual amount expended was $39,000.

Employment related

(v) Estimated cost of the project was $92,000. Actual amount expended was $91,300.

Employment related

(vi) The initial contract was $119,900. Subsequent variations increased the value of the contract to $190, 944.

Workplace Relations

(vii) The estimated price was $7,280 with the actual amount expended $7,640.

Workplace Relations

(viii) Contract price was $25,000. The actual amount expended was $25,000.

Workplace Reform

(ix) The contract price was up to $340,000 plus a maximum of $35,000 for travel. The project was to be undertaken in stages. To 30 November 1998 no funds have been expended. Stage 1 has been completed and Stage 2 is nearing completion. The project was jointly commissioned by the Commonwealth and participating members of the Labour Ministers' Council (LMC). The Commonwealth's share of Stages 1 and 2 is $185,667.50, with the other participating governments contributing $75,222.50.

Decisions have not yet been taken on proceeding with the final stages. Should these stages proceed, the Commonwealth's share is anticipated to be $78,750 and the participating government's share is $26,250.