1001.0 - Annual Report - ABS Annual Report, 2005-06  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/10/2006   
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Contents >> Section 6 - How the ABS Operates >> Chapter 21 - Management of assets

Chapter 21 - Management of assets


Procurement in the ABS is coordinated through a central area that provides procurement services and contract management support to the whole organisation. Centralisation of skills and support ensures that all areas of the ABS have access to expertise to ensure it uses procurement methods consistent with Australian Government and ABS procurement polices to achieve value for money when acquiring goods and services.



The ABS' approach to asset management encompasses the following principles:

    • asset management activities are undertaken within an integrated government asset management framework
    • service delivery needs guide asset management practices and decisions
    • asset planning and management are integrated with corporate and business plans as well as budgetary and reporting processes
    • capital expenditure decisions are based on evaluations of alternatives that take into account full life cycle costs, benefits and risks of assets
    • ownership, control, accountability, and reporting requirements for assets are established, clearly communicated, and implemented.

The major strategic issue with respect to ABS asset management is the continued effective management of its information and technology assets.

The current strategies to manage this investment are:
    • strategic direction and oversight by a senior executive committee
    • annual development and quarterly monitoring of corporate information technology budget and work program
    • enhancement and/or replacement of existing software and hardware, on a rolling program, where justified by business demands
    • projects involving information technology use the ABS project management framework and governance arrangements
    • active internal auditing program
    • internal cost recovery to ensure that full costs are attributed and balanced against benefits.

The ABS maintains an asset register to address management, statutory reporting and user requirements.

The ABS' assets are an integral element in the conduct of its business, and are part of the combination of resources required to enable cost effective delivery of services.

The asset register of the ABS underpins planning policies, analysis of financial programs, capitalisation, and reviews of performance against defined objectives.

For recognition as an asset, the ABS has an expenditure capitalisation threshold of $2,000 for general assets and $1,000 for information and technology assets including software. Assets expenditure greater than or equal to these amounts are capitalised and recorded on the assets register.


The ABS undertakes a wide variety or procurement and contracting activities, with the majority of purchases being classed as low value and low complexity.

The ABS conducts its procurement and contracting activities in accordance with its Chief Executive Instructions and the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines. The ABS advertises an annual procurement plan on Austender, and the plan is reviewed and updated quarterly. ABS has a centralised area of expertise which provides procurement and contracting support to operational areas and provides direct support for more complex procurement projects. Information on procurement policy and practices is disseminated to 155 staff through an internal procurement portal.

Through the use of efficient processes and effective application of the ABS and Australian Government policies and principles, the ABS is satisfied that its approach to market testing and contracting is highly effective, resulting in value for money outcomes for the ABS. The ABS continues to invest in developing procurement skills and reviewing processes to ensure they remain efficient and contribute to value for money outcomes.

The ABS has not entered into any competitive tendering and contracting activities during the 2005/06 financial year.


The ABS has not exempted any contracts from advertising under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 during 2005/06 Financial Year.

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