1001.0 - Annual Report - ABS Annual Report, 2004-05  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/10/2005   
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Contents >> Section 6 - Appendixes >> Appendix 10 - Purchasing and assets management

Appendix 10 - Purchasing and assets management


The ABS actively applies the Australian Government’s core purchasing policies and principles to ensure compliance with all relevant government policies.

In accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines, goods and services acquired by the ABS are purchased through a process which ensures the attainment of value for money. The Central Procurement Unit provides advice and assistance, on a national basis, to ABS staff undertaking purchasing activities to promote policy compliance and achieve the most appropriate outcomes.



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, totalling almost $100 million at 30 June 2005.

The ABS develops approximately $16 million of internally generated software each year and purchases around another $2 million of vendor supplied software. In addition, the ABS purchases between $5 million and $8 million of information technology hardware annually.

The current strategies to manage this investment are:
  • strategic direction and oversight by a senior executive board
  • annual development and quarterly monitoring of corporate information technology budget and work program
  • enhancement and/or replacement of existing software and hardware where justified by business demands on a rolling program
  • 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. At 30 June 2005, all ABS assets are recorded at fair value.


At 30 June 2005 the ABS’ major assets totalled nearly $120 million and are made up of the following major asset classes:


Image: Table 10.1: ABS Major assets at 30 June 2005

The disclosed asset figures are net of accumulated depreciation. Depreciation is determined on a straight-line basis for all fixed assets at a rate to allocate the depreciable amounts over the useful lives of the assets.

As part of its overall management strategy, the ABS actively manages its disposals program to ensure it receives value for money outcomes from assets that have reached the end of their economic or useful life.

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