Contracting is an integral part of the way the Australian Government conducts business. The Australian Government is a significant purchaser of goods and services, and each year the public sector enters into a large variety of contracts worth billions of dollars.

The Guide updates and replaces the 2007 version and reflects continued interest in and the need for guidance in this area. The revised Guide updates references to legislation and policy and includes an expanded section on panel procurement arrangements.

The Guide seeks to support effective development and management of contracts for public sector entities operating under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997. As with all of the ANAO’s Better Practice Guides, each entity is encouraged to use the Guide to identify, and apply, better practice principles and practices that are relevant to its particular circumstances and the complexity of its contracting activities.

The Guide is intended to be a general reference document for senior managers, contract managers and stakeholders who are involved in the development and management of contracts. It identifies the key issues and considerations that entities should be aware of when developing and managing contracts. A number of contract management checklists and similar aids are also included throughout the Guide, which can be tailored to the particular circumstances of each entity.

The Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 were replaced by the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) and supporting rules on 1 July 2014. The PGPA Act provides a common legislative framework for the governance, performance and accountability of all Commonwealth entities.

Substantially the content of this Guide, in particular the underlying concepts and principles of better practice, remain relevant.

Further information on the PGPA Act is available at www.pmra.finance.gov.au.

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