CSIRO engages consultants where it lacks specialist expertise or when independent research, review or assessment is required.

Consultants are typically engaged to investigate or diagnose a defined issue or problem; carry out defined reviews or evaluations; or provide independent advice, information or creative solutions to assist in the CSIRO’s decision-making.

Prior to engaging consultants, the CSIRO takes into account the skills and resources required for the task, the skills available internally, and the cost-effectiveness of engaging external expertise. The decision to engage a consultant is made in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines (CPGs), CSIRO’s procurement policy and other relevant internal policies.

CSIRO’s policy on selection and engagement of consultants is based on the principles of:

  • value for money
  • open and effective competition
  • ethics and fair dealing
  • accountability and reporting
  • national competitiveness and industry development
  • support for other Australian Government policies.

These principles are included within CSIRO’s Procurement Policy and Procedures.

Tables 5.1, 5.2 and 5.3 summarise the consultancies let and the annual spend, the reason for the consultancy and the procurement method. All values include goods and services tax.

Table 5.1: Annual spend on consultancies.
Year Spent
(estimated whole of life)
2011–12  1,621,697 1,096,277
2010–11 1,845,670 1,917,497
2009–10 1,249,355 2,282,903
Table 5.2: Consultancies 2011–12 – Summary by reason code.
Category Code Reason for Consultancy 2011–12 (to 30 June 2012)
Number of Consultancies Value
IS Need for independent study/evaluation 9 378,818
PA Need for professional assistance to manage and facilitate change and its consequence 1 75,450
SS Specialist skills were not otherwise available 5 642,009
Total   15 1,096,277
Table 5.3: Summary by procurement method code.
Category Code Procurement Method 2011–12 (to 30 June 2012)
Number of Consultancies Value
OT Tenders sought from the market place (Request for Proposal, Request for Tender, Expressions of Interest). 0 -
PM An existing panel member – this category includes standing offers, common use arrangements and approved supplier panels. 4 151,800
ST Tenders being sought from suppliers who have pre-qualified through some form of previous competitive process. 0 -
RQ Purchasing thresholds consistent with CSIRO’s minimal standards. 2 47,366
EX Exemption arrangement such as sole supplier, pre-eminent expertise or urgency and/or practicality. 9 897,111
Total   15 1,096,277

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