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Consulting and contracting services

The Museum is committed to achieving the best value for money in its procurement practices, including contracted services for internal audit, information technology hardware and support, advertising, transactional banking, cleaning, catering, security and exhibition design.

Its purchasing practices and procedures are consistent with the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines and are also in accordance with the National Museum of Australia Act 1980 and best practice principles. The Museum annually reviews its Procurement Guidelines to ensure consistency with Commonwealth policy.

The engagement of consultants is carried out in the same manner as the Museum's other procurement activities. The priority is to obtain value for money and competitive processes are, as far as possible, used for the selection of consultants. Consultants are generally engaged when particular specialist expertise is necessary, sufficiently skilled expertise is not immediately available in-house, or independent advice on an issue is required.

The total number of consultancy services provided to the Museum in the period 2009–10 was eight, and the total expenditure on consultancy contracts during the year was $1,028,124. Major contracted services included exhibition design, information technology and facilities services.

Facilities management

During 2009–10, the Museum exercised options to extend the contract for the provision of cleaning services for a further 12 months.

Major facilities management projects commenced or completed during the year included:

  • conversion of the existing broadcast studio into a new 200-square-metre exhibition area. This work included a new airlock entry off the main Hall and upgrades to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system to provide exhibition standard environmental conditions. In association with this work, a new cloak room was also constructed to provide greater visibility for visitors and improved storage for staff
  • an upgrade to the fire suppression system at 9–13 Vicars Street to provide improved protection for collection items
  • ongoing fire upgrade projects at the Museum building at Acton, including revised exit signage and emergency lighting works
  • provision of dedicated art racking at 90 Vicars Street to provide better storage for two-dimensional collection items
  • a number of office fitouts to improve staff comfort and amenity
  • construction of a new storage facility at 90 Vicars Street to house non-collection items such as facilities stores, hazardous materials and a battery charging area for the forklifts.

This year the Museum received approval in the Federal Budget to extend the main administration building at Acton. This will see a two-storey extension to the existing administration wing off the main Museum building using, where possible, best practice in green building materials, plant and systems. The extension will provide an additional 920 square metres of office accommodation.

The primary aim of this proposal is to free up 650 square metres of existing space, currently used for administrative purposes, for public use. This will allow more of the Museum's collection to be on display and accessible to the public. The extension will also provide more efficient and functional work space and staff accommodation for the Museum.

Asset management

The Council's Audit, Finance and Risk Committee monitors the financial management of the Museum's assets. During 2009–10, the Museum continued ongoing training and implementation of changes to its asset management system, to streamline and strengthen some procedures within the system. The Museum also contributed to the development of the Australian National Audit Office Better Practice Guide on the Management of Assets by Public Sector Entities.

"Key relationships were developed within the industry to help promote the Museum as a venue to local, national and international markets."