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Management performance

Detailed architectural shot of an exterior feature of the National Museum, showing reddish-coloured metallic panels.
Exterior, National Museum of Australia.

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 total number of consultancy services provided to the Museum in the period 2008–09 was 26, and the total expenditure on consultancy contracts during the year was $443,307. Major services included exhibition research, information technology and facilities services.

Facilities management

During 2008–09, the Museum exercised options to extend two major facilities contracts: the provision of facilities maintenance and cleaning services. These were extended for three years and one year respectively.

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

  • refurbishment work at leased premises at 9/13 Vicars Street in Mitchell to alter the laboratory area and provide shower facilities for staff
  • a fit-out within the Medical Superintendent's Building at Acton to accommodate visiting conservators, students and professors
  • ongoing fire upgrade projects at the Museum building at Acton, including revised exit signage and emergency lighting works
  • a continuing program of energy management works, including the installation of more energy efficient external lighting. This saw the Museum convert outside display up-lighting to new generation LED lighting and the retrofitting of the Shop display lighting to LED units
  • ongoing works within the Museum building at Acton to validate and document the operating relationships between the fire system and the building management system and the Building Code of Australia (BCA) requirements
  • provision of storage space within the lower level of the Museum building at Acton to provide approximately 200 square metres of floor area that will be used for Museum storage
  • revision of chilled water plant programming to provide better environmental conditions within the Acton exhibition areas while reducing energy consumption. This was achieved through improved sequencing of the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) plant and has resulted in significant reductions in energy use and operating costs
  • a feasibility study of the Museum's Broadcast Studio to determine its suitability for conversion to a temporary exhibition gallery.

This year the Museum completed a proposal to extend the main Administration building at Acton. The proposal is to build a two-storey extension to the existing administration wing of the main Museum building using, where possible, best practice in green building materials, plant and systems. The extension, if approved by Government, will provide an additional 920 square metres of floor space.

The primary aim of this proposal is to free up 650 square metres of existing space, currently used for administrative purposes, so that it can be used for exhibitions. 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 and Finance Committee monitors the financial management of the Museum's assets.

During 2008–09, 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 enhanced asset tracking by implementing the electronic interface module to enable data capture with barcode scanners.

The Museum has also redeveloped its Asset Management Plan, revising its life-cycle maintenance and replacement program of plant and equipment.

Major assets added to the database during the year included the refurbishment of Museum buildings, the Annexe, the Medical Superintendent's Building, Limestone House, 9–13 and 90 Vicars Street, the redevelopment costs of Circa and assets associated with the Australian Journeys gallery.


During 2008–09 the Museum's Security section continued to maintain a safe and secure environment for visitors, staff, contractors and collections, including the National Historical Collection, and all Museum buildings and infrastructure.

Upgrades to security infrastructure undertaken during the year included:

  • installation of additional cameras to provide further security for objects that are displayed in the Museum's Hall
  • provision of additional storage for the Digital Video Manager system, giving the Museum more flexibility in managing material recorded by the security cameras.

The Museum worked with the Australian Federal Police in providing specialised security for visiting luminaries. Security was also provided for Museum events and after-hours functions throughout the year.

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