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Purchaser-Provider Arrangements

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Defence maintains a service level agreement with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for the provision of management services at DFAT-managed overseas posts. The agreement is intended to facilitate efficient and effective Australian Government business overseas by avoiding unnecessary duplication of common services at overseas posts. An agreed fee is charged for these services. Following an extensive review and consultation process, a new agreement was signed in March 2005.

The services provided for Defence under the agreement include personnel administration, residential and office accommodation, security, financial advice and transactional processing, information technology infrastructure support, and telecommunications and secure network services for Australian-based and program support staff engaged at overseas posts.

The cost of the agreement was $4.1m in 2004-05, an increase of $0.8m from 2003-04.

Defence also maintains a memorandum of understanding with DFAT for the provision of information and communication technology services to Defence personnel at DFAT-managed overseas posts. For these services an agreed fee is charged.

The services provided to Defence under the memorandum of understanding are:

  • local area networked desktop office products at the classified and unclassified levels, facilitating emails and cablegrams being communicated to and from appropriate Defence networks; and
  • telephone exchange services, including the provision of a telephone handset.

The information and communications technology infrastructure providing these services is maintained and supported by DFAT.

The services are provided in 28 countries, to approximately 150 Defence personnel and locally engaged staff in overseas posts. A renegotiated memorandum of understanding came into force on 1 July 2004 for a three year period. The cost to Defence for 2004-05 was $950,408, a saving of approximately $50,000 in charges that would have been levied for the same services under the terms of the previous agreement.

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