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Tenders and procurement


We procure a range of goods and services from external providers. We undertake all procurement in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs).

Value for money is the core principle that is applied to all procurement activity we undertake. To ensure that value for money is achieved we:

  • encourage competition
  • promote the use of resources in an efficient, effective, ethical and economical way
  • make decisions in an accountable and transparent manner.

All open tender opportunities are advertised on AusTender.

We also report all awarded contracts greater than $400,000 inclusive of GST on AusTender.


Senate Order Contracts

On 20 June 2001, the Senate agreed to an Order requiring each Minister to table a letter advising that a list of contracts, in respect of each entity administered by that Minister, has been placed on the internet, with access to the list available through the entity’s website. The letter must be tabled no later than 2 calendar months after the last day of the financial and calendar year.

From 2016–17 the Order was broadened to include Corporate Commonwealth Entities which includes the MDBA.

The Order and subsequent amendments require that the list of contracts include details of:

  • Each contract entered into by the agency which has not been fully performed or which has been entered into in the previous 12 months, and which provides for a consideration to the value of $100,000 or more (GST inclusive).
  • The contractor, the amount of the consideration and the subject matter of each contract.
  • Reporting of ‘date’ information on the listing, including:
    • contract commencement date
    • contract end date (identified or anticipated), and
    • the relevant reporting period covered by the listing.
  • Whether each such contract requires the parties to maintain the confidentiality of any of its provisions or whether there are any other requirements of confidentiality, and a statement of the reasons for confidentiality.
  • An estimate of the cost of complying with the Order and a statement of the method used to make the estimate.

Most of the contracts listed by the MDBA contain confidentiality provisions of a general nature that are designed to protect the confidential information of the parties that may be obtained or generated in carrying out the contract. The reasons for including such clauses include:

  1. ordinary commercial prudence that requires protection of trade secrets, proprietary information and the like, and/or
  2. protection of other Commonwealth material and personal information.

The accountable authority of the Murray–Darling Basin Authority has assured that the listed contracts do not contain any inappropriate confidentiality provisions.

Estimated cost of complying with this Order: $3,500

Method used to estimate the cost: Applying salary and on-costs to the number of hours spent by staff across various classifications to collect and analyse the information

Current Reporting Period

Annual Procurement Plan

An Annual Procurement Plan is a mandatory feature of the procurement policy framework as stated in the Commonwealth Procurement Rules. It is a tool that alerts businesses to the proposed procurement needs of an agency for the upcoming financial year.

Further information on our Annual Procurement Plan can be found on AusTender.

Public Interest Disclosure Act (PID Act) – application to contractors and consultants

Contractors and consultants to the MDBA should make themselves aware of the relevant obligations and protections under the PID Act that apply to a ‘public official’. The PID Act definition of ‘public official’ is very broad and includes employees of a contracted service provider to the Commonwealth, Commonwealth corporations and statutory entities such as the MDBA.

Contractors and consultants engaged by the MDBA directly as individuals or as an employee of a contracted service provider are within the definition of ‘public official’ and therefore the PID Act applies while they are performing services for the MDBA.

Procurement Complaints

The Government Procurement (Judicial Review) Act 2018 protects the rights of suppliers or potential suppliers to government agencies.

If you believe the Murray-Darling Basin Authority has breached Commonwealth Procurement Rules, you can make a complaint by emailing the Director of Governance at

To help us resolve your complaint quickly, could you please fill out the Procurement Complaint Form and attach to your email.

When we receive your complaint, we will:

  • acknowledge we’ve received it
  • assess whether it meets the criteria under the Act
  • if appropriate suspend the procurement unless a Public Interest Certificate is issued
  • investigate and work with you to resolve the issue in a timely manner.

At the end of the process, you will receive a report on the outcome of the investigation.

You can also apply to the court for an injunction or compensation under the Act. Note that you need to submit a complaint with us first and show how the breach affected your interests.

Read more about Commonwealth Procurement Rules and exemptions on the Department of Finance website.

Updated: 28 Feb 2023