Commercial and Government Services

John Edge

John Edge
Deputy Secretary

Commercial and Government Services (CGS) provides advice on the Australian Government’s Business Enterprises (GBEs) and commercial entities, manages the domestic non-Defence property portfolio and undertakes the review and reform of such assets including divestment, where relevant. It is also responsible for the delivery of whole-of-government information and communications technology services, develops and maintains the Australian Government's procurement policy framework (including the initiation and management of a range of whole-of-government contracts), and manages the Australian Government’s special claims, insurance and risk management operations

Deputy Secretary: John Edge
Phone: (02) 6215 3552 



Commercial and Claims Division

First Assistant Secretary: Andrew Jaggers
Phone: (02) 6215 3853

Commercial and Claims administers the Australian Government's self managed general insurance fund (Comcover), including management of claims.

Risk and Claims

Assistant Secretary: Sharon Ong
Phone: (02) 6215 2485

Risk and Claims administers Comcover, the Australian Government's self-managed insurance fund. Comcover was established with two key objectives:

  • to provide a comprehensive insurance fund to protect Australian Government entities against the impact of insurable losses; and
  • to promote better practice risk management in entities to improve policy formulation and delivery of Government programs and services so as to deliver a net benefit to the Budget over the long-term.

Comcover operates by collecting premiums from participating members and accumulating reserves to meet anticipated future losses from those reserves. Through outsourced services contracts, Comcover also provides risk management, education, insurance broking and overseas travel assistance services to participating Fund Members.

Comcover is also responsible for managing and investigating claims under the following discretionary mechanisms in the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013

In addition, Comcover provides policy guidance for the Scheme for Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration (CDDA Scheme). Claims under the CDDA Scheme are managed and investigated by the relevant non-Corporate Commonwealth entity (such as a Commonwealth agency or department).

Government Businesses

Assistant Secretary: Suzanne Pitson
Phone: (02) 6215 3836

Government Businesses oversees and manages the Government's shareholding in Government Business Enterprises (GBEs) including providing advice on potential reforms, and advises on the appointment and remuneration of GBE Boards and CEOs. Government Business Oversites also provides advice to the Government on other public non-financial corporations.

Infrastructure Financing

Assistant Secretary: Phil Smith
Phone: (02) 6215 1496

Infrastructure Projects oversees and manages the Minister for Finance's joint shareholding in NBN Co Limited, and the Australian Rail Track Corporation Study.

Projects Team

Assistant Secretary: Stephen Sorbello (Acting)
Phone: (02) 6215 3520

The ASIC Registry Project oversees and manages the scoping studies for the implementation of market testing for the operation of the ASIC registry services.

ASC Reform Implementation

Assistant Secretary: Carly Makin (Acting)
Phone: (02) 6215 3788

The government has commissioned a strategic review of ASC Pty Ltd's mandate, corporate and capital structure and governance arrangements.

The strategic review will consider options to ensure ASC's shipyards and workforce are structured to support the government's commitment to naval shipbuilding.

The outcomes of the strategic review will be considered in conjunction with future decisions on submarines and surface shipbuilding programmes.

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Property and Construction

First Assistant Secretary: Stacie Hall
Phone: (02) 6215 2727

Property Portfolio and Construction is responsible for:

  • The provision of advice and support to government and officials in relation to the Commonwealth Property Management Framework, Lands Acquisition Act, the PWC Act, relevant sections of the Native Title Act, the National Land Ordinance and the Commonwealth Property Disposal Policy.
  • Supporting the government's agenda to modernise approaches for the efficient delivery and management of publicly funded services and assets, including rationalising surplus office leases and coordinated procurement arrangements for property services.
  • The efficient and effective administration of the Finance-managed property portfolio, including the major capital works programme, construction, major refurbishment, sustainability, acquisition, ownership and disposal of real property

Property Efficiency

Assistant Secretary: Andrew Staines
Phone: (02) 6215 2124

Property Efficiency is responsible for developing policy, and providing guidance to Commonwealth entities on compliance and practice relating to property management. The Branch is responsible for driving efficiency in property leasing, pursuing efficiencies at a Whole-of-Australian-Government level, and strives to improve the collection and management of property information. The Branch is also responsible for improved WoAG performance analysis and reporting for property services and assets.

Property Capital Works

Assistant Secretary: Lorraine Holcroft 
Phone (02) 6215 3202

The Property Capital Works Branch is responsible for the construction and refurbishment of major, high-risk or complex capital works projects and property remediation works as determined by the Australian Government, including successful delivery of allocated projects and provision of advice to Australian Government agencies on construction. These projects currently include:

  • Post Entry Quarantine Facility;
  • Villawood Immigration Detention Facility;
  • Cox Peninsula, Malabar and Industrial Waste Collection remediation projects; and
  • Owned portfolio planning and delivery of major and minor works program. 

Property Legislation and Advice 

Assistant Secretary: Andrew Smith 
Phone:(02) 6215 2682

Property Legislation and Advice Branch provides guidance to Commonwealth entities on:

  • legislation and policy requirements relating to Commonwealth property under the Lands Acquisition Act 1989 (LAA) and the Commonwealth Property Disposals Policy (CPDP);
  • administration of the referral process for referring public works to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works (Public Works Committee) under the Public Works Committee Act 1969 and the PWC Procedure Manual; and
  • administration of elements of the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988 relating to National Land and sections 69 and 70 of the Northern Territory (Self Government) Act 1979 relating to Commonwealth land in the Northern Territory.

Property Services 

Assistant Secretary: Stephen Oxford 
Phone: (02) 6215 1475

Property Services support the Department of Finance's role in maximising the potential of public assets to the benefits of taxpayers, driving Whole-of-Australian-Government property efficiencies through modernising approaches to the delivery and management of property assets and services, including the non-Defence domestic property portfolio. The portfolio includes a diverse range of property types including office buildings, law courts and other special purpose properties, public interest properties, heritage buildings, residential properties and vacant land.

The Branch also has a role achieving value for money in asset management, facilities management, lease administration, tenant liaison and contract management.

Property Divestment Taskforce

Assistant Secretary: Elizabeth Hickey
Phone: (02) 6215 2153

The Property Divestment Taskforce is exploring opportunities for the Commonwealth to derive better value for money, greater consistency and improvements in efficiency from a more coordinated approach to property services delivery through the National Property Efficiency Program. The Taskforce supports the Australian Government's agenda to modernise approaches for the efficient delivery and management of publicly funded services and assets, including the coordination of procurement arrangements for property services. The Branch also has responsibility for the divestment of surplus non-defence property across Australia including those in Albury-Wodonga, previously held by the Albury-Wodonga Development Corporation.

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Technology and Procurement

First Assistant Secretary: John Sheridan
Australian Government Procurement coordinator
Phone: (02) 6215 1501

Technology and Procurement is responsible for:

  • providing advice and guidance to the Government on the procurement policy framework
  • managing AusTender, the Australian Government's centralised procurement information and e-tendering system
  • providing technical advice to support international trade negotiations
  • coordinated procurement contracting arrangements for both non-ICT whole of government procurement arrangements and ICT infrastructure and software licensing
  • delivering a range of 'whole of government' online services and information products
  • secure telecommunications needs of Australian governments

Procurement Policy and Advice

Assistant Secretary: Phoebe Thompson 
Phone: (02) 6215 3814

Procurement Policy and Advice is responsible for procurement policy development, providing advice to the Government on the procurement policy framework and developing supporting guidance for agencies. The Branch also provides technical advice to support international trade negotiations and/or obligations on government procurement.

To simplify procurement for both suppliers and Commonwealth government entities, the Branch develops and maintains suites of contracting documents and tools for procurements as well as providing tools and advice for Finance's internal procurement processes.

Procurement Policy and Advice is also responsible for managing AusTender, the Australian Government's centralised procurement information and e-tendering system.

ICT Procurement

Assistant Secretary: Angela Chow 
Phone: (02) 6215 2293

ICT Procurement:

  • Establishes, maintains and operates coordinated procurement contracting arrangements for ICT infrastructure and software licensing
  • Maintains and operates frameworks and policies for engagement between the Australian Government and ICT industry participants
  • Manages the implementation and realisation of the benefits of the Australian Government Data Centre Strategy 2010-25
  • Establishes, maintains and operates coordinated procurement contracting arrangements for telecommunications products and services.

ICT Strategic Sourcing

Assistant Secretary: Mundi Tomlinson
Phone: (02) 6215 3075

Strategic Sourcing:

  • Develops, implements and operates new coordinated procurement contracting arrangements for ICT products and services.
  • Maintains and operates frameworks and policies for engagement between the Australian Government and ICT industry participants
  • Establishes, maintains and operates cooperative procurement contracting arrangements for cloud services

Procurement Management

Assistant Secretary: Anne Collins
Phone: (02) 6215 3152

Procurement Management is responsible for the establishment, implementation and management of non-ICT whole of government procurement arrangements. The arrangements deliver savings and efficiencies to agencies and reduce the cost of tendering for entities and industry. The whole of government procurement arrangements are:

  • Major Office Machines
  • Stationery and Office Supplies
  • Air Travel (Domestic and International)
  • Travel Management Companies
  • Credit Cards, Accommodation, and Rental Cars
  • Australian Government Fleet (current and previous)
  • Australian Government Advertising (covering Campaign and Non-Campaign).

Procurement Management maintains the Fleet Vehicle Selection, the Recruitment Advertising and Tender Advertising policies, and the Domestic Air Travel and Official International Travel policies.

Online Services

Assistant Secretary: Sharyn Clarkson
Phone: (02) 6215 3339

Online Services delivers a range of 'whole of government' online services and information products. Online Services also manages the initiation and development of new, cost effective, innovative and practical ICT products and platforms in support of entities.

Online Services is responsible for:

Government Network Services

Assistant Secretary: Chris Dale
Phone: (02) 6215 1801

Government Network Services develops and supports the secure telecommunications needs of Australian governments including the:

  • Provision and maintenance of communication and infrastructure services to Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries.
  • Manages the Ministerial Communications Network (MCN) which provides secure telecommunication services to all Ministers, Parliamentary Offices, and Agency Heads, in Parliament House and throughout Australia
  • Manages the National Telepresence System (NTS) which provides secure video conferencing facilities at Australian Government offices, Parliament House and the offices of Premiers and Chief Ministers in every state and territory;
  • Manages the Intragovernment Communications Network (ICON), an optical fibre network that links Commonwealth offices throughout Canberra;
  • Provides secure Wide Area Network (WAN) communications services for Australian Government departments with interstate communications requirements; and
  • Provides communications support to whole of government functions such as CHOGM, APEC, and Continuity of Government initiatives.

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Last updated: 08 March 2017