Commercial and Government Services

John Edge

John Edge
Deputy Secretary

Commercial and Government Services 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 also 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: Fabian Harding
Phone: (02) 6215 2736

Risk and Claims administers Comcover, the Australian Government's self-managed insurance fund.

Comcover’s objectives are :

  • protect Commonwealth entities against the impact and volatility of insurable losses
  • provide a consistent whole of government approach to managing legal liability claims against Commonwealth entities
  • provide risk management and education services to entities to support best practice risk management across the government

 The Branch 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: Andrew Danks
Phone: (02) 6215 3996

Government Businesses Branch manages the Government's shareholding in a number of Government Business Enterprises (GBEs) and other public non-financial corporations, including providing advice on potential reforms and the appointment and remuneration of GBE Boards and CEOs. It also provides central whole-of-government coordination for AusGovBoards, a government website providing information about Australian Government Boards. 

Commercial Advice

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

The Commercial Advice Branch provides advice to Government on projects including the delivery of major projects and other public non-financial corporations. It also oversees the market testing of Inland Rail.

Defence Businesses Branch

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

The Defence Businesses Branch provides support to the Minister for Finance in his role as Shareholder for the Government Business Enterprises (GBEs) associated with the Defence portfolio. These GBEs are ASC Pty Ltd (ASC), Australian Naval Infrastructure Pty Ltd (ANI) and Defence Housing Australia (DHA).

To support the needs of Australia’s future shipbuilding capability, in October 2016 the Government announced that it would separate ASC into three individual Government owned companies. The creation of these three companies follows a strategic review of ASC. The review sought to identify the best possible corporate, capital and governance arrangements to help maximise the future success of ASC and the Australian naval shipbuilding industry.

The Defence Businesses Branch is working with ASC and the Department of Defence to implement the separation of ASC into the three new companies. The first phase of separation was completed with the establishment of ANI in March 2017. Further formal structural separation will depend on the outcome of currently pending procurement processes.

Back to top

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: Rachel Manley (Acting)
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

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

The Property Divestment Branch has responsibility for the divestment of surplus non-defence property across Australia. This includes the divestment of the ANZAC Park East, ANZAC Park West, East Block and West Block offices in Canberra.

Back to top

Technology and Procurement

First Assistant Secretary: Michael Hirschfeld
Australian Government Procurement coordinator
Phone: (02) 6215 2125

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

Procurement Policy and Advice

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

Procurement Policy and Advice develops, implements and maintains systems and policies to support a fair, efficient, and transparent procurement framework for the Australian Government and its suppliers.

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 arrangements are:

  • Major Office Machines
  • Stationery and Office Supplies
    • Travel :
    • Air Services
    • Travel Management Company
    • Accommodation
    • Rental Cars
    • Travel payment
  • Australian Government Fleet (current and previous)
  • Australian Government Advertising (covering Campaign and Non-Campaign).

The Branch maintains the Fleet Vehicle Selection, Recruitment and Tender Advertising, and Official Domestic Travel and Official International Travel policies.

Back to top

Contact for information on this page: Finance Web Manager at:

Last updated: 12 June 2018