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Public Policy Ruling 2001/2

  Austrade Rulings

Assessment principles for considering short term consultancy claims.


For the purpose of Item 6 of the table to section 33 of the Export Market Development Grants Act 1997, Austrade is required to determine whether the engagement of a person as a consultant is on a short term basis.

This Ruling describes Austrade's policy in making that determination.



The 18 October 2001 Federal Court decision in respect of Hellay Laboratories Pty Ltd clarified certain issues relating to the meaning of "short term" consultancy. Accordingly, this policy will be used by Austrade to assess any unfinalised claims and appeals in respect of short term consultancy expenses.

This ruling does not apply to grant years after the 2000/01 grant year.

This ruling does not address the other questions required by item 6 of:

(a) Whether a consultant is undertaking market research or marketing activities
(b) Whether a consultant is closely related to the applicant
(c) Whether the market research or marketing activities are related to an approved promotional purpose, or
(d) Whether the expenses incurred by the applicant are reasonable.


1. One-off consultancies lasting up to one year will generally be accepted as a short term engagement.

2. There will be some cases where a consultant is engaged on a series of short term engagements.

If the total period of engagement does not and is not expect to exceed one year, Austrade will generally accept the engagement as being short term. If the total period of engagement exceeds or is expected to exceed one year, Austrade will generally not accept the engagement to be short term.

However, if the applicant believes that an engagement exceeding one year is short term the applicant should provide a submission to Austrade.

Austrade will consider all aspects of the engagement and of the overall applicant/consultant relationship to determine whether a person is engaged as a consultant on a short term basis. Relevant factors for consideration include:

  • The number, frequency and duration of the engagements.

  • The nature of the relationship between the applicant and the consultant including the overall commitment made to each other by the applicant and the consultant.

  • The particular needs of the business the applicant is developing.

  • The nature of the relevant market

  • The nature of the task for which the consultant was engaged.

  • The usual practice concerning consultancies in the relevant industry or in relation to a particular type of consultancy.

  • The applicant's export development plans.

The applicant's submission should address these factors and any other factors considered relevant.

Austrade is not confined to a consideration of the work done or other factors of the engagement in the grant year but will also consider periods before and after the grant year.
(c) Australian Trade Commission


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