The Commercial Support Program is Defence's primary mechanism for undertaking competitive tendering and contracting. The program, which began in 1991, aims to ensure that support services are provided to Defence in the most cost-effective manner. Services are contracted out when it is operationally feasible, a viable market exists and industry can demonstrate better value for money.
The Commercial Support Program includes activities that were carried over from the Defence Reform Program, which officially closed on 30 June 2000. Examples are the Defence Integrated Distribution System and ADF Health Services activities.
The Defence Employees Certified Agreement 2002-2003 facilitates the application of the Commercial Support Program in Defence. The agreement covers all market testing and any other competitive tendering or equivalent processes that may result in the contracting out of a Defence civilian activity.