New South Wales Procurement Board
Category
NSW Procurement Board Direction
Identifier
PBD-2014-03
Status
Active

PBD-2014-03 Telecommunications procurement

Description:

Requirements applying when NSW Government agencies are planning the procurement of telecommunications.

FunctionProcurementSubjectAcquisition

This Direction deals with procurement of telecommunications by or for a government agency within the meaning of the Public Works and Procurement Act 1912 (as amended).

The Procurement Board recognises that since 2012 agencies have largely adopted a coordinated approach to telecommunications procurement, with agencies forwarding proposed telecommunications agreements for review by the ICT Board’s Procurement and Technical Standards (PTS) Working Group and providing data measuring the benefits of adopting a coordinated approach to telecommunications across government.

Apart from assisting agencies to achieve better telecommunications deals, the PTS Working Group process helps the Government better understand new product and service offerings in the market, contemporary market pricing and service standards, and make more informed procurement decisions in an increasingly contestable telecommunications market. Collecting data on current and proposed telecommunications expenditure assists agencies to collaboratively develop strategic approaches to market engagement.

The Board appreciates that each agency carries the cost of consulting and sharing information about their telecommunications procurements, but these activities are returning a real benefit to Government. The NSW Audit Office report, Making the most of government purchasing power – telecommunication released on 26 June 2014, identifies that the ICT Board’s PTS Working Group has achieved significant savings to date. The Board concurs with the Auditor General’s view that improved collaboration on telecommunications procurement will deliver better value for money and savings.

Accordingly, under this Direction, each NSW Government agency will:

  • all RFPs for telecommunications services valued at or over $100,000 will be provided to the PTS for review prior to release
  • provide data related to telecommunications agreements to the ICT Board’s PTS Working Group upon request

The Board considers that agencies should consult with the ICT Board’s Procurement and Technical Standards Working Group as early as practicable within the planning stage of any telecommunications procurement.

This Direction was considered by the NSW Procurement Board on 23 July 2014 and takes effect from 18 August 2014 for a period of two years. On 6 July 2016, the Procurement Board extended this Direction until 17 August 2017. On 6 June 2017, the Procurement Board further extended this Direction for 2 years until 17 August 2019.

On 26 November 2014 the ICT Board considered progress on implementation of this Direction. The ICT Board now requires NSW Government agencies (in addition to two dot points above) to:

  • agencies to provide a schedule of current telecommunications contracts, including expected expiry dates and planned procurements to the PTS by 31 January 2015,
  • agencies should engage with the PTS and give early consideration to separating telecommunications RFPs to encourage a more contestable supply market for voice, data and mobile components,
  • the tender assessment process must include an analysis of the effect of proposals on overall competition within the marketplace.

Achievements and lessons learned 

In December 2012, the NSW Government adopted a new, whole of government approach to negotiating telecommunications contracts. This enabled us to leverage our purchasing power to achieve better value for money, support digital government and encourage greater competition in the market. The introduction of ProcureIT has meant all NSW Government ICT services, including telecommunications, use the same procurement and contracting framework.
A contract peer review process commenced in 2013. This process allows for greater oversight of NSW Government telecommunications contracts and assists agencies to the get the best value for money. Modern and flexible contract terms and conditions have also been instituted.
The Government Telecommunications Agreement ceased on 31 May 2014 and suppliers for telecommunications services are now sourced through the ICT Services Scheme. This scheme offers a wider range of suppliers and greater flexibility in supplier choice and pricing.
Technical standards have been introduced which outline minimum government expectations for telecommunications services. An Offer Endorsement Process was established to assess supplier offerings against these standards and ensure acceptable terms and conditions are being applied and to ensure a more efficient and timely procurement process for both suppliers and buyers.