The Northern Territory Government (NTG) is seeking suppliers to deliver a range of telecommunications services as a number of existing contracts near their expiry. The Department of Corporate and Information Services (DCIS) is responsible for managing all outsourced ICT services on behalf of the NTG’s 33 agencies and has issued the Request for Tender (RFT).
According to the RFT, NTG is looking to appoint one or more suppliers across five separate telecommunications service categories, each of which may be established as a panel of more than one supplier, depending upon the outcome of the RFT evaluation process. The categories include:
- Mobile Services;
- Satellite Services;
- Fixed Voice Services;
- Wide Area Network (WAN) Data Carriage Services; and
- Mobile Equipment.
The separate categories to be delivered at a whole-of-government level will be assessed separately. Based on the evaluation of responses, NTG will decide whether it awards more than one service category to a particular supplier.
A summary of NTG’s ICT strategic drivers for “the forthcoming generation of outsourcing contracts” is included in the tender documents. The drivers include:
- The need for high speed telecommunications networks;
- A mobile workforce facilitated by increased convergence of mobile technology; and
- Enhanced end user experiences through integrated networks.
Senior Director of Commercial and Business Services at DCIS, Chris Hosking confirmed to Intermedium the contracts that will expire at the end of 2013 or in early 2014:
- A three year Data Carriage Services contract with Telstra which is due to expire in December 2013;
- A three year Voice Carrier Services contract with Telstra which covers fixed phone lines, mobile services and satellite phone services also due to expire in December 2013;
- Two contracts for Voice Carrier Services with Optus and Pivotel due to expire in December 2013 but with the possibility of two one year extensions;
- A three year Network Management contract with NEC which covers the management of the Territory’s WAN due to expire in May 2014.
The NTG is currently under tight fiscal constraints to reduce the operating deficit and plans to increase agency savings from $73 million in 2012-13 to $300 million in 2015-16. This environment is reflected in the tender documents which state NTG is “seeking innovative methods…for minimising costs”.
DCIS received a total of $158.5 million in the 2013-14 Territory Budget, $28 million of which was earmarked specifically for ICT services.
In its 2012-13 Annual Report, DCIS listed “telecommunications that benefit communities across the Northern Territory” as one of its strategic priorities for 2013-14 and noted that it must oversee the “expansion of telecommunications infrastructure and services in remote communities”.
According to tender documents, it is difficult to deliver these services across the whole Territory because of its sparse population. One of the main problems is delivering ICT services to rural communities.
DCIS was allocated $2.8 million in the 2013-14 Budget to fund its arrangement with Telstra to expand mobile services into eight remote communities and install ADSL2+ Broadband into six.
Tender applications for the telecommunications services RFT are due to close on 15 January 2014 with the contract due to be awarded by June 2014.
For more information, please contact the Editor (02) 9955 9896.