Queensland Health has revealed it intends to establish a whole-of-department telecommunications panel, with the release of an Invitation to Offer (ITO) for a Standing Offer Arrangement (SOA) for the Supply, Installation, Testing and Support of Telecommunications Products and Services.
The ITO, released on 9 March 2011, seeks to establish telecommunications contracts and supplier panels for the provision, support and upkeep of Queensland Health’s telecommunications infrastructure, which includes:
- Telecommunications infrastructure products;
- Telecommunications infrastructure services; and
- Associated service delivery and support mechanisms.
The consolidated SOA contract, which will run for an initial term of three years with two-one year extensions, aims to achieve greater efficiency in procurement by minimising and streamlining the number of vendors required to meet Queensland Health’s telecommunications needs.
This simplification will involve a reduction in the number of suppliers from more than twenty to a single total solution provider, who will represent an industry consortium of manufacturers, industry channel partners, specialist suppliers and other service and related agents. According to ITO documents, the leader of the consortium will assume a prime contractor role under the new SOA.
By reforming its telecommunications procurement under the SOA, Queensland Health aims to improve and streamline service provision.
“[Queensland Health’s] strategic intention for the provision of telecommunications services is to ensure that all staff and customers may enjoy a wide variety of excellent services provided by robust, ubiquitous, standardised and well supported total telecommunications infrastructure solutions that are accessible to all elements of Queensland Health regardless of location,” the ITO documents state.
Telecommunications products and services may only be purchased from outside the SOA with formal Departmental permission, with all existing contracts to be transitioned to the new model. However, Queensland Health indicates that it may, on occasion, seek specialist providers from outside the arrangement where those vendors will best meet the Department’s business requirements.
Under the SOA, required product types will include:
- Data communications systems;
- Voice communications systems;
- Wireless LAN systems;
- Audio-visual and videoconferencing systems;
- Paging and messaging systems;
- Network security systems;
- Ancillary services (racks, UPS, etc); and
- Network management and monitoring.
In the future, the arrangement may also expand to encompass a larger videoconferencing component and a cabling SOA. It is also expected that rapid advances in telecommunications technologies and products, particularly advances in convergence, will be tested and supported by the solution implementation stage.
Queensland Health’s latest arrangement follows that of the State’s Telecommunications, Broadband and Digital Economy Office, which established four new whole-of-government telecommunications panels in late-2010. The multi-agency panels, which are split into four categories (voice products and services, data products and services, mobile products and services and special services), are available to all Queensland government agencies and encompass purchase of data, voice, mobile and special (dark fibre) products and services.
Queensland Health, however, is now exempt from the State’s whole-of-government shared services arrangements. Health and Education were left to make their own arrangements following a restructure of Queensland’s shared services strategy in November 2010.
As a result of this restructure and Queensland Health’s subsequent approach to market through the ITO, the Department will operate under its own telecommunications procurement arrangement.
Queensland Health employs over 70,000 people over 800 sites and has an annual budget of $9 billion.
The ITO closes 2pm, Monday 16 May 2011.