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DHS Managed Telecommunications Solutions

Background

Colin Webeck was appointed as probity adviser to the Department of Human Services (DHS) for the procurement of Managed Telecommunications Solutions during 2011.

Client objectives

This project involved the re-tender of a number of ICT works packages for data carriage and related services.

The client was seeking the best possible single provider – or combination of smaller providers – to manage all of its telecommunications requirements. Being a large Commonwealth agency, DHS needed a fit for purpose solution that met all Commonwealth legislative and policy requirements.

Our role

We provided an end-to-end probity solution that assisted the DHS project team (including contracted procurement advisers) to design a model that explored  potential volume discounts for multiple works packages, and facilitated creative value for money propositions from tenderers. This included contributing to planning documents, briefing key stakeholders, reviewing all market approach documents and working closely with DHS's procurement advisers to manage communications with tenderers throughout the response and evaluation periods.

Key issues

In addition to the need to manage multiple work packages within a single request for tender process, the project was complicated by a parallel approach to an existing finance ICT panel for related services that was being conducted by DHS with oversight from finance.

We advised senior DHS stakeholders about the options for aligning the two projects, so that they were consistent with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules, and the parallel management of tenderer engagement by DHS personnel common to both projects.

We also advised the DHS Senior Executive to formulate an appropriate response to an unsolicited offer by one tenderer to provide a combined solution to all requirements at a significant discount.

Outcomes

A contract was executed with the successful provider in 2012. The project was nominated by the DHS Secretary for the 2012 Pinnacle Achievement Awards, and Sparke Helmore received a personal commendation from the ICT Strategy and Architecture General Manager thanking us for our dedication to the project.