The Australian government plans to establish a whole-of-government mobile procurement panel in March next year, according to a request for tender published this week by the Department of Finance.
The mobile panel, which will cover carriage, end-user devices, hardware services and other mobile-related services, is meant to replace the existing panel of telecommunications commodities, carriage and associated services (TCCAS). Agencies subject to the Financial Management and Accountability Act will be required to use the panel for mobile needs.
The goals of the mobile panel are "to meet the current and future needs of agencies for their adoption of mobile technologies; deliver efficiencies for agencies and reduce the cost of supply for service providers; and support agencies to achieve the aims of the [Australian Public Service (APS)] Mobile Roadmap," the Department of Finance said.
"The Commonwealth's objective in establishing the new Mobile Panel is to establish an arrangement that is flexible, efficient, and responsive to changing technology and Agency business requirements so that the Commonwealth can make savings on its mobile telecommunications purchases through standardisation, in a manner that provides goods and services that are competitively priced, fit for purpose and managed and supported throughout their life."
The Department of Finance established the existing TCCAS panel in January 2011. Since then, 129 contracts totalling more than $46 million have been placed.
However, in March 2013 the Secretaries' ICT Governance Board endorsed the APS Mobile Roadmap requiring Australian government agencies to actively use mobile technology to improve productivity and deliver better and more open services to constituents.
"Establishment of a sound and efficient procurement mechanism that provides the underlying mobile products and services is a way to aid the achievement of the Roadmap's aims," Finance said in the request.
"The mobile panel's scope of services will support the Roadmap including extending the definition of end-user devices to include Mobile Tablets. Other relevant services are enterprise mobility management and wireless network solutions."
The mobile panel will be established for an initial period of three years, with options for Finance to extend the panel for two further periods of up to 12 months each. Finance has not set any limit on the size of the panel, and plans to issue further invitations to interested suppliers to join during the term of the panel, the department said.
The tender closes on 23 December at 2 pm. The Department of Finance plans to hold an industry briefing about the panel this Friday.
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