NSW Govt issues telco procurement demands

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NSW Govt issues telco procurement demands

Agency purchases must comply with new standards.

The NSW Government has released the first two instalments in its mandatory checklist of specifications and contract terms all telco suppliers into the state’s public sector will have to meet from now on.

The telco demands have been developed by the government’s procurement and technical standards working group. Any purchases that don’t meet the group's requirements will now require sign off from the panel before they can go ahead.

In the mobile space (PDF), the government will only accept carriage and bundle deals that, among other things:

  • Allow pooling of unused call and data credits by other staff on the same account
  • Offer free calls and SMS between users on the same account
  • Enable international calls
  • Enable tethering for smartphones
  • Include unlocked handsets
  • Charge calls per second, rather than in 60 or 30 second blocks, and don’t set a minimum flag fall rate

NSW agencies will now also request that staff be released without charge from mobile deals if another carrier offers better coverage in their particular location. Service providers will also need to supply a full itemised bill in CSV format for every billing period.

For fixed line deals (PDF), the state has set out the uptime standards that it expects across the three levels of need in the public sector:

  • High availability operators - 99.99 percent
  • 24 hour operators - 99.95 percent
  • 7am to 7pm business day operators -99.95 percent

It has also defined the response times it will expect in the case of an outage across the same categories.

The working group will soon add internet service provider standards, telco expense management standards and session initiation protocol standards to the suite.

The state’s procurement board has also signed off on new innovation-friendly reforms that came into effect yesterday.

They enable agencies to bypass the usual three-quote minimum pre-procurement process to directly engage suppliers to undertake proofs of concept and feasibility studies of new products and services. The short-term contracts will be capped at $250,000.

Agencies who take up the offer will be expected to publish the findings of the studies on the ProcurePoint website for other government bodies to share in their lessons learnt. 

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