NSW Govt to scrutinise all telco deals over $100k

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NSW Govt to scrutinise all telco deals over $100k

Ups the ante on agency procurement practices.

The NSW Procurement Board has directed state agencies to send all proposed telecommunications deals worth more than $100,000 past the state's IT procurement working group.

The formal directive is a response to findings by the state's Auditor-General that many major agencies were not getting the best price for their telco deals.

From Monday, NSW agencies will need to abide by a new procurement direction for the next two years. All contracts will need to be passed over the working group's desk, including renewals and extensions, and the group will be able to request information on existing deals as it sees fit.

In June 2013 NSW Auditor-General Grant Hehir handed down his findings on the state's telecommunications procurement, revealing agencies were not making proper use of new assistance schemes the government had introduced months earlier.

The schemes included the opportunity for agencies to avail themselves of an appointed telco broker's procurement advice, and a suggestion that deals over $100,000 should go through the procurement and standards working group.

The Auditor General found that the new scheme - which replaced the former GTA suite of procurement panels - had already earnt $3.6 million in savings dividends, but agencies had the potential to recoup more.

The recommendation spurred the stronger approach from the state's procurement authorities which will be in place from Monday.

"Improved collaboration on telecommunications procurement will deliver better value for money and savings," the Procurement Board said in its directive.

"Apart from assisting agencies to achieve better telecommunications deals, the working group process helps the government better understand new product and service offerings in the market, contemporary market pricing and service standards, and make more informed procurement decisions in an increasingly contestable telecommunications market."

It also suggested that agencies consult with the Procurement Board "as early as practicable within the planning stage of any telecommunications procurement".

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