Whole-of-government mobile panel to coordinate procurements

The Australian Department of Finance has established that a whole-of-government mobile panel will be responsible for meeting the current and future needs of agencies for their adoption of mobile technologies.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

iiNet, TransACT, and Dialog are among several telcos and technology services providers that will be panellists on the newly established whole-of-government mobile panel.

The panel, which will be managed by the Australian Department of Finance, has been established to create a coordinated process for the procurement of mobile services.

According to Department of Finance Assistant Secretary Mundi Tomlinson, the new mobile panel seeks to meet the current and future needs of agencies for their adoption of mobile technologies, as well as deliver efficiencies for agencies to reduce the cost of supply for service providers.

The goals set out for the panel aligns with the Australian Public Service Mobile Roadmap (PDF), which requires government agencies to actively use mobile technology for service delivery and to improve productivity.

It will be mandatory for non-corporate Commonwealth agencies to procure services such as mobile voice and data carriage, mobile handsets, and broadband devices through the panel.

Agencies will also be able to procure — as an option — for other services, including international voice and data roaming, satellite phone handsets, mobile phone accessories, and other mobile-related services such as enterprise mobility management solutions, wireless access solutions, and bulk SMS.

This is the second panel the Australian government has established after it decided to scale back the previous panel, the Telecommunications Commodities, Carriage, and Associated Services Panel, in mid-2012. The government at the time said the scale back was because the panel wasn't offering value for money through volume discounts. The initial panel was established in 2011, and was awarded 129 contracts worth over AU$46 million.

The government kick-started the tender process for the panel in November 2013, and suggested that members of the first panel including Telstra and Optus respond to the request for tender.

Tomlinson said further announcements will be made over coming weeks, hinting that more panellists will be announced.

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