Have your say - Commonwealth Contracting Suite - Phase 2 - Panel Arrangements

John Sheridan - CIO & CISO

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I’m pleased to present for comment the Deed of Standing Offer suite, a suite of template panel procurement documents that will form part of the Commonwealth Contracting Suite (CCS). The Deed of Standing Offer suite is designed to provide a standardised approach to panel procurement that will save suppliers and Commonwealth entities time and money.

The CCS – Deed of Standing Offer (DOCX 3.2MB / PDF 1.4MB) is now open for comment from potential suppliers, Commonwealth entities and other interested parties.

As with the CCS, the Deed of Standing Offer suite covers the Commonwealth Government’s four typical contracting categories:

  • Goods,
  • Services,
  • Goods and Services, and
  • Consultancies.

Please post your comments here or send your suggestions and comments to CCSDesk@finance.gov.au. Comments close on 5th October 2015.

Comments (1)

One of clients brought this 'have your say' to our attention today; and this opportunity to send "suggestions and comments" is much appreciated

I've personally been involved in Commonwealth tendering since 1991 first as an APS officer, and since 1997, commercially with my company. I'd like to bring to your attention what I think is a serious and often stressful aspect of panel ATMs; and that is the volume; and rapidly increasing volume, of tenders being lodged against Commonwealth ATMs and the follow-up huge effort in staffing, time and costs to evaluate this increasing volume of tenders.

Commonwealth customers have approached us recently looking for a solution And we've been fortunate enough to have been contracted to varying degrees to assist these customers. In all cases, these customers have rigorously complied with CPRs, and they've taken advantage of a secure tool to help manage the volume of tenders. As far as we're aware we are the only company that offers a tool capable of this task; a tool designed to complement an electronic tender box rather than supplant it.

We've been engaged multiple times recently to assist Departments (DEEWR, and now Education and Employment), AusAID, the APSC and DHA to 'manage' their panel ATMs. In each case our clients have used Austender as the key (and obligatory) method of advertising their ATMs. Austender makes the ATM documents available. However, these customers also include in their ATM advertisement on Austender a link to our proprietary on-line system ([Company]). Tenderers register for free to gain access to the ATM's response schedules. They compile and submit their tenders in [Company]; and customers then have the convenience that all tender documents are available in the 'one place' and available to undergo screening, evaluation and reporting with full user functional separation and security.

Productivity (of evaluation) savings are in the order of 60%. ie it takes at least 60% less time to evaluate these tenders; and when (in panel ATMs) there can be many hundreds of tenders, being able to evaluate them in significantly less time is a considerable benefit to procurement efficacy and cost. For example when using [Company] one of our customers was able to evaluate 668 tenders, comprising just over 5,000 individual items to evaluate, by deploying 15 evaluators and assigning upwards of 25 APS staff (to conduct concurrent QA) in 5 weeks - on budget, on schedule and at the necessary quality.

The returnable schedules in the CCS could be easily converted to [Company]. They'd still be available to read via Austender; but to respond; rather than striping out these pages and using Word etc, tenderers would simply access [Company] 'to do the rest'. ie to compile their tenders (including any attachments) and lodge them.

Another benefit of having all tenders in the one place is the post-tender administration of letters and deeds for execution. Where it used to take one of our customers, 4 to 5 staff, 3 to 4 weeks to prepare and mail approximately 400 covering letters and corresponding deeds; we're able to prepare and distribute the same number of letters/deeds using one staff member in 1.5 days. We demonstrated this productivity this year. The main reason we can achieve this productivity saving is a combination of the ability to extract all tenderer 'address' details from the database and use this data, together with some advanced email mail-merge tools.

All of the above is not written in an attempt to drum up business (of course more business would always be nice) - but to bring to your attention:

(1) what I perceive as a 'problem' of panel ATMs ie their increasing popularity

(2) the downstream challenges to manage the evaluation of these large number of tenders in a timely and less-stress manner and

(3) the availability of a tool which can help.

[Admin: snipped for privacy and removed the specific company mentioned]

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Last updated: 27 November 2018