Frequently Asked Questions - Phase 2: Labour Hire Services

Use of the Panel for Commonwealth Entities

Yes. The Panel is mandatory for non-corporate Commonwealth entities (NCEs) that are subject to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act). 

Use of the Panel is optional for corporate Commonwealth entities (CCEs) and Commonwealth companies (CCs), including Government Business Enterprises (GBEs), authorised by the Department of Finance (Finance) to use the Panel.

Following the Panel commencement on 7 August 2023, NCEs and other participating entities must use the Panel for all new contracts and should transition to the Panel within 6 months of commencement.

Any current contracts for in scope services must consider transition as part of a value for money assessment before exercising an option to extend.

About the Panel

Due to the high volume of tenders expected, the procurement process is being completed in three phases. This will help to manage the risks associated with this large and complex procurement and ensure services under the Panel are operational as quickly as possible.

Each phase is being conducted through a separate open approach to the market.

The anticipated dates for the procurement phases and commencement dates are as follows: 

PhaseService AreasService Launch
1Recruitment and board search services SON389776919 October 2022
2Labour hire services SON39650207 August 2023
3Professional contractor servicesTo be advised

The request for tender for each phase, and any notices related to the procurement process, will be published on AusTender.

Following services commencement, each phase of the People Panel will have a separate standing offer number (SON), head agreement, request for quotation (RFQ) and order templates.

People Panel Phase 2 covers labour hire services.

The service categories for labour hire worker engagement include:

  • corporate services (includes accounting and finance / administration / communications and marketing / human resources)
  • policy and program (service delivery / portfolio, program and project management / policy)
  • data and knowledge (information and knowledge management / data and research)
  • compliance and legal (compliance and regulation / legal and parliamentary / monitoring and audit)
  • other workers (intelligence / senior executive / trades and labour / science and health).

People Panel Phase 2 also includes fees for services that cover:

  • conversion services, where the labour hire worker accepts an offer of direct APS employment from that entity into a similar position
  • introduction services, where the service provider introduces to the entity an APS employee from another entity (section 26 transfer)
  • placement services, where the service provider facilitates the sourcing of a candidate for a non-ongoing APS position of employment.

The following services are not available under the Panel:

  • provision of labour hire workers for information, communication and technology services roles (roles commonly listed in the ICT and digital solutions job family)
  • provision of labour hire workers for resource and construction roles (including industrial, agricultural, infrastructure, mining, forestry, fisheries, maritime, meatworkers, manufacturing, textiles, building)
  • provision of labour hire workers for military engineering roles
  • provision of labour hire workers for statutory appointments
  • provision of labour hire workers for non-statutory appointments (for example to audit committee and consultative committees)
  • provision of labour hire workers for learning and development services roles
  • services provided under other Whole of Australian Government coordinated procurements such as legal services and property services roles
  • the provision of consultancy services as defined in the Australian Government’s guide on Procurement Publishing and Reporting Obligations (RMG423)
  • recruitment of Australian Public Service (APS) employees, other than the provision of introduction and placement services as described in Schedule 2 of the head agreement.

Labour hire workers can be engaged under the following circumstances:

  • where there are short-term absences
  • to meet urgent unforeseeable demand or peak workloads
  • to meet specific budget allocation for a particular project.

The People Panel term will be approximately 4 years. Services commence from 7 August 2023 with the head agreements expiring on 30 June 2027.

Finance may choose to extend the Panel up to four years in total.

The tender was conducted in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules. This included a value for money assessment of all respondents on the basis of demonstrated capability, capacity, experience, pricing and compliance with other criteria outlined in the request for tender.

The Department of Finance was responsible for the procurement process.

‘On the Panel’ refers to the service providers who were selected for one or more service categories for which they were assessed.

Yes. The Panel is funded through a coordinated procurement fee (Panel Fee). The Panel Fee covers Finance’s costs of procuring and administering the Panel, reviewing its effectiveness, and refreshing the Panel as required. 

The initial Panel Fee will be 1.5% of the GST exclusive contract commitment. 

The fee methodology will be adjusted when Finance has established its panel administration platform. Refer to the user guide for further information. 

The implementation date of the platform has not yet been determined. 

The Panel Fee will be invoiced quarterly in arrears by Finance directly to entities.

Accessing the Panel

Information about service providers will be made available on the People Panel website and through AusTender’s administration site: Dynamic Sourcing for Panels (DS4P). Information includes contact details and a pricing matrix with the service provider’s approved service categories and fees.

The Panel templates such as the RFQ, order for services, variation to order of services, service provider pricing matrix and head agreement are available on DS4P. 

The RFQ, order template and head agreement will also be made available on the People Panel Phase 2 website.

Dynamic Sourcing for Panels (DS4P) is a central AusTender functionality that provides government buyers with a standard and streamlined approach to sourcing their goods and services from panels. 

Refer to the user guide for more information on using DS4P.

NCEs’ central procurement areas manage staff access to the People Panel through AusTender’s DS4P by using a panel buyer account. Panel users with an existing panel buyer account can search for the People Panel using the standing offer notice (SON) identifier (SON3965020). New users should contact their central procurement area for DS4P access requests.

Other entities such as CCEs, CCs and GBEs who wish to access the Panel and gain procurement efficiencies when sourcing labour hire services must first notify the People Panel contract management team via email: The People Panel contract management team will review your request to participate and provide you with further details including a deed of participation which establishes the conditions of participation for CCEs, CCs and GBEs. 

Access will be granted once a duly approved and executed Deed of Participation is provided to Finance.

Entities which have not opted in to use DS4P will be able to access most Panel information via the People Panel GovTEAMS Community. Pricing information will be managed separately, due to the confidential nature of the information. 

To request access to the GovTEAMS community, contact the People Panel contract management team at

Purchasing services

Entities can engage a service provider using the request for quote/proposal/tender (RFx) functionality on DS4P. 

Entities which have not yet opted in to use DS4P may conduct their RFQ process via email.

eLearning tutorials are available on GovTEAMS to support panel buyers to navigate DS4P and conduct RFQs through the RFx functionality. Panel buyers should contact their entity RFx manager to access these tutorials and will require a GovTEAMS Official account.

Scribing is in scope of Phase 2: Labour Hire Services. Scribing services are not recognised as a separate subcategory of the People Panel Phase 2. 

Where an entity engages a labour hire worker (at any level), that worker can be directed to undertake duties for any activity related to the requirements of the role, including human resource activities such as recruitment processes or scribing services. 

Note: where scribing services are required in support of a recruitment activity, People Panel Phase 1: Recruitment and Search Services may be utilised in conjunction with other recruitment services from the Panel. Each phase of the People Panel has independent SON, head agreement and RFQ and order templates.

The job mapping matrix matches the service categories under Panel to the APSC Job Family Framework. The Framework is the basis for the job family and job role categories that are used to identify the type of role being filled by a labour hire worker.

Entities may convert a labour hire worker engaged under the Panel to direct APS employment. 

The user guide provides information on the criteria for conversions and applicable fees.

Through introduction services, entities may utilise the Phase 2 Panel to fill an ongoing or temporary vacancy through a section 26 transfer from another APS entity. 

Placement services facilitates the sourcing of a candidate for non-ongoing APS employment. 

Recruitment in support of a merit selection process can be procured through the Phase 1 Panel – Recruitment and Search Services. RFQ, order templates and supplier lists can be located on DS4P under panel number PNL3519.

Yes. An entity, may at its own discretion, refer a person to a Panel service provider for the purposes of being engaged under an Order. 

Refer to the user guide for further information.

Engagements of 21 or more labour hire workers can be initiated on a bulk or express basis. 

Entities seeking to fill positions on this basis should provide the following information in their request for quotation: 

  • the number and location of labour hire workers to be provided 
  • the mandatory pre-engagement checks and clearances that are required for those labour hire workers. 

Refer to section 12 of the Panel user guide for details information on the requirements for bulk recruitment.

Panels impacted by services under Phase2

Existing Standing Offer arrangements that are in scope of Phase 2 of the Panel should be transitioned once the People Panel is operational.

You should manage termination, reduction of services, or transition to use the People Panel in consultation with your Service Providers, after having obtained legal advice.

Managers of any existing panels that will be impacted by the implementation of the People Panel will be responsible for notifying Service Providers. All questions regarding the People Panel not already in this FAQ should be directed to

Yes. A work order can generally survive the end date of a Deed of Standing Offer. The work orders should only be long enough to provide business continuity while transitioning to the People Panel.

Questions on transition to the Panel can be referred to

Yes, but only to procure those services that are not in scope of the People Panel.

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