About the Travel Arrangements

The Whole of Australian Government (WoAG) Travel Arrangements (the Arrangements) are coordinated procurements established and managed by the Department of Finance.

The Arrangements commenced in 2010 and are designed to reduce travel-related costs and streamline processes for entities when booking and paying for official travel.

The key objectives of the Arrangements are to:

  • Reduce travel costs by aggregating government buying power to obtain discounted pricing
  • Decrease administrative costs for suppliers and entities by removing procurement duplication
  • Simplify processes by integrating technology, unifying pricing an aligning systems
  • Optimise savings by promoting behavioural change

The Arrangements are also supported by domestic and international travel policies , which require travellers to select the cheapest and most practical fare that meets their business needs.

In accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs), participation in the Arrangements is mandatory for non-corporate Commonwealth entities (NCEs). Corporate Commonwealth entities (CCEs), Commonwealth Companies (CCs) and other Authorised Organisations can elect to participate in the Arrangements with the agreement of Finance. Currently, approximately 140 entities participate in the Arrangements.

The Arrangements consist of the following five components and over 20 suppliers:

ComponentServicesSuppliers
BookTravel Management ServicesQBT
FlyDomestic & International Air Travel ServicesPanel of 18 airlines
StayDomestic Accommodation ProgramAOT
DriveDomestic Vehicle Rental ServicesHertz
PayTravel & Related Card ServicesDiners

History of the Arrangements

The Arrangements commenced in 2010 with the launch of the WoAG Travel Management Services (TMS) Panel and the WoAG Airline Panel. These two components were referred to as ‘Phase 1’ of the Arrangements, and included five Travel Management Companies (TMCs) and 12 domestic and international airlines. In 2012, ‘Phase 2’ of the Arrangements commenced with addition of accommodation, vehicle rental, and travel and card related services.

Prior to the Arrangements, most entities managed their own travel, which included negotiating and administering individual contracts with travel suppliers. This resulted in considerable duplication of procurement activities across the government and limited the ability of individual entities to negotiate discounted prices. Some entities grouped together and formed ‘clusters’ to combine their buying power and negotiate more favourable pricing and conditions. While this provided smaller entities access to better pricing, the contracts were usually administered by the larger entities with the ‘cluster’.

Included below is more detailed timeline of how the Arrangements began and how they changed over the last decade.

2008   Pre-arrangements

  • Travel was disaggregated and managed individually by each entity.
  • Procurement and administration activities were duplicated across the Australian Government.
  • Some entities formed ‘clusters to negotiate better rates and conditions with travel suppliers, such as: airlines, hotels, vehicle rental and travel management companies (TMCs).
  • However, smaller entities within these ‘clusters’ had limited contractual influence.

2009 Pathway to the Arrangements

  • A scoping study was undertaken, which determined that cost reductions and process efficiencies could be delivered through a coordinated procurement arrangement for travel and related services.
  • Tenders were developed and issued for the supply of whole-of-government travel services in two tranches:
    • ‘Phase 1’ comprised tenders for domestic air travel, international air travel, and travel management services: and
    • ‘Phase 2’, which was dependant on the success of ‘Phase 1’, comprised tenders for domestic car rental, domestic accommodation, and travel and related card services.
  • The Arrangements were mandated for all entities bound by the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997, subject to the Arrangements proceeding.

2010 ' Phase 1' commenced

  • WoAG TMS Panel was created, including five TMCs.
  • WoAG Airline Panel was created, including 12 domestic and international airlines. Discounted airfares and flexible fare conditions were negotiated using combined buying power of the Australian Government.
  • WoAG Travel Team was established to manage the Arrangements.
  • Approximately 115 entities joined ‘Phase 1’ of the Arrangements

2012 'Phase 2' commenced

  • AOT was appointed as WoAG provider for domestic accommodation services. The arrangement included fixed-price rates, negotiated conditions and venue hire services.
  • Thrifty and Europcar were appointed as WoAG providers for domestic vehicle rental services. The arrangement included discounted daily rental rates and flexible conditions.
  • Diners was appointed as WoAG provider for travel and related card services. The arrangement included virtual payment and card-in-hand products with GST compliant data.

2015 Travel Management Services (TMS) refresh

  • Existing panel arrangement, comprising of five TMS providers, was replaced with a sole-providers arrangement.
  • QBT was appointed as WoAG TMS provider.
  • The transition to a sole-provider:
    • Unified pricing of services and aligned systems and training;
    • Consolidated duty of care, security and emergency response services;
    • Provided a single source of travel data; and
    • Allowed technology improvements and enhanced online booking management.

2016 Airline Panel refresh

  • Existing panel arrangement renewed and expanded to include 18 domestic and international airlines.
  • The updated panel arrangement included:
    • Fixed-price for select fares and percentage discounts off public fares;
    • Flexible conditions, such as reduced change/cancellation feed;
    • Reduced ancillary costs, e.g. baggage; and
    • Discounted Lounge Membership rates.

2017 Accommodation Program refresh

  • AOT was reappointed as the Australian Government’s Accommodation Program Manager.
  • The updated arrangement was decoupled from the other ‘Phase 2’ services, which allowed CCEs and CCs to access the accommodation arrangements without joining the travel card and vehicle rental arrangements.
  • The updated arrangement included:
    • A revised pricing structure with reduced fees that incentivise booking online;
    • Expanded inventory sources, including content from Online Travel Agents and the Global Distribution System; and
    • Improved integration with the Australian Government’s Online Booking Tool (OBT), allowing enhanced booking management functionality and connectivity with QBT’s profile management system.

2018 Vehicle Rental Services refresh

  • Existing Panel arrangement, comprising of two vehicle rental providers, was replaced with a sole-provider arrangement.
  • Hertz was appointed as WoAG Vehicle Rental Services provider.
  • The updated arrangement was decoupled from the other ‘Phase 2’ services, which allowed CCEs and CCs to access the vehicle rental arrangements without joining the travel card and accommodation arrangements.
  • The updated arrangement included:
    • A simplified pricing structure;
    • Discounts across a wider range of vehicle types; and
    • Increased number of rental locations.

2019 TMS extension and Travel Card Services refresh

  • The WoAG TMS arrangement with QBT, which had an initial Deed Period of 4 years (from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2019), was extended for 2 years until 30 June 2021. A further 1 year extension option remains available, which will be considered in 2020. 
  • Diners was reappointed as the Australian Government’s Travel and Procurement Payment Services provider.
  • The updated arrangement was decoupled from the other ‘Phase 2’ services, which allowed CCEs and CCs to access the travel card arrangement without joining the accommodation and car rental arrangements.

Mandatory Elements

In accordance with Section 4 of the CPRs, it is mandatory for all NCEs subject to the PGPA Act to participate in all components of the Arrangements.

Eligible Participants, authorised by Finance to join the Arrangements, may elect to use all or some of the services offered through the Arrangements.

Eligible Participants include:

  • CCEs
  • CCs
  • Other Authorised Organisations

To optimise savings, Finance recommends that Eligible Participants participate in all aspects of the Arrangements.

The two available participation options for Eligible Participants are:

1 - Full participantElect to use all services available through the Arrangements, including:
 BookTravel Management Services
 FlyDomestic and International Air Travel Services
 StayAccommodation Program
 DriveVehicle Rental Services
 PayTravel & Related Card Services
2 - Partial participantPartial participants must, at a minimum, participate in the Travel Management Services and Air Travel Services arrangements. These two arrangements are referred to as Core Services and must be activated in order to access the Optional Services. The participation options for Partial Participants are as follows:
 2.1.Use Core Services Only
 2.2.Use Core Services and some Optional Services

Please note: Entities paying full-day travel allowance to their officials for accommodation are ineligible to use the accommodation services provided by AOT.

Joining the Arrangements

Eligible Participants can join and participate in the Arrangements with the agreement of Finance. Eligible Participants considering joining the Arrangements should contact the WoAG Travel Team to discuss their participation.

To assist Eligible Participants consider their participation in the Arrangements, the WoAG Travel Team may agree to provide information relating to pricing and the Deeds of Standing Offer. To access this information, Eligible Participants will be required to complete a Confidentiality and Privacy Undertaking document, which will be provided by the WoAG Travel Team during the participation discussions.

To formalise participation in the Arrangements, Eligible Participants will be required to complete the following documents:

  • Memorandum of Understanding (applicable to CCEs and CCs only)
  • Deed of Participation (applicable to Authorised Organisations Only)
  • Notice of Accession

A copy of these documents will be provided by the WoAG Travel Team during the participation discussions.

Transition/on-boarding timeframes can vary depending on the complexity and size of the participating entity’s travel program. When joining the Arrangements, a detailed transition plan will be developed by QBT in partnership with the participating entity and the other relevant WoAG travel suppliers.


Did you find this content useful?