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Administration of the Digital Television Switchover Household ...

Administration of the Digital Television Switchover Household ...

pilot. High staff

pilot. High staff turnover has also contributed to the loss of corporate knowledge and the lack of continuity in relationship and stakeholder management. DBCDE staff also had a limited awareness of program‐level documentation that had previously been developed to guide the delivery of the Scheme. DBCDE developed a wide range of operational documentation, including project tracking and reporting spreadsheets, a project plan and procedures manual. However, the majority of these documents were either incomplete or out of date. HAS governance arrangements 30. DBCDE has established sound governance arrangements to support the administration of HAS. In particular, the department has established departmental and DST‐specific committees, with ‘traffic light reporting’ used to monitor the progress of the various elements of the digital switchover initiative, including HAS. To underpin management decision‐making, the department has also implemented a management information system which better places the department to report on Scheme progress, undertake compliance checks, validate and pay invoices to service contractors, and record and report on Scheme performance. Tender Selection and Deed Negotiation (Chapter 3) Planning the tender process 31. The procurement processes for HAS involved separate approaches to the market for each switchover region. This staged approach was important as the industry had limited experience in the delivery of government funded services. This model allowed DBCDE to procure the latest technology available with the benefit of any fall in market prices, as well as the opportunity for continuous improvement to the procurement process, through incorporating lessons learned from each request for tender (RFT) process. 32. As the Government set specific policy parameters for HAS, DBCDE was responsible for establishing the operational policy for procurement processes. DBCDE did not, however develop a procurement plan for HAS procurements. DBCDE advised the ANAO that due to the nature of the Scheme, a one‐off national tender response to demonstrate readiness was not possible well in advance of switchover. Notwithstanding the staged delivery of HAS, the region‐by‐region approach to procurement does not preclude the development of a procurement plan. The development of a procurement plan would outline the key elements of the procurement activities, helping to improve consistency across each procurement process, whilst allowing ANAO Audit Report No.55 2011–12 Administration of the Digital Television Switchover Household Assistance Scheme 22

Summary flexibility to tailor the plan to meet the needs of specific regions and to incorporate improvements and lessons learned from each rollout. 33. The RFT documents prepared for each switchover region were released on AusTender and promoted in the national media and contained sufficient information to inform the preparation of tenders by potential providers. The RFTs did not, however, outline the relative weightings attached to each of the evaluation criteria. This additional guidance would have assisted tenderers to align tender coverage with the evaluation criteria. Tender assessment process 34. The tender assessment and evaluation process involved four stages— initial screening, detailed technical evaluation, value for money assessment, and negotiations and debriefing. All tenders were assessed and evaluated as outlined in the RFTs and the endorsed Tender Evaluation and Probity Plans and in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines. Deed negotiation process 35. The negotiations of deeds of agreement were conducted as part of the final stage of the tender evaluation and assessment process. These negotiations were generally timely, however, there was limited scope within the anticipated and actual timelines to accommodate delays in the negotiation process. As the timely commencement of the switchover in each region is dependent on the engagement of service contractors, any delay in the finalisation of negotiations with tenderers can have wider impacts on the achievement of the Government’s objectives for the switchover initiative. Given the limited time available between the switchovers, it is important for the department to effectively assess the risk from delayed selection of contractors and establish suitable mitigation strategies. 36. In general, deeds were awarded in a timely manner, which was due, in part, to the existing good working relationships between DBCDE and the service contractors. All awarded deeds were published on AusTender and DBCDE had appropriately authorised expenditure on the awarded deeds in accordance with financial management legislation. Scheme Delivery Arrangements (Chapter 4) Customer communication and engagement 37. The engagement of DHS to act as the service delivery partner under the Scheme provided DBCDE with access to DHSʹ extensive customer ANAO Audit Report No.55 2011–12 Administration of the Digital Television Switchover Household Assistance Scheme 23

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