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Administration of the Digital Television Switchover Household ...

Administration of the Digital Television Switchover Household ...

Defined outcome 3.5 The

Defined outcome 3.5 The Government’s decision of 12 December 2008 established the outcome for HAS procurements, that is, to provide in‐home assistance to those Australians most in need of practical assistance when converting to digital television. DBCDE further defined the outcome as ‘the engagement of service contractors to procure and install STBs and associated cabling, antenna, satellite receiving equipment (if required) and training for people deemed eligible under HAS’. 3.6 The procurement process involved separate approaches to the market for each switchover region. This staged approach was considered important as the industry had limited experience in the delivery of government funded services. While separate procurement processes were conducted for each region, aspects of the process were undertaken in parallel, that is, while one rollout was in the negotiation phase, the RFT would be released for the next switchover region. DBCDE considered that this model had the advantage of procuring the latest technology available and 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 RFT process. Roles and responsibilities 3.7 For the first four rollouts, DBCDE established an evaluation committee that was responsible for overseeing the procurement process and evaluating tenders up to the point where the delegate (a Deputy Secretary) could make a decision (either to enter into negotiations with the preferred tenderer(s) or terminate the RFT process). The evaluation committee included an Assistant Secretary, and generally, three executive level officers, with the membership changing across the rollouts, primarily due to staff turnover. 53 3.8 The evaluation committee for each procurement activity had responsibility for ensuring that the process was open and transparent, and that procurement related actions were documented, defensible and substantiated in accordance with legislation and government policy. The roles and responsibilities of the evaluation committee were outlined in each of the Tender Evaluation and Probity Plans (discussed later) developed for each 53 Two departmental staff remained members of the committee for the Mildura/Sunraysia pilot, Regional South Australia and Broken Hill, Regional Victoria and Regional Queensland procurement processes. ANAO Audit Report No.55 2011–12 Administration of the Digital Television Switchover Household Assistance Scheme 66

Tender Selection and Deed Negotiation rollout. For all HAS procurements, the evaluation committee had access to personnel from: DHS; the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA); DBCDE’s Legal Services Group; BDS; the Chief Financial Officer Group; and the Procurement Advisory Unit. 3.9 All legal, probity and general procurement advice was provided for HAS procurement activities internally by relevant departmental officers. This advice was given informally through emails and direct answers to questions as they arose. The legal and probity officers to the evaluation process, from the department’s Legal Services Group, attended the evaluation committee meetings for each procurement activity. In June 2011, the First Assistant Secretary for BDS Group was appointed as an advisor to the evaluation committee for broadcasting and digital switchover matters, to assist in the evaluation process. Procurement planning documentation 3.10 The ANAO reviewed the documentation developed by DBCDE for the HAS procurements including: procurement plans; the request for tender (RFT); Tender Evaluation and Probity Plans; and additional planning activities and materials. Procurement Plan 3.11 A procurement plan provides agencies with an outline of the purpose of the procurement(s), addresses the reason(s) for the procurement, consideration of the type of procurement activity to be undertaken, as well as the value of the procurement(s). The Department of Finance and Administration’s Guidance on the Mandatory Procurement Principles, which applied at the time of the procurement processes for HAS, indicated that agencies undertaking procurements subject to the CPGs and MPPs should prepare a procurement plan. 54 3.12 DBCDE did not develop a procurement plan for any of the HAS procurements. The department advised the ANAO that because of 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 54 Department of Finance and Administration, Guidance on the Mandatory Procurement Principles, Finance Management Guidance, No. 13, 2005. ANAO Audit Report No.55 2011–12 Administration of the Digital Television Switchover Household Assistance Scheme 67

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