Consultation period

18 August 2020 - 9:00 am To 29 September 2020 - 2:00 pm

Disability Gateway Request for Tender – Video transcript

Hi, I’m Maya, and welcome to the Disability Gateway Service request for tender industry briefing.

The Department of Social Services acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to Elders both past and present.

This Industry Briefing video will cover an overview of the Disability Gateway, a description of the Service, including a description of its functions and key requirements. Finally, a summary of the Request for Tender Pack and its attachments, as well as timeframes for the procurement and commencement of the Service.

If you wish to raise any questions, please email them to tenderdisabilitygateway@dss.gov.au. Questions and answers will be made available to all tenderers via addenda to the RFT on AusTender.

The Disability Gateway delivers on a 2019 election campaign commitment “…to establish a national disability information gateway, including a website and 1800 number, “to assist all people with disabilities, their families “and carers to locate and access services in their communities”.

The Disability Gateway looks to help individuals find services relevant to their location, their situation and their specific needs.

This Service is intended to positively impact people with disability, their friends, family and carers to access valuable information and services in a streamlined way.

This will be a national service, providing localised information.

The Disability Gateway’s main objectives are to improve access to disability information and services spanning all relevant topics including financial, employment, aids and equipment, housing, transport, health and wellbeing, everyday living, education, leisure and legal, and enable people with disability to access the information they need to have personal choice in how they participate in all areas of life. This includes assisting consumers to achieve their personal goals relating to independence, participation and wellbeing.

The Disability Gateway Service, which we will refer to as “the Service” for short, will be the primary point of contact for consumers nationally, through a single 1800 telephone number, the Disability Gateway website and other available communication channels.

The Service includes the establishment and operation of an Information Service to support consumers via the 1800 number, as well as providing content management and development support for the Disability Gateway website.

The Service is intended to provide information, be personalised and confidential, identify the needs and goals of the user, and provide connections to information, resources and assistance that align with these goals and needs, be accessible – the Service needs to support consumers who use the National Relay Service and/or Translation and Interpreting Service (TIS).

Launch on 18 January 2021.

The Service will not provide health advice, provide legal advice, conduct technical maintenance of the website, provide clarification of Commonwealth policy. This will be done through two main components – establishment and operation of a Contact Centre (referred to in the RFT as the ‘Information Service’), and content management and development support for the Disability Gateway website.

The Department launched the Disability Gateway pilot website in August 2020. It is currently open to public feedback and will undergo progressive enhancements prior to a full live release in January 2021.

The website and 1800 number will operate as an integrated service, ensuring that the information available to users is consistent and complementary, regardless of their chosen communication channel.

The supplier will be responsible for identifying updates, developing content and then providing it to the Department.

This high level view of the Gateway presents the Department’s latest thinking on role of the website and the Contact Centre as a point of first contact for consumers, the nature of the experience delivered to consumers, integration between the Gateway and government operated and/or funded disability programs, services and other resources.

The Service Concept identifies alternate pathways, and regardless of the consumer’s chosen entry channel, the experience should be consistent.

They should be connected to the resources and assistant that they need.

The Service Concept diagram is provided at Annexure A of the Statement of Requirement in the RFT Pack.

Please note that the Service Concept presented here is not required or mandated.

As part of the tender response, tenderers should clearly articulate their proposed model for the Service.

Tailoring Pathways.

Information Officers will need to work to understand each consumer’s needs and requirements. Once this is understood, Information Officers will tailor a pathway for the consumer, providing them with relevant information and then connect the consumer with a program or person that can help them further, as needed.

The approach used by Information Officers to understand the needs and requirements of callers should be applied consistently, with quality control measures in place.

As part of the tender response, tenderers should present a proposed service delivery model, including how the Service will interface with workforces across existing programs to provide effective, functional connections for consumers.

The Supplier is expected to work with government funded disability information and service providers to enable consumers to be connected with programs and organisations that are best placed to assist them.

Stakeholders will include the Department, the NDIS, JobAccess, State and Territory governments, local governments and non-government organisations that are funded through programs such as ILC grants.

The Service needs to provide national coverage.

Tenderers should demonstrate they can deliver national reach and include information regarding how they would achieve national reach.

Additionally, the staffing model of the Service needs to be scalable to account for any fluctuations in demand and minimise waiting times.

The RFT Pack is presented in multiple parts.

These parts are: Part A – Overview, background, services and tender lodgement, Part B – Information to be provided by tenderers, Part C – Evaluation Process and Response Format, Part D – Conditions of Tendering, Part E – Glossary, Attachment A – Statement of Requirement, Attachment B – Tender Response Schedules 1 to 11, Attachment C – Draft contract.

Detailed information on the evaluation criteria is presented in Part C of the RFT Pack. See clause 30 for the full details.

There are two equally weighted evaluation criteria, being delivery capacity and capability. In addition, there are also assessable items that will be considered when evaluating tenders including assessment of risk presented by each tender, financial assessment of tendered prices and benefit to the Australian economy.

Refer to the details in Part B of the RFT Pack and Attachment B – Response Schedules on the information tenderers need to provide and the format it needs to be in.

So that tenders are compliant when submitted, tenderers need to make sure that they address all of the requirements set out in Part B of the RFT Pack, including format requirements, using the 11 Response Schedules provided.

The Schedules are Schedule 1 – Tenderer’s Details, Schedule 2 – Statement of Compliance, Schedule 3 – Tender Response, Schedule 4 – Capability, Schedule 5 – Price, Schedule 6 – Financial Viability and Corporate Capacity, Schedule 7 – Confidential Information, Schedule 8 – Tenderer’s Declaration, Schedule 9 – Tenderer’s Checklist, Schedule 10 – Benefit to the Australian Economy and Schedule 11 – Statement of Tax Record.

Tenderers should avoid cross references in their tender which refer to information which can be located at internet sites or which refer to internet links. The Department may not access these links which may negatively impact your tender.

Where requested, page limits apply. They are noted in the Schedules. For example, Schedule 3 – Tender Response includes page limits that tenderers should adhere to.

Tenderers should also ensure that all information provided is in English.

Schedule 5 of the RFT outlines the pricing templates, and should be prepared as part of the tender response. These tables allow differentiation between administrative, operational, staff costs and other costs. In Attachment A – Statement of Requirement, Tables 1 through to 4 presents Forecast Input Assumptions which have been provided as a point of reference. Tenderers are required to include their own forecast assumptions as part of their tender response.

The Department has also provided assumed contact durations for both consumers and providers as a guide for tenders in developing their costing models. Three months after commencement of operations, the Department and the supplier will review demand. In the event that demand for the Service varies from the initial demand forecast, revision of staffing numbers and costs will be undertaken.

Tenders must be submitted via the AusTender website by 2pm, Canberra time, on 15 September 2020. The Department may alter the timelines at its discretion. If the closing time is altered, the Department will issue an addendum.

There are a few things to remember when submitting your tender. Late submissions cannot be accepted. Tenders must be lodged electronically via the AusTender website.

AusTender will show a countdown clock which demonstrates how much time is left prior to the submission cut-off. This clock will be used to determine if tenders have been submitted on time.

Follow the guidance of the RFT. The RFT document includes a lot of information and guidance in developing your tender response. Utilise this information and ensure you address the requirements presented.

Address the evaluation criteria. Ensure that you have appropriately addressed the evaluation criteria which will be used to assess each tender received.

Questions should be submitted to the nominated contact officer. All questions must be in writing, and only to the nominated contact officer through the contact methods identified on the front page of the RFT. This is the only point of contact for all matters and questions regarding this RFT. Questions will be received up until 8 September, five business days prior to the tender closing time.

Monitor AusTender. The AusTender website will be used to notify potential tenderers of any variations, changes to conditions of the tender and the responses to any requests for clarification. Make sure that you regularly monitor this site to ensure that you are aware of any information or changes notified by the Department.

Tenderers who have registered and downloaded the RFT documentation will be notified by AusTender via email of the release of any addenda, clarifications or other notices in respect of the RFT documentation.

Please raise any questions via email: tenderdisabilitygateway@dss.gov.au.

Questions and answers to the RFT will be made available to all tenderers via addenda on AusTender.