Big savings for Council’s through Telecommunications Purchasing and Management Strategy (TPAMS)

The Victorian Government is urging local Councils to take advantage of Australia’s best telecommunications deal through a whole of government initiative known as the Telecommunications Purchasing and Management Strategy (TPAMS). Minister for Information and Communications Technology, Marsha Thomson, said the TPAMS deal was offering the best overall commercial terms in telecommunications procurement currently available in Australia.

“So far, 12 local Councils have registered to participate in the TPAMS deal while more than half the Councils across Victoria have expressed interest to find out more,” Minister Thomson said.

TPAMS is a coordinated, efficient and competitive telecommunications purchasing system which aims to provide Victorian Government Departments, Agencies and Local Government with a better range of telecommunications services, more competitive pricing and the ability to access the latest technology to improve their operations.

Approximately $178 million is spent annually by Victorian Government Departments and Agencies on telecommunications services, such as fixed voice, mobile and data services. This prompted the Government to rethink its spend and establish a more strategic approach that would deliver better value for money and more bargaining power with suppliers.

Ms Thomson said that there had been a reduction in the Government’s telecommunications costs by almost $200 million over five years. The TPAMS deal was also helping to secure vital new infrastructure throughout the State estimated at more than $100 million.

Telecommunications procurements have since become a simpler and shorter process. Typically local Councils are required to go to tender for work valued at more than $100,000.

The Minister for Local Government, Candy Broad, has provided an exemption on this, paving the way for Councils to take advantage of TPAMS established and competitive contracts for their telecommunications services.

Ms Thomson said participating local Councils would benefit from competitive pricing, high levels of service and saved time and money because there was no need to run a competitive tender process.

“Business consisting of voice, mobile and data supply worth approximately $62 million per annum was awarded to Optus and Telstra in September 2004 and will result in lower costs by approximately $105 million over five years for the participating departments,” Ms Thomson said. “This has lead to a marked change in the affordability of data services enabling the Government to move from narrowband to broadband. It has also allowed for a significant reduction in pricing for mobile and voice services, improved service delivery – especially in the areas of health and education – and a change to the supplier market.”

A further $51 million worth of voice, mobile and data business awarded last month is expected to deliver an additional $85 million in reduced costs for the participating departments and agencies over the next five years – most of which will be re-invested in various government telecommunications requirements. This will be rolled out and finalised by mid 2006.

Ms Thomson said the beauty of the TPAMS deal was that it was delivering a huge boost to regional and rural areas through new telecommunications infrastructure.

“To provide services, carriers will need to install new infrastructure in areas where it doesn’t exist,” Ms Thomson said. “Councils will benefit from this as the new infrastructure will mean better and more efficient services.

“This also improves services for local residents and businesses in the region as they can leverage off the infrastructure that gets put in place in that region. A prime example is Telstra’s commitment to invest $6.5 million towards the expansion of the Mobile Broadband Network earlier this year, which was part of its successful tender for the Victorian Government’s mobile services business.

“The commitment has ensured that state of the art mobile broadband is now available in Ballarat, Geelong, Bendigo as well as the Melbourne CBD and will also be available in other locations across Victoria in the next 12 months.”

The TPAMS initiative is helping to position the Victorian Government at the forefront of public sector use of telecommunications worldwide. Victorian Councils that are not yet involved are encouraged to further explore the range of benefits that are being achieved through the TPAMS deal.

For more information please contact a TPAMS Client Services Manager on (03) 9651 7721 or email

* Copy supplied by the Victorian Department of Infrastructure