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Revision record
Please note significant document changes with a version increment of 1.0. Minor administrative changes,
where the meaning or intention of the document is not altered should increase by an increment of 0.1.
Version Date Author Summary of changes
1.1 May 2013
1.2 20 June 2016 Cathy Hansen Update section 2.4 (2); replace references to
“Panel Contract” with “Operational
and Services Prequalification Scheme”; replace
references to “vendor” with “supplier”
1.3 June 2020 Telco Commercial Updated section 1.2 to provide an overview
about the Enforceable Procurement Provisions
2019 (EPP Direction). Updated sections 5-9 to
provide guidance on applying the EPP
Direction.
Operational Telecommunications Equipment,
prequalified supplier list.
1.4 July 2020 Telco Commercial Minor updates to sections 1.2 and 5 – 9 for
clarity.
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1.3 The categories 5
2.1 General eQuote info 5
2.2 Buying – Selecting the scheme 7
2.3 General RFX info 8
2.4 Requirement specifications 10
2.5 Selecting vendors 12
4.1 Review supplier responses 18
5 Covered agencies and procurements under the EPP Direction .................................... 20
5.1 Covered agencies 20
5.2 Covered procurements 20
5.3 Exempt procurements 20
5.5 Existing Procurement Panels 22
5.6 Existing Procurement Lists 22
5.7 The procurement list - ITS 2573 prequalified supplier list 22
5.8 Considerations to address government priorities 22
5.9 Inviting suppliers to make a submission 23
5.10 Responding to supplier requests 23
6 Applying the EPP Direction ................................................................................................. 24
Document owner:Commercial Guide Updated:15/7/2020
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7.1 Creating a tender document 25
7.2 Evaluation criteria in tender documents 26
7.3 Preparing a contract 26
7.4 Awarding contracts to be based on criteria 26
7.5 Awarding a contract 27
8 Checklist to apply the EPP Direction ................................................................................. 27
8.1 EPP Checklist for buyers 27
9 Supplier complaints ............................................................................................................. 27
9.1 Supplier complaints 27
Document owner:Commercial Guide Updated:15/7/2020
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1 ITS 2573
1.1 The background
The ITS 2573 sets out to facilitate an informative and simple platform for NSW Government
Agencies to procure operational telecommunication equipment, infrastructure and services at
market competitive prices.
NSW Government agencies can access this Panel of Registered and Prequalified suppliers
through the NSW Government’s eQuote online procurement system.
1.2 Enforceable Procurement Provisions (EPP Direction)
The NSW Procurement Board established the PBD 2019-05 Enforceable Procurement Provisions
(EPP Direction) on 29 November 2019. It established the legal requirements for covered NSW
Government agencies arising from international procurement agreements, to be enacted by 29
November 2020.
agencies to conduct procurement activities above identified thresholds in a manner that allows
even competition between international and domestic suppliers.
The EPP Direction can be accessed at https://arp.nsw.gov.au/pbd-2019-05-enforceable-
procurement-provisions.
Guidance to apply the EPP Direction is in section 5 onwards.
1.3 The categories
There are three main categories covered by the ITS 2573 Operational Telecommunications
Equipment, Infrastructure and Services Scheme.
Category Description Sub-category
voice and data services.
Category A.
and maintain network Equipment
(A) and Infrastructure (B).
Project Management Services
2.1 General eQuote info
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eQuote is a NSW Government online procurement system where the agencies or buyers are able
to conduct RFXs – which includes RFQs, RFPs, RFIs, RFTs.
eQuote can be found at this following web address:
https://tenders.nsw.gov.au/?event=admin.login
To access eQuote, please contact your organisation’s eTendering administrator, who can have
the appropriate role added to your profile. If you are not sure who your eTendering administrator
is, please contact the NSW Procurement Client Support Centre on 1800 679 289 for assistance.
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1. Once logged into eQuote, click on “Buying” tab
2. Click “Add RFX” to view available panel contracts
Document owner:Commercial Guide Updated:15/7/2020
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3. Select “Telecommunications” under Category
4. Select “ITS 2573” scheme.
5. General details of the scheme will be available, such as Prequalified and Registered
Master Service Agreements, Relevant Order forms, and links to external websites.
2.3 General RFX info
1. Put in general details of RFX such as the Title, your Agency’s own reference number, and brief
Description.
2. Please specify the key dates for this RFX:
Open Date: When will the RFX be available to the selected suppliers (this can be a future
date)
Intention to Respond Date & Time: When the suppliers have to express their intention to
respond
Close Date & Time: When will the RFX be closed
Estimated Decision Date: When a decision will be made – estimate only
Document owner:Commercial Guide Updated:15/7/2020
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3. Passcodes: add a passcode to prevent uninvited suppliers from accessing the RFX
Selection Process: choose whether to automatically disclose contract once it’s awarded, and
whether to show Buyer’s contact details.
4. Estimated Project Cost: specify how much the goods / services are expected to cost – internal
usage only, suppliers will not be able to see this information.
Estimated Completion Date: Internal usage only, suppliers will not be able to see this
information
Document owner:Commercial Guide Updated:15/7/2020
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2.4 Requirement specifications
1. You have the option to put in detail itemised requirements and attach relevant documents.
2. Please specify response options as follows:
Price: select if you want to include a requirement for a simple price field for the supplier to respond
– as a Mandatory field. We recommend buyers to use a pricing template.
Free Text: select if you want to include a section for the supplier to make comments
Attach File: select if you want to include an option for supplier to attach documents
Response is Mandatory: select if you want to mark this requirement as a mandatory response for
supplier
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If the requirement is successfully added, a yellow message will pop up. To add more
requirements, just repeat the above steps.
3. Requirements that have been added are also displayed under “Current Requirements”. Use the
Edit and Delete button to make changes.
4. Click “Continue” to move to select Categories.
Document owner:Commercial Guide Updated:15/7/2020
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2.5 Selecting vendors
1. Capabilities: select the categories from the scheme that best meet the your requirements
Match All Capabilities: you have the option to filter out vendors that can only deliver part of
the categories
Prequalification Type: select whether to only show “Registered”, “Prequalified”, or “All…”
Document owner:Commercial Guide Updated:15/7/2020
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2. Click on “Show/Hide” in Service Area section to specify certain regions of service. (Optional)
3. Click “Show Vendors”
4. Click on the individual vendor names to view a detail profile page
5. Click “Add” or “Add to Vendor Shortlist” if the vendor is suitable to deliver the requirements.
Document owner:Commercial Guide Updated:15/7/2020
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6. A shortlist of vendors that you have selected for the RFX appears. Use the “remove” function
to edit list.
Document owner:Commercial Guide Updated:15/7/2020
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2.6 Review and publish RFX
1. Review the RFX to determine if it is ready to be published. Click “Continue” if everything is
okay, otherwise go back to the relevant section to make changes.
Document owner:Commercial Guide Updated:15/7/2020
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2.7 Confirm and publish RFX
1. Confirm that funding/budget is available, and has been approved by the respective agency.
Also, any engagement and conducts will comply with the Procurement Code of Practice.
Document owner:Commercial Guide Updated:15/7/2020
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2. It is strongly recommended ITS 2573 customers issue the RFX through eQuote for record
keeping and audit purposes.
3 Monitor RFX through eQuote
Once the RFX has been published, you may login to monitor the progress of the RFX. You are also
able view which supplier has opened or declined the RFX, as well as who has submitted a
response.
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Suppliers are able to ask questions regarding the RFX. You will be able to answer their queries
through eQuote.
4.1 Review supplier responses
Document owner:Commercial Guide Updated:15/7/2020
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1. Once RFX is closed, you can review the suppliers’ responses.
2. Once all responses have been reviewed, click “Split and Award” to select successful vendor.
3. You have the option to split award, and only award part of the total scope to a supplier, and
award the other components to another supplier.
4. If Split Award is chosen, state reason for splitting the award.
5. Attach the relevant ITS 2573 Order form (this is what executes the contract), and Purchase
Order if possible.
Document owner:Commercial Guide Updated:15/7/2020
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5.1 Covered agencies
The EPP Direction applies to the covered NSW Government agencies listed in Schedule 1 of the
Direction, which can be accessed at https://arp.nsw.gov.au/pbd-2019-05-enforceable-
procurement-provisions.
5.2 Covered procurements
The EPP Direction applies to the procurement of goods and services by an agency listed in
Schedule 1 of the Direction in the following threshold:
• $9,247,000 (excluding GST) for the procurement of construction services
• $657,000 (excluding GST) for the procurement of goods or any other services.
When estimating the value of a proposed contract, construction services is defined in the EPP
Direction as services relating to the construction of buildings or works including pre-erection works,
construction work, repairs, alterations and restorations.
It is recommended to apply the lower threshold of $657,000 when procuring construction-related
consulting services not directly related to the delivery of a construction project, such as consulting
services procured to support preparation of a business case.
5.3 Exempt procurements
Procurement of some goods and services listed in Schedule 2 of the EPP Direction are exempt and
do not need to be included in the estimate of the maximum value of the proposed contract. The
detailed list of exemptions can be accessed in Schedule 2 at https://arp.nsw.gov.au/pbd-2019-05-
enforceable-procurement-provisions.
• Land and existing buildings
o All land, existing buildings and other immoveable property is exempt. This includes any
associated rights.
• Public employment contracts
o Contracts where an agency engages an individual to provide labour either directly or
through a firm that exists primarily to provide that individual’s services.
o The engagement of consultants is not exempt from the EPP Direction.
• Specified services
o welfare services
o education services
o fiscal agency or depository services
o services related to the sale, redemption or distribution of public debt.
• Motor vehicles
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o The procurement of motor vehicles is exempt. This does not include services associated
with the use of motor vehicles.
• Procurement from disability organisations
o Procurement of goods and services from a business that primarily exists to provide the
services of persons with a disability is exempt.
• Procurement from another government agency
o Procurement of goods or services from a Commonwealth, State or Territory or local
government entity is exempt.
• Procurement supporting bushfire-affected communities
o Procurement of all goods and services, including construction, by a government agency
required to implement or facilitate clean-up, repairs, rebuilding, remediation and
enhancement works, or to supply associated goods or services, arising out of, in relation to
or following:
bushfires occurring in NSW in calendar years 2019 and 2020
floods occurring in NSW from January 2020 to March 2020, where a procurement is
started after 4 May 2020.
o NSW government agencies must give first preference to an appropriate Local Business
based in the local government area (LGA) in which the work is to be conducted.
o The Procurement Board Direction PBD 2020-01 Support of bushfire affected communities
can be accessed at https://arp.nsw.gov.au/pbd-2020-01-support-for-bushfire-affected-
communities
The EPP Direction does not apply to any contract entered into before 29 November 2019, including
the exercise of any option to extend the contract. A contract entered into from 29 November 2019
can include options for contract extensions if this is identified in the procurement documentation and
notified in the Open Approach to Market.
The EPP Direction does however prohibit a government agency from using a contract extension to
avoid operation of the Direction. Any decision to exercise a contract extension should be
documented sufficiently to respond to any potential complaint that the agency has extended a
contract to avoid publishing an Open Approach to Market.
5.4 Exempt measures and preferences
Certain measures and preferences are also exempted. These are listed in Schedule 3 of the
Direction at https://arp.nsw.gov.au/pbd-2019-05-enforceable-procurement-provisions.
Exempt measures and preferences include:
• a measure for the health or welfare of Indigenous people or for the economic and social
advancement of Indigenous people
• a preference to benefit small and medium enterprises (being an Australian or New Zealand
firm with fewer than 200 full-time equivalent employees)
• a measure relating to the goods or services of a person with disabilities
• a measure, including an environmental measure, necessary to protect human, animal or
plant life or health
• a measure that requires sensitive government information to be stored, hosted or processed
within Australia.
Agencies should continue to comply with the Aboriginal Participation in Construction Policy,
the Aboriginal Procurement Policy and the SME and Regional Procurement Policy.
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5.5 Existing Procurement Panels
Panels established prior to the implementation of the EPP Direction on 29 November 2019 are
exempt from its requirements until they expire. They may be used subject to compliance with
agency procurement policy.
5.6 Existing Procurement Lists
Lists established prior to the implementation of the EPP Direction are exempt from its requirements
for 12 months from the introduction of the EPP Direction (until 29 November 2020). They may be used
subject to compliance with agency procurement policy.
5.7 The procurement list - ITS 2573 prequalified supplier list
Under the EPP Direction, a covered agency may use a procurement list established by another
government agency.
The ITS 2573 prequalified supplier list is established in accordance with the criteria set out in the EPP
Direction that apply to procurement lists and on that basis a covered agency can comply with the
EPP Direction by using a prequalified supplier from the prequalified supplier list in relation to a
procurement of goods and services, where the estimated value of the procurement is or exceeds
the applicable threshold as set out in the EPP Direction.
In summary, the procurement list for this scheme is the ITS 2573 prequalified supplier list.
5.8 Considerations to address government priorities
For some high-value covered procurements, you must include additional criteria that support NSW
Government priorities. This includes:
• providing employment and business opportunities for Aboriginal people
• supporting apprenticeships and trainees on construction projects.
The EPP Direction does not affect how a covered agency applies these criteria.
For specific evaluation criteria about goods and services:
• For contracts over $3 million. You must apply a minimum 15% of the non-price evaluation criteria
to assessing how suppliers will support the government’s economic, ethical, environmental and
social priorities. You must allocate at least 10% (i.e. 2/3 of the 15%) to SME participation.
• For contracts under $3 million. You can include a non-price evaluation criterion to assess how
SME suppliers will support the government’s economic, ethical, environmental and social
priorities.
• For contracts over $10 million. You must require suppliers to include an Aboriginal Participation
Plan in their tender responses and put in place evaluation criteria for assessing this.
For specific evaluation criteria about construction:
• Contracts over $1 million or directed primarily at Aboriginal communities. You must set a target
to spend 1.5% of the contract value on supporting Aboriginal participation. You should also set
higher goals where possible. You must require prospective suppliers to submit an Aboriginal
Participation Plan in their tender response and make sure the successful supplier implements
their plan. This includes making make sure suppliers report quarterly (projects over $1 million) or
monthly (projects over $10 million) on implementing their plan.
Document owner:Commercial Guide Updated:15/7/2020
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• Contracts under $10 million. You should include evaluation criteria that assess suppliers’
commitment to skills development through apprenticeships and training. You should also
monitor this after awarding the contract and include reporting and compliance requirements in
the contract.
• Contracts over $10 million. You must set specific targets for hiring apprentices and trainees and
include these in the tender requirements. You must evaluate suppliers’ capacity to meet these
when you evaluate bids or submissions and award the contract. You must also make sure the
successful supplier commits to quarterly reporting.
• Contracts over $100 million. You must evaluate suppliers based on their demonstrated ability to
work effectively with government. You must also evaluate their ability to support our skills and
apprenticeship targets.
5.9 Inviting suppliers to make a submission
An agency covered by the EPP Direction does not need to publish an open approach to market
when procuring from a supplier on a procurement list established in accordance with the EPP
Direction. This exemption only applies for goods and services set out in the notice that established
the list.
In place of publishing an open approach to market, an agency must invite all suppliers on the
procurement list (or the relevant category of the list) to submit proposals for the procurement.
If invitations are issued to a limited number of suppliers, the notice establishing the list must state that
invitations may be issued to only a limited number of suppliers.
5.10 Responding to supplier requests
Suppliers can request information at any time, including during a procurement’s planning phases.
Any supplier that is invited to participate in a procurement can request that the agency provide
other relevant information held by the agency if this is necessary to permit the supplier to prepare
and lodge a submission.
For all procurements, you must reply promptly to suppliers’ reasonable requests for procurement
information unless providing that information:
• is against Australian law
• there’s an overriding public interest against disclosing the information (as defined in the
Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009)
• would give the supplier an unfair advantage over other suppliers in a competitive procurement
process.
An agency must make procurement documentation available for free by electronic means at the
same time that an open approach to market is published (to the extent that is practicable). This
documentation can be made available through eTendering or through some other method
advised in the open approach to market.
Agencies must make debriefings available on request and outline the reasons the submission was
unsuccessful.
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6.1 Non-discrimination
The EPP Direction prohibits discrimination based on a supplier’s location or the origin of the supplier’s
goods or services. This includes discrimination against suppliers located in Australia. The Direction
also prohibits an agency from discriminating against any supplier due to their foreign affiliation or
ownership.
This prohibition applies for all suppliers wherever they are located. It is not limited to suppliers from
nations that are party to a government procurement agreement with Australia. It applies to all
procurement covered by the EPP Direction and applies to all aspects of the procurement process.
For example, an agency should ensure that:
• conditions for participation do not discriminate against overseas suppliers
• there is no requirement for prior experience in Australia
• there is no requirement that a supplier have previous contracts with a government agency in
Australia
• technical specifications are based on international standards where they are available and
relevant
• financial assessment of a supplier is based on the supplier’s business activities wherever they
have occurred.
6.2 Time period for supplier response
An agency must provide suppliers with sufficient time to prepare and submit a response to any
invitation to participate in a procurement, consistent with the agency’s reasonable needs. This
applies to any form of submission including a Request for Quote (RFQ), a Request for Tender (RFT) or
an Expression of Interest (EOI).
The time period must be at least 25 calendar days (or 10 calendar days in some specified
circumstances) even where some suppliers may be able to respond in a shorter period. The…