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7.2 Communications procurement

Principles

The procurement of communications goods and services should be planned and executed to deliver the communications objectives of the project, while encouraging fair and open competition between suppliers and achieving best value for money.

Procurement should comply with the purchasing principles embodied in Treasurer's Instruction 1101:

  • value for money
  • open and effective competition
  • purchasing ethics and code of conduct
  • enhancing opportunities for local business.

Policy requirements

The procurement of communication goods and services must comply with the requirements of the Treasurer’s Instructions on procurement, including Common Use Contracts and Master Ordering Arrangements (MOAs) for television, print media for vacancy, tender and public notices and radio advertising.

Further information is available from www.purchasing.tas.gov.au, including the publication Purchasing Goods and Services - A Guide for Government Buyers which summarises the requirements of the Treasurer’s Instructions. Alternatively, advice on the appropriate process can be obtained from your agency’s procurement area.

The dollar value for procurement must include full-cost figures for every stage of production or service (e.g. creative services, production, distribution, advertising). It is not acceptable to procure services or goods separately – where they are part of a single campaign – with the intention of reducing the value of the procurement and therefore circumventing approval and quotation requirements.

The Tasmanian Government’s online Register of Communications Consultants and Service Providers is provided to help agencies identify providers of communications goods and services. It is not mandatory to seek quotes from registered providers.

In addition to the Treasurer’s Instructions, the following requirements must be met in procuring communications goods and services:

Goods and services valued at $10 000 or less (exclusive of GST)

  • Approval to initiate the procurement must be obtained from the relevant agency's communications manager.
  • Treasurer's Instruction 1105 states that a quotation process may be used and the number of quotations sought is a matter of judgement.

Goods and services valued between $10 000 and $100 000 (exclusive of GST)

  • Approval to initiate the procurement must be given by the head of the relevant agency or his/her delegate after advice from that agency's communications manager and the Manager - Strategic Communications and Marketing (DPAC).
  • Treasurer's Instruction 1106 requires that agencies seek at least three written quotations, unless otherwise authorised by the Secretary of the Department of Treasury and Finance or other authorised delegate.
  • Treasurer's Instruction 1106 requires that at least one quotation must be sought from a local business where local capability exists.

Goods and services valued at $100 000 and over (exclusive of GST)

  • A public tender must be conducted except where an exemption from the Treasurer's Instructions has been granted by the Secretary of the Department of Treasury and Finance OR where an approved pre-existing contract for communications services exists with a provider.
  • Tender specifications and expenditure must be approved by the relevant head of agency or board (where applicable) and the Premier (through the Manager - Strategic Communications and Marketing in DPAC) .
  • The Tender Evaluation Panel must include the agency communications manager or their delegate and the Manager - Strategic Communications and Marketing (DPAC) or their delegate.

Advertising campaigns

There are additional planning and approval requirements specific to advertising campaigns (see section 8.1 Advertising).