Sunday, April 26, 2009

National Broadband Network Consultants

The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCE) have issued a Request for Expression of Interest for "Provision of Lead Advisory Services relating to the Implementation Study for the National Broadband Network" (ATM ID DCON/09/23, 24-Apr-2009). There is a 40 page requirements document available to registered companies. The actual Statement of Requirement is a concise three pages.

Part 5 - Statement of Requirement

34. Services

34.1 The Services

The Department is seeking to appoint a high calibre recognised expert as Lead Adviser to provide high quality and timely advice throughout the National Broadband Network implementation study and to manage the production of an integrated implementation study report, that ensures that all issues are appropriately covered. It is expected that the implementation study will examine and provide advice on a wide range of commercial, financial, project management and governance and telecommunications issues relevant to the National Broadband Network.

The Lead Adviser will need to be comfortable working within a multi-disciplinary team comprised of a range of different entities, both private and public sectors and with a range of perspectives and expertise.

The Lead Adviser will be required to work closely with the National Broadband Network Implementation Division within the Department and have core members of the team readily available to the Department in Canberra, other specialist advisers to the implementation study, other Government departments, and a range of key stakeholders, as well as reporting to broader project governance bodies within Government. The Lead Adviser would work in conjunction with the Legal Adviser that will be appointed separately by the Department.

The Lead Adviser will be expected to have demonstrated expertise and wide range of experience in relation to investment in, financing of, project management of, and commercial and other aspects of large scale complex infrastructure projects, preferably with a multi billion dollar value, and preferably experience with telecommunications projects and preferably in Australian context.

The Lead Adviser will need to be comfortable working within a multi-disciplinary team comprised of a range of different entities, both private and public sectors and with a range of perspectives and expertise.

In this context, the Government considers possible Respondents may include, financial, commercial, project management, civil engineering and strategic consulting firms.

Given the complexity, high-profile, duration and tight timeframes involved in the work, the Department considers it is best undertaken by a team of appropriately qualified and experienced personnel. The Department considers it important for teams to have effective system of quality assurance, including peer review.

      34.2 Specifically, the National Broadband Network implementation study Lead Adviser will be:

  1. Contracted to, within a specified timeframe, provide lead advisory services to the Department on all relevant issues arising throughout the National Broadband Network implementation study;

  2. Provide a fully integrated report of the implementation study in February 2010, with one or more interim reports to be available on specific aspects from August 2009;

  3. Contracted to provide sign-offs in a form acceptable to the Department;

  4. Required to work with other advisers to the Department.

      34.3. The implementation study will be multi-disciplinary and will need to include analysis and recommendations encompassing:

  1. Advice as required in support of proposed legislation relating to the operation and governance of the network company, the regulatory regime, and ownership restrictions for retail telecommunications providers and other investors as required;

  2. Advice on the overall funding requirements for the network rollout (quantum and profile) beyond the $4.7 billion initial funding injection;

  3. Development of strategies to maximise the scope for private sector investment in the network company, subject to appropriate ownership restrictions and appropriate terms and conditions for participation;

  4. Advice on the optimal capital structure for the network company over time;

  5. Development of detailed commercial/financial and engineering analysis of the network roll-out and the implications for the network company;

  6. Advice on how best to structure NBN Company arrangement from the outset so that the Government’s long term objective of privatisation can be accommodated;

  7. Development of plans for the integration of the Tasmanian operation and backhaul network into the overall national broadband network;

  8. Network design consistent with the Government’s objectives;

  9. Development of strategies to provide procurement opportunities for local businesses;

  10. Develop a detailed implementation plan for the roll-out of the National Broadband Network;

  11. Development of recommendations as to the appropriateness of any foreign ownership restrictions for the network company;

  12. Development of a risk management strategy for the national broadband roll-out; and

  13. Stakeholder consultation.

      34.4 The list outlined is clause 36.3 is not exhaustive but indicative of the breadth of issues that will need to be considered in the National Broadband Network Implementation Study report.

      34.5 The Lead Advisers will also be required to perform a range of general tasks, including but not limited to:

  1. Day-to-Day involvement in the drafting of the National Broadband Network Implementation Study report, in consultation with other specialist advisers appointed to the implementation study and the Department;

  2. Conduct of the EOI processes for potential specialist advisers (see below) and other related service providers, as appropriate, consistent with the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines;

  3. Participate in meetings and working groups;

  4. Liaison with regulatory bodies and other advisers to the Australian Government;

  5. Providing reports and advices, as required;

  6. Preparing and making presentations to and interacting with industry, senior government officials and advisers, and other stakeholders, as required.

      Subcontractor Management

      34.6 The Lead Adviser will be required to engage further specialist advisers (as sub contractors to theLead Adviser), such as technical, regulatory economics or other, in consultation with the Department to complement the Lead Adviser’s own skills and experience to ensure all issues are appropriately covered in the final implementation study report.

      34.7 The Department will be responsible for the appointment of a Legal Adviser to the implementation study.

      34.8 The Lead Adviser will be required to undertake specific tasks in relation to subcontractors including arranging the request for proposals or tenders, assessing proposals and obtaining the Department’s approval and conducting all processes in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines.

      Consideration of the National Broadband Network Implementation Study Report by Government

      34.9 The Lead Adviser appointment will also include the provision of services to support Government consideration of the completed implementation study report.

      34.10 The Lead Adviser will be required to assist the Department and the Government in considering the findings and recommendations from the implementation study report, respond to any queries on the Implementation Study report and assist decision makers on the approach to the National Broadband Network roll-out.

      34.11 Service Levels

      The Department will require services to be provided within timeframes specified by the Department or as otherwise agreed between the Department and the successful tenderer.

From: "Provision of Lead Advisory Services relating to the Implementation Study for the National Broadband Network" (ATM ID DCON/09/23, 24-Apr-2009)

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