Request for Tender for the My Aged Care Regional Assessment Service - Consortia Information

Page last updated: 11 December 2014

This information was distributed on 2 December 2014

This notice relates to the provision of guidance information for Tenderers responding to the My Aged Care Regional Assessment Service (RAS) Request for Tender (RFT). Organisations not tendering for the RAS RFT are not required to read this notice.

Guidance to Tenderers regarding consortia arrangements

Responses to the RFT for the establishment of the Regional Assessment Service close on 19 December 2014.  The Commonwealth is encouraging participation from aged care providers and suitably qualified organisations to form consortia so there is adequate coverage across the 52 regions where the Regional Assessment Services (RAS) will operate.

The Commonwealth wishes to ensure that organisations make themselves aware of how the consortia model will operate in practice.  The Commonwealth’s legal adviser to the RAS RFT has provided some general guidance on the consortia model in response to the question included below.

If you require further information on the RAS RFT please go to the Austender website or to the Department of Social Services website.

Question

Clause 2.5.1 of the RFT states that Tenderers are encouraged to form consortia to Tender for multiple Regions and cover the full scope of the Assessment Services.  Clause 11.9 of the RFT states that the consortium must have a lead member that will enter into any Deed that is awarded and that consortium members who are not lead members will be treated as subcontractors for the purposes of the Deed.  Are you able to provide any information as to how a prime contractor and subcontractor model operates in practice?

Answer

If successful, the lead member of the consortium will enter into the Deed (and is referred to as the 'Contractor') and is responsible for all obligations, services and functions performed by any Subcontractors (that is, the other consortium members) (see clause 12.9(b) of the draft Deed).

The Contractor is required to enter into a written subcontract with each Approved Subcontractor (i.e. consortium member).  In that written agreement, the Contractor must flow down and replicate certain obligations that are in the Deed (for example, the termination rights, and the confidentiality, privacy, security and work health and safety obligations).  Tenderers should refer to clause 12.8 of the draft Deed for further information.

Consortium members should discuss and agree particular aspects of the prime contractor and subcontractor relationship prior to submitting the Tender.  Any such obligations can be formalised by reflecting them in the written agreement entered into between the Contractor and each Subcontractor.  The key areas for consideration by consortium members may include:

  1. roles and responsibilities – ensuring that each consortium member has a clear understanding of its role and responsibilities with respect to the provision of the Assessment Services and the contractual arrangements that, if successful, will be implemented to give effect to the prime contractor – subcontractor model;
  2. scope – ensuring that each Subcontractor has a clear understanding of the scope of Assessment Services that it will be performing and its service delivery obligations and minimum standards;
  3. governance – developing processes for the consortium dealing with items such as communication (e.g. regular meetings and reporting, and in particular to ensure that information provided by the Department in relation to the Assessment Services is passed from the Contractor to each Subcontractor in a timely and effective manner), dispute resolution (including an escalation process) and performance issues;
  4. payment – agreeing the terms for payment of Subcontractors, including the timing of payments;
  5. records – developing record keeping processes (including minimum standards and access requirements);  and
  6. risk – agreeing how risk can be shared across consortium members, taking into account the nature of the services being provided. 

Tenderers should obtain their own legal and other professional advice with respect to the potential implications of any proposed consortium arrangement for the provision of the Assessment Services.

Tenderers should note the guidance provided within this Addendum:

  • does not amend the RFT; and
  • constitutes guidance only, and that potential tenderers should make their own decisions and seek their own advice regarding their particular circumstances.