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Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC)
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Cutting Communication Costs at the Ministry of the Environment

 - 19/07/2007

Awarding the contract for the Land Mobile Service for Voice and GPRS Data for the Secretary General’s Office of the Ministry of the Environment, Town and Country Planning and Regional Development, which began with a call for tender launched in September 2006 was concluded on 14th June 2007 when the respective contract was signed with OPTIMUS – Telecomunicações, SA.

This call for tenders was prepared with the support of Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC) as part of rationalising communication costs. The process began in May 2006 with work on setting objectives and planning calls for tender.

The following results are of note:

  • Tariff cut by 61%, keeping the same range and amount of terminals and the same user profiles.
  • Savings potential of more than 1 million euros, based on user profiles studied and multi-annual contract duration.
  • Operator required to send indicators on service use on a regular basis.
  • Use of requisitioning for the services under contract by the bodies covered via the eProcurement platform used by the Ministry under the National eProcurement Programme.
  • Implementation of the procurement project within a year (conceived at end of May 2006 and finalised upon signature of the contract in mid-June 2007).
  • Survey carried out in approximately one month, with 97% positive replies.

The strategy chosen for communication negotiation was to take a phased approach with the different technologies (Land Mobile Service for Voice and GPRS Data, Landline Service and Data Network Service), with the following objectives:

  • Successfully conclude the entire centralised negotiating process in less than one year (deadline set at the outset), from surveying the conditions for the call for tenders up to contract closure with an Operator. 
  • Focus on cutting costs, guaranteeing a return in the first year on any costs incurred.
  • Keep interacting where necessary with the bodies involved so as to minimise the impact of a centralised contract on each body’s specific needs.

The first centralised communications negotiation success story monitored by UMIC took place in the Ministry for the Economy and Innovation (MEI).

Negotiations were held for Land Mobile, Landline and Data Network Services. These three initial procedures proved the feasibility and value of centralised negotiation as they enabled the MEI to slash communication tariffs.

In this case, the experience gained in the MEI case was taken as a starting point. The survey and project implementation methods were redesigned, the legal structure of the procedural steps was consolidated and major investments were made in thoroughness and credibility of the target scenario for evaluation. These operational factors enabled all tenderers to take part in the negotiations pro-actively and led to results that are of manifest benefit to all bodies associated with the project.

Last updated ( 16/07/2010 )