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Thursday, 30 October 1997
Page: 10432

(Question No. 2267)

Mrs West asked the Minister for Finance and Administration, upon notice, on 24 September 1997:

(1) What is the timetable for fully introducing electronic commerce for government purchasing.

(2) What will be the subscription cost for small businesses to access the system.

Mr Fahey —The answer to the honourable Member's question is as follows:

(1) In July 1996 this Government approved a strategy for implementing electronic commerce by the Commonwealth. Under this strategy, Departments would use a Commonwealth Electronic Commerce Service (CECS) to trade electronically with their suppliers.

In November 1996 the Commonwealth and Telstra entered into a Deed of Agreement under which Telstra would establish and operate CECS, to be known as `Transigo', on a user-pays basis.

The first release of Transigo was made available in March 1997, with additional functionality added in a number of sub-releases since then. Government agencies are obliged to use Transigo from 1 July 1997 to advertise publicly available bidding opportunities and notify all purchases of $2000 or more and standing offers arranged. The electronic version of the Commonwealth Purchasing and Disposals Gazette has been available on Transigo since 28 July 1997.

Telstra has recently announced further development of Transigo, with an electronic trading document service to be available by December 1997 and an electronic payment service by March 1998.

Future releases of Transigo will provide additional functionality, in line with latest developments in technology and procurement practice.

(2) Anyone can access the free-to-air component of Transigo through any Internet Service Provider. This provides basic access to summary information about Commonwealth business opportunities and contracts and standing offers arranged by the Commonwealth.

Buyers and suppliers can also subscribe to Transigo for a basic annual subscription cost of $348 per user. This allows buyers to publish opportunities on Transigo and suppliers to download tender documentation and advertise their goods and services. Future functionality will be included as part of the subscription at no additional cost.

Additional services are available for the following fees:

•   Automated tender matching and notification: $240 p.a.

•   Data storage in excess of 5 Mb: $0.20 per Mb per day.

•   Manual upload of information by the Transigo Support Centre: $10 per notice.

•   Bid request line: download and postal distribution of tender documents by the Transigo Support Centre: $ 15 per item.