The Government today announced an extension to the existing Australia Network contract, while additional information is sought from tenderers.
In the light of changed international circumstances since the Australia Network Request For Tender (RFT) was issued, the Government has decided that national interests should be addressed more broadly.
Tenderers have been asked to submit amended bids to specifically address how their operation of the Australia Network service would meet Australia’s national interests in the light of the increasing influence of key emerging markets on the global economy, significant political transformation occurring across the Middle East and North Africa, and the need identified during recent consular crises for strengthened associated information services through a range of sources.
The current contract with the ABC expires on 8 August 2011. Accordingly, the Government will exercise its option under the existing contract to extend the service operated by the ABC for six months until 8 February 2012. The amended Australia Network Request for Tender will be released shortly and a decision on Preferred Tenderer is expected to be taken by September 2011.
In making this decision, the Government also considered the significance of the service to Australia’s foreign interests and concluded that the decision on the Preferred Tenderer will be referred for Cabinet consideration.
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