Delivery of the National Relay Service to 2027
Eligible suppliers are being encouraged to apply for the next contract to deliver the National Relay Service (NRS).
The NRS is an Australia-wide phone service for people who are d/Deaf, hard of hearing and/or have speech communication difficulty, as well as for people wanting to communicate with individuals from within that community.
NRS Relay Officers assist with every call, helping people keep connected and access the services they need, by:
- Changing voice to text or text to voice
- Changing Auslan to English or English to Auslan
- Staying on the line throughout the call to help you, without getting in the way or changing what is said.
The Australian Government is seeking a supplier to deliver the NRS contract from 2024 to 2027, with two single year extension options, pending performance. Since 2019, the NRS has been run by Concentrix Services Pty Ltd and the current contract will end on 30 September 2024.
When procuring the service provider for the NRS, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts will evaluate all responses based on thorough examination against the tender requirements and choose the provider who offers the best value for money proposition. This includes suitable expertise and experience to deliver the service.
The new contract will include three enhanced functions for the NRS:
- A user assistance service to help train and upskill users in both NRS and mainstream technologies.
- A community engagement function to create, maintain and develop better links with NRS users, as well as the broader community.
- Mandated user surveys to test user satisfaction with the NRS
Tenderers are encouraged to innovate on existing services and propose options that improve access and/or support to NRS Users whose preferred language is Auslan.
Further information can be found at AusTender Homepage: AusTender (tenders.gov.au).
Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:
“The National Relay Service is a vital service that ensures all Australians can stay connected.
“That’s why the Albanese Government is committed to ensuring that people who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech communication difficulty can communicate with friends and loved ones, businesses and services over the phone.
“This is a highly specialised service. The Government encourages companies with experience in this area to apply, and my Department will closely scrutinise all applications to ensure we get the best outcome for Australians who rely on this important service."