Digital Train Radio System – Design and Installation on Millennium Fleet

Client: Transport for NSW

Location: New South Wales

Role: Procurement managers

Date: 2015

Transport for New South Wales is currently implementing the Digital Train Radio System (DTRS) technology on the 1455 kilometre electrified network and passenger fleets. The DTRS technology will enable train drivers, train controllers, signallers and train guards on the electrified rail network to communicate with each other through a common digital platform. In order to complete the implementation, the 71 cabs within the Millennium trains (M-Sets) are required to have DTRS on-train equipment.

Scope of work

The process to procure a suitable contractor to complete the DTRS (M-Set) installation scope required the development and assessment of delivery and procurement options, followed by implementation of the preferred procurement strategy. E3 Advisory was engaged to develop and implement a direct negotiation procurement strategy. Direct negotiation foregoes the common government procurement approach of open or select tendering and seeks to procure through a single source.  Due to the risks associated with direct negotiations, E3 Advisory developed a tailored procurement strategy to address the risks and managed the direct negotiation process in a manner that is impartial, accountable, transparent and delivers best value for money for the Government.

Key features of E3 Advisory’s service were:​​

  • Conducting a comprehensive assessment of delivery and procurement options. Identifying and assessing various options to deliver and procure the design and installation contract. The assessment concluded with the preferred option to vary an existing contract with the M-Set maintenance contractor to carry out DTRS design and installation on a fixed price lump sum basis
  • Developing a direct negotiation strategy plans. Developing a suite of direct negotiation management plans that seek to manage the risks associated with single-source negotiations.  The suite of documents includes a Direct Negotiation Strategy, Governance Plan, Evaluation Plan and a Probity Plan
  • Management of direction negotiation procurement process. Management of the end-to-end procurement process, from invitation to submit a proposal, through to completion of the proposal evaluation
  • Facilitation of extensive interaction with contractor. The interactive procurement process included face-to-face workshops to develop installation options and seek clarifications from client and contractor-side

Detailed evaluation of the contractor’s proposal, ensuring it offers value for money.​

Key achievements

Successfully procured a value-for-money variation in the absence of direct competitive tendering.  Achieved the objective of procuring an experienced contractor without the need to carry-out a comprehensive open tendering process.