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Tender opens for the National Relay Service

The Turnbull Government has today issued a Request for Tender (RFT) to deliver Australia’s National Relay Service (NRS), a phone service for people who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment.

The NRS is a communications safety net which provides assistance by relaying calls made from a range of devices through a relay officer. The current NRS agreement will remain in place while the RFT process is conducted.

Minister for Communications Senator Mitch Fifield said while the rapid change in technology has increased the take-up of alternative communication options, the Government recognised the ongoing role played by the NRS.

“We’ve undertaken substantial work to ensure the continued viability of the service, which is vital for many Australians. The tender sets out the service requirements for the next three years, ensuring the NRS will continue to deliver the services Australians rely on,” he said.

“The Government has committed to ensuring the existing annual funding allocation of $22 million remains in place. With the decline in telecommunication costs and the emergence of new technologies, it is expected that the tender will generate greater efficiencies in service delivery.”

Services requirements include helpdesk support functions, responding to general enquiries, complaints and feedback from NRS users, potential users and other interested parties.

RFT responses must address the needs of NRS users for text to text based communication options, options for those who prefer to speak their side of the conversation and those whose preferred language is Auslan.

The 106 text emergency service, currently available to TTY users, will be maintained. The service must also provide 24/7 access to emergency services through calls to Triple Zero for NRS users who are not using a TTY.

The RFT documents for the National Relay Service are available on the AusTender website at: www.tenders.gov.au

Media contacts

Geraldine Mitchell | 0407 280 476 | Geraldine.Mitchell [at] communications.gov.au 
Guy Creighton | 0438 815 302 | Guy.Creighton [at] communications.gov.au