We have issued a Request for Tender today to sustain delivery of the National Relay Service.

4 April 2018

The National Relay Service (NRS) is an important communications safety net for people who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment. The service relays calls made from a range of devices through a relay officer in situations and circumstances where assistance with a voice call is required. 

The request for tender (RFT) is seeking a service provider for the next three years to deliver relay service access options and helpdesk support functions responding to general enquiries, complaints and feedback from NRS users, potential users and other interested parties.

Advances in technology have seen alternative communication options become available for NRS users. However, the service is still relied upon by many Australians and the Government has committed to ensuring the existing annual funding allocation of $22 million per annum (including GST) remains in place.

Tender responses must address and balance the needs of NRS users for text to text based communications 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 Government is also amending existing regulations to allow for future outreach initiatives focused on mainstream communication options to assist current NRS users and will engage with stakeholders in 2018.

The current NRS agreement will remain in place while the RFT process is conducted.

The Request for Tender documents are available on the AusTender website.

Find out more:

Read the Minister’s media release