Latest News

Fuji Xerox wins giant same-sex vote print job

Friday, 25 August 2017
By Graham Osborne
Tagged with:

The federal government has awarded the multi-million-dollar printing contract for the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey to Fuji Xerox Document Management.

Almost 16 million survey forms will be sent out to all Australians on the electoral roll who are eligible to vote. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) says the package will include a reply-paid envelope and instructions on how to complete the survey.

The ABS has yet to confirm details of the paperless option – available for people who are overseas, in hospital, homeless or living in remote areas – but the print job could involve four separate articles – an addressed envelope, the voting form, a set of instructions and the reply-paid envelope. Potentially, that could mean more than 50 or 60 million separate items, making it one of the largest-ever jobs in the industry.

The government estimated the voluntary postal plebiscite on same-sex marriage would cost taxpayers $122 million, while consultants PwC put the full cost at $525 million – $160 million for the ballot itself.

The ABS revealed its choice of printer in a statement to Print21.

The ABS has engaged Fuji Xerox Document Management for the provision of Mail House services. They are an existing contractor with the ABS and have the capacity and capability, as a single provider, to complete this project.

 The printing process will be undertaken as high-speed digital inkjet printing.  

 The ABS is working closely with Australia Post to ensure that the survey forms are distributed to all eligible Australians and returned to the ABS in a timely manner.

 Paper used in the survey was sourced from Australia and was produced with the endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and Australian Forestry Standard (AFS) certification. It was sourced from certified managed forests.

Australian Paper, the only Australian manufacturer of office, printing and packaging papers, has confirmed its understanding that Australian made paper and envelopes will be used in the plebiscite.

 The print contract is a huge vote of confidence in Fuji Xerox as it emerges from a $450 million accounting scandal at its Australasian subsidiaries. However, Fuji Xerox Document Management Solutions, which always strives to maintain a low profile, especially when competing for printing work in the marketplace, has declined to comment.

Nick Debenham, CEO of Fuji Xerox DMS, contacted by phone, said: “I have no comment to make on that subject. So, thank you very much…” before hanging up.

Late yesterday, the company released a brief statement via email:

As our business with customers is conducted on a confidential basis we do not comment on these types of inquiries and therefore will not be commenting on your inquiry regarding the upcoming Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey.

“There will be nearly 16 million survey forms but they won’t all be able to be sent on the one day,” Acting Special Minister of State Mathias Cormann told The Conversation’s Michelle Grattan in a podcast earlier this week.

“So, it will be staggered. But it will be staggered very quickly,” said Cormann. “The ABS has advised me that they will be prioritising those areas where it might take a little bit longer to get the mail to and from. They will get all of it out as fast as they can.”

ABS Deputy statistician Jonathan Palmer said there were a number of options under consideration to ensure everyone who wanted to vote could do so. “It could be an online form, it could be a touch-tone telephone solution, it could be an SMS text message but we are still working out the best option for a paperless return.”

Australia Post has agreed to block offensive sex-same marriage campaign material after the postal workers’ union warned of a ‘heightened risk’ to the welfare of its members.

The national carrier said it would refuse to deliver any article which contains text or images which (in our reasonable opinion) do not meet current community standard and expectations, or may cause offence to a reasonable person, or contains material which is defamatory or offensive.

More information about the vote is available from ABS Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey

Key Dates

Thursday, 24 August 2017 – Electoral Roll closes for new enrolments or changes to enrolments (midnight local time).

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 – Commencement of mailing of forms and collection period.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 – Requests for replacement material closes (6pm local time).

Friday, 27 October 2017 – The date all eligible Australians will be strongly encouraged to return their form by.

Tuesday, 7 November (6pm EST) – No responses received after this date will be processed. 

Wednesday, 15 November 2017 – Statistics released.


9 Responses to “Fuji Xerox wins giant same-sex vote print job”

  1. August 25, 2017 at 1:42 pm,


    So the Australian government sees fit to award this huge job to a company that is embroiled in scandal, is under police investigation in NZ (with Australia under the spotlight too) and has now been barred from all NZ government contracts?
    Was it called to tender? Were other mail houses given the opportunity to bid for contracts?
    And in the light of the offshore corporate tax investigation, was consideration given to whether this company engages in the tax-avoidance practices that Google, Facebook and Apple are accused of?
    The plebiscite is about equality – how about some equality in the methods used to award the print & mail contract?

  2. August 25, 2017 at 3:09 pm,

    Ex FX Employee

    Well presented Fairgo!

    Here we go again ….. FX under cutting it’s own customers to get “revenue” up regardless of how much money they lose doing it.

    Pathetic really

  3. August 28, 2017 at 3:31 pm,


    Always remember this government will sell you out in every single way, every way they can.

  4. August 30, 2017 at 12:47 pm,

    William Bell

    @Banksy, a bit paranoia never did anyone any harm.

  5. August 30, 2017 at 1:23 pm,


    William – yes but having just read that the exposed and exiting CEO of Australia Post is leaving with double the projected golden handshake – $10.8 million, the CBA scandal, the on-going sell-up of our brands, media and icons to foreign groups (eg CBS buys Channel 10), the toothless tolerance of huge trans-nationals paying almost no Australian tax (Google, Facebook, Apple et al), Chinese property speculators running rings around our legislation, farms and resources sold off to uncaring overseas companies (Adina eg) the cruel euthanasia of our car manufacturing – I’ll stop there but you get the picture perhaps? Is it any wonder folks like Banksy get paranoid? We are all being taken for fools – time to get angry, not paranoid.

  6. September 04, 2017 at 10:46 am,


    Just to clarify,

    We are a competitor to Fuji Xerox DMS and were part of a government panel procurement approach so YES, this was offered to multiple vendors to quote on under a pre-existing government panel. They were the only mob with the capacity to complete the project across multiple sites given the size and timelines.

    Fuji Xerox Document Management Solutions (FX DMS) is NOT a part of Fuji Xerox Australia or Fuji Xerox New Zealand, and has absolutely nothing to do with the recent revenue scandal or any of the staff involved.

    FX DMS is the former Salmat BPO division (mailhouse, document scanning, digital communications etc.) that was acquired by FujiFilm/Fuji Xerox a few years ago and operates as a completely independent division.

  7. September 05, 2017 at 1:50 pm,


    Peter, with the greatest of respect, that is white-washing bullshit! Fuji Xerox DMS shares the same logo, same parent (Fujifilm Holdings) and some of the same staff. Just look at the website and tell us they are not VERY closely connected:
    DMS was operational in pinching work from FX’s own customers BEFORE the 2012 Salmat acquisition. All they did was add a major BPO provider to their stable to make the problem worse.
    And as for ‘the only mob with the capacity..etc etc’ I’d be interested hear what BlueStar Direct, Computershare, PMP/IPMG, Opus/CanPrint and others would have to say about that.
    It’s pleasing that your company was considered for this government job, but why you are defending the indefensible remains a mystery.

  8. September 05, 2017 at 3:11 pm,


    Fairgo. You like anyone else are entitled to your own opinion about any organisation in the industry. I’m not defending the ABS or FX DMS. I was just stating the facts as I’ve followed the whole investigation very closely.

    Regarding your comment the FX DMS website looks the same as other opco websites, I’d expect it would look like any of the Fuji Xerox operating company websites – they are all bound by the parent company brand guidelines.

    It’s simply a fact that FX DMS operates completely independently and has nothing to do with FXA or FXNZ.

    FX DMS are not part of any investigation that is being conducted into the shifty past FXNZ/FXA sales dealings for MFD’s etc. Additionally, no FX DMS staff or senior management have been implicated or subsequently moved on since the investigation into FXA and FX NZ. (If you know of any I’d be interested to know who?).

    Back to the point….The article is about ABS awarding the outbound work to FX DMS. From the RFQ de-brief I attended with the client after we were notified of the result, the ABS advised they leveraged an existing whole of Govt Panel to which 3 participating vendors were sent an RFQ for the work (as per the Government Procurement Guidelines).

    Whether or not BlueStar Direct, Computershare, PMP/IPMG, Opus/CanPrint are participating members of the respective panel and if so, whether or not they were invited as the third vendor for this project I can’t comment because ABS would not disclose who the third vendor was at the debrief.

  9. September 06, 2017 at 8:57 am,


    Peter, while acknowledging your superior knowledge of the process, as you were involved in it, to say Fuji Xerox DMS has nothing to do with FXNZ or FXA warrants challenge. In Fujifilm’s own annual report, they list both activities under one division ‘Document Solutions’ In fact, they are adjacent – ‘Production Services’ which is the sale of high volume printers and therefore FXA and NZ; followed by ‘Global Services’ which is Managed Print and BPO. Same parent company, same division, same reporting, same logo and presumably same equipment that you would have used if you’d won the job.
    To add to the confusion, FX DMS in Australia in its own ‘History’ clearly states that Salmat was ‘acquired by Fuji Xerox during 2012.’ Here’s the link:
    Walks like a duck? It matters not that there is a Nikkei listed Holding Company at the top – the Board of this company has taken responsibility for what happened at FXNZ and A and the same board oversees DMS. They have a lot to do with each other.
    Mate, I am sorry you dipped out on the job. A good friend once lost his largest customer to FX-DMS, after he’d just invested millions in FX equipment and software. He maintains there WAS collusion between the two FX companies.
    This, and other trade websites are full of such experiences and often express it in stronger words than your gentlemanly and well-measured (and appreciated) responses.

Comment on this article

To receive notification of comments made to this article, you can also provide your email address below.