Open procurements must be publicly advertised on the Tenders website (Treasurer's Instruction 1107). Agencies, at their discretion and on a case by case basis, may also choose to place advertisements in the Tenders section of local, interstate and overseas newspapers and/or journals.
Copies of the Request for Tender (RFT) can also be sent direct to identified businesses at the time the procurement is advertised - for instance, to:
- the current provider of the good/service;
- businesses that have been identified during the market research phase;
- businesses that have approached you previously expressing an interest in supplying the good or service (for instance, at Meet the Buyers events); and
- other known local businesses.
Note: copies of the RFT must not be provided to any potential supplier until after the procurement has been advertised. Where local capability exists, at least two offers must be sought from Tasmanian businesses.
A Tasmanian business is a business that operates in Tasmania, has a permanent office or presence in Tasmania and which employs Tasmanian workers.
Agencies are encouraged to make all documentation available via the Tenders website or other electronic medium.
It is essential that the details of all businesses being issued with the RFT are recorded. Details should include:
- name of business;
- contact person;
- telephone; and
It is often useful to invite prospective suppliers to a briefing session. Such sessions help to:
- promote local industry involvement;
- expand on complex, unusual or sensitive requirements; and
- enable prospective suppliers to inspect the site/location (eg for cleaning contracts).
The advertisement should advise suppliers of any briefing session, and whether attendance at the session is compulsory.
Advertising in the print media
Detailed information relating to how to have tenders advertised see the FAQ - How do I advertise tenders? located here.
How long should suppliers be given to respond to the RFT?
The time provided for suppliers to respond to the RFT will depend largely upon the nature and complexity of the purchase.
At a minimum, the opportunity should be open for three weeks. If the requirements are complex, or it is likely that interested businesses may need to form partnerships / consortia with other businesses in order to fulfil the requirements, then sufficient time will need to be provided to enable this process to occur and the submission to be prepared.
Where a procurement is covered by a Free Trade Agreement, set time limits apply. Briefly, a procurement must be advertised for at least 40 days from the date of publication of the RFT. Lesser periods of time can apply in specific circumstances. Reference should be had to the Free Trade Agreements Guideline for further information.
What if the RFT needs to be changed?
If, for any reason, there is a need to alter documentation once the procurement has opened, an addendum must be sent to all businesses that have been issued with the RFT.
Suppliers should be provided with sufficient time to take account of the addenda in the preparation of their submission. If it is necessary to extend the closing date of the procurement, then treat the extension in the same manner as if a modification or variation.
Responding to Questions
All contact with prospective suppliers must be documented, transparent and unbiased. You should:
- specify in the documentation who to contact for more information, and make sure that all contact is limited to this person;
- document all contact from potential suppliers, including what questions were asked and what information was provided;
- where possible, require any questions to be put in writing (email or facsimile will suffice) and respond in the same manner;
- limit information provided to clarification of procedural issues or documentation; and
- ensure that any additional information provided to one prospective supplier is provided to them all (ie, everyone who has requested or received the documentation).