Tendering / quotation processes

How do I research the market?

There are many methods of research that may be used to identify market specifics, potential suppliers, and anticipated costs and timeframes.  These may include:

  • browsing the Tenders website for details of awarded contracts that are of a similar nature;
  • browsing the Yellow Pages to identify potential suppliers; and
  • contacting other agencies with experience in purchasing similar goods or services.

The links below provide further guidance and tips on undertaking market research.

How do I develop the conditions for participation, the evaluation criteria and an evaluation methodology for the purchase of goods and services?

Developing the evaluation methodology, conditions for participation and evaluation criteria are intricately linked processes that must be undertaken during the planning stage of the procurement. Information on developing conditions for participation, evaluation criteria and an evaluation methodology is available by following this link.

How do I invite tenders from prospective tenderers?

You must publicly advertise the tender on the Tenders website.

Agencies, at their discretion, on a case by case basis, may also choose to place advertisements for tenders in the tenders section of local, interstate and overseas newspapers and/or journals.

In addition to the above, copies of the Request for Tender can be sent direct to identified businesses at the time the tender is advertised.

For further information, refer to the Treasurer's Instructions 1107 and 1209 and guidance at Inviting Tender Submissions.

How do I advertise tenders?

Unless determined in accordance with Treasurer's Instructions 1114 or 1217 that it would be more appropriate to seek offers from a limited number of suppliers, agencies must, at a minimum advertise all tenders on the Tenders website.

Agencies, at their discretion, on a case by case basis, may also choose to place advertisements for tenders in the tenders section of local, interstate and overseas newspapers and/or journals.

A master ordering arrangement has been established for all government classified advertising (A003 - Advertising - Print Media Services for Vacancy Notices, Tenders and Public notices). All tender advertisements must be placed through this arrangement. For further information relating to this arrangement go to Contracts.

To place a tender on the Tenders website, consult with your agency's Tenders administrator or the Tenders System Administrator at Treasury on (03) 6166 4100.

The print advertisement can be automatically generated from the information on the website tender notice and then emailed through the system to the advertising contractor.

Alternatively, agencies can manually complete a Tender Advertisement pro forma and send the form direct to the advertising contractor by emailing it to lisa@graymatters.com.au. The information provided in the pro forma must be the same as the information detailed on the Tenders website.

  Tender Advertisement (template)   (334Kb)

Advertisements to appear in The Mercury, The Examiner or The Advocate must reach the advertising contractor by 12 noon on the Wednesday prior to the Saturday on which the tender is to be advertised.

Advertisements to appear in The Australian Financial Review must be submitted by close of business on the Monday prior to the Friday on which the tender is to be advertised.

For information on requirements for advertising tenders, refer to the Treasurer's Instruction 1107 (goods and services) or the Treasurer's Instruction 1209 (building and construction/roads and bridges).

How long does a tender need to be open for?

Goods and Services

Unless a tender is subject to a free trade agreement, it is recommended that it should be open for approximately three weeks. However, this will depend largely upon the nature and complexity of the purchase. 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 of the tender, then sufficient time will need to be provided to enable this process to occur and the response to be prepared.

For further information in relation to time limitations of tenders for goods and services, such as issuing addenda, refer to Inviting Tender Submissions.

Major Works (Building and Construction/Roads and Bridges)

Unless a tender is subject to a free trade agreement, at a minimum, all major works tenders must be open for 2 1/2 weeks (18 days) advertising time when the projects are valued at less than $1million and 3 1/2 weeks (25 days) for projects valued at $1million and over.

In addition, a tender:

  • must not close earlier than 2.00pm;
  • must not close on a Monday or a day immediately following a public holiday;
  • must close at least one week after the recognised industry Christmas close-down.

It is usual practice to close tenders on a Wednesday at 2.00pm where possible, after taking the above factors into account.

Once tenders have been called, the tender period should not normally be extended and, as a general rule, a request by a single tenderer for an extension of the closing date should not be considered. However, if the number of tenderers is likely to be significantly reduced due to an insufficient tender period or due to the issue of addenda, consideration should be given to extending the tender closing date.

Keep in mind that the person intending to lodge a submission will be required to be acquainted with all matters relating to the proposed contract, including an inspection of the site, prior to lodging their submission.

For further information in relation to time limitations of tenders for major works, such as issuing addenda, refer to the information on procurement processes for Major Works.

Minor Works (Building and Construction/Roads and Bridges)

There is no mandatory set period for which a minor works procurement should be open. However, it is important to ensure that sufficient time is provided to enable contractors to properly formulate their submission.

Keep in mind that the person intending to lodge a submission will be required to be acquainted with all matters relating to the proposed contract, including an inspection of the site, prior to lodging their submission.

For further information in relation to time limitations of tenders for minor works, such as issuing addenda, refer to the information on procurement process for Minor Works.

Free Trade Agreements

Where a tender is impacted by a free trade agreement, a tender must be electronically advertised for at least 25 days (or 30 days if not advertised electronically) from the date of publication of the Request for Tender. Lesser periods of time can apply in specific circumstances. For further information, refer to the Free Trade Agreements Guideline.

How do I deal with late quotations/tenders?

Late submissions must be dealt with in accordance with any procedures set out in the quotation or tender documents.

You should ensure that when accepting a late tender or quotation, you do not compromise the integrity of the procurement process or provide an unfair advantage to the late tenderer.

If a tender is impacted by a free trade agreement (see the Treasurer's Instruction 1102), you cannot accept a late submission unless the delay is due solely to mishandling by your agency.

For more information, refer to Treasurer's Instructions 1109, 1206 and 1209.

Can consultants receive or open tenders?

No.  Agencies must provide a secure facility for receipt of tenders, which should be opened in the presence of a minimum of three officers, including at least two senior officers of the agency.

For more information, refer to Treasurer's Instructions 1109 and 1209.

How do I evaluate an offer?

All offers must be evaluated fairly and equitably in a manner consistent with the Government's procurement principles. The final decision must be able to withstand public scrutiny.

Goods and Services

Offers must be evaluated in accordance with the evaluation plan, which is developed prior to offers being invited. For guidelines for evaluating goods and services tenders/submissions, refer to Evaluating Tender Submissions and Evaluating Quotations.

Major Works (Building and Construction/Roads and Bridges)

For major works (building and construction/roads and bridges), tenders must be evaluated in accordance with the evaluation criteria outlined in the tender documentation. Tender evaluation will generally be by:

  • lump sum lowest tender; or
  • in accordance with the Guidelines on Tender Evaluation using Weighted Criteria for Building Works and Services; or
  • in the case of roads and bridges, in accordance with the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources' Weighted Attribute Tender Assessment Process for Works.

Further information on evaluation is also available from Major Works.

Minor Works (Building and Construction/Roads and Bridges)

For minor works (building and construction/roads and bridges), submissions must be evaluated in accordance with the evaluation criteria outlined in the request documentation.

When evaluating submissions, it is necessary to consider:

  • value for money;
  • price; and
  • compliance with specifications.

Further information on evaluation is also available from Minor Works.

Do I have to debrief unsuccessful tenderers, bidders or suppliers?

All suppliers submitting a quotation or tender must be advised of the outcome of the procurement process and provided with details of the successful offer including the name of the supplier and the price accepted.

All suppliers submitting a quotation or tender should be offered a debriefing, and a debriefing must be provided if requested. 

See Debriefing for information regarding the debriefing process.

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