When to use
should be used?
Distinction between a
multi-use list and a panel arrangement
Relevant Treasurer's Instructions
Treasurer's Instruction 1108
What is multi-stage purchasing?
A multi-staged purchasing process is where
information is requested from suppliers in order to gain knowledge
about the market, obtain industry input, or to shortlist suppliers
before seeking offers.
Why use multi-stage purchasing?
A multi-stage tendering process can be used
gain market knowledge (however, it should not been used as a
substitute for conducting market research);
shortlist appropriately qualified tenderers; and
obtain industry input.
When to use
A multi-stage purchasing process may be more
costly and time-consuming for both suppliers and agencies, and it
should only be used where:
the best way to meet the requirement is unclear;
it reduces the cost to industry and the agency;
it is considered appropriate to prequalify businesses and restrict
the issue of formal tenders (to reduce the cost of tendering);
there are benefits which cannot be obtained by researching the
market through conventional means; and/or
maximum flexibility is required throughout the procurement
What process should be used?
The most common multi-stage processes are set
out below. Information on how to use these processes to select a
supplier is contained in Treasurer's Instruction 1108.
When is it used?
Expression of Interest (also known as a
Registration of Interest)
To shortlist potential suppliers before
seeking detailed bids, generally, when the information required is
specific and the agency is unsure of the capability of suppliers to
provide the required goods and services.
Request for Proposal
When the project or requirement has been
defined, but where an innovative or flexible solution is
Can be used as either a one stage or a
multi-staged process. Where used as a multi-staged process,
agencies must comply with the same processes as required for an
Multi Use list
Is usually used when specific goods and/or
services are acquired on a regular basis from a various range of
suppliers. In such cases, agencies may establish a multi-use list
in relation to the supply of specific goods and/or services and
suppliers can apply for registration. When goods and/or services
provided for on the multi-use list need to be procured, agencies
may then seek a response from suppliers on the list.
A multi-use list must be set up in accordance
with the requirements set out in Treasurer's Instruction 1122.
Refer to the information below on the
distinction between a multi-use list and a panel arrangement.
Licence or Specific Legal Requirement
Can be used when there is a need for the
supplier to be the holder of a specific type of licence or to have
been determined by the agency, authority, or organisation to comply
with specific legal requirements that exist independently of the
procurement process eg a banking licence.
Request for Information
A RFI is not a true procurement process. It is
generally used at the planning stage of a project to assist with
defining the project or requirement. It is only to be used to
solicit information from suppliers that will assist in the
development of the project or requirement and must not be used to
select or identify a provider.
When using an RFI, issues relating to
intellectual property and copyright must be clarified prior to
using the information obtained to prepare any quotation or tender
documentation. Crown Solicitor advice should be sought.
Agencies should be aware of the following:
mandatory requirements relating to each process are set out in
Treasurer's Instructions 1108.
For example, when using a multi-staged EOI process, suppliers must
be provided, in advance, with the evaluation criteria that will be used to make a decision at
each stage of the purchasing process;
requirements regarding advertising and seeking at least two bids
from local businesses are the same for multi-staged procurement as
for a standard quotation or tender process;
requirements in relation to setting up of a multi-use list are
located in Treasurer's Instruction 1122;
additional free trade agreement requirements may apply (refer
Free Trade Agreement Guideline).
Distinction between a multi-use list
and a panel arrangement
A multi-use list is a list of prequalified
businesses, intended for use in more than one procurement process.
Those businesses included on the list will have responded to a call
for interested parties and then satisfied pre-determined conditions
In order to use a supplier from the list, an
agency must go through a further procurement process and invite
suppliers to submit quotations or tenders as set out below:
For procurements valued at $10 000 or less, quotation processes are
at the discretion of agencies. Agencies are required to weigh the
value of the purchase and the cost of seeking quotations against
the need to ensure that value for money and the other government
procurement principles contained in Treasurer's Instruction
have been observed. All mandatory requirements of Treasurer's
For procurements valued at more than $10 000 but less than $100
000, agencies must seek at least three written quotations from the
suppliers included on the multi-use list. All mandatory
requirements of Treasurer's Instruction 1106
For procurements valued at or over $100 000, agencies must seek a
tender response from all those persons who are included on the
multi-use list. All mandatory requirements of Treasurer's
other than the requirement to call for open tenders, apply.
Approval for direct/limited submission sourcing (as opposed to
calling for open tenders) is NOT required provided the multi-use
list has been set up in accordance with the mandatory requirements
set out in Treasurer's Instruction 1122.
When using a multi-use list, the evaluation
process can be simplified given that part of the process has
already been undertaken when setting up the multi-use
A multi-use list is required to be open for
new applicants either continuously or annually and there must be no
limitation placed on the number of potential participants. A
multi-use list will usually operate indefinitely and will not
contain prices nor indicative prices as this will be something that
needs to be determined in the evaluation process that will be
undertaken when quotes or tenders are called.
Note: participation in a multi-use list
may also be used as an essential criterion or condition for
participation in an open tender.
A panel arrangement, by comparison, is an
arrangement under which a number of suppliers may each supply goods
or services to an agency. A panel can be established through an
open tender process or through a multi-staged purchasing
Once a full evaluation process has been
completed, all the successful suppliers will enter into panel
arrangements with the agency for the potential supply of the goods
or services specified in the arrangement - although there is
no guarantee that any person on the panel will necessarily be
called upon to supply the goods and/or services
Once the panel has been established there is
no need to undertake a further procurement process and agencies can
purchase directly from the established panel.
A panel has a finite number of participants,
operates for a finite period and can be re-opened at the conclusion
of the period. It will usually provide indicative or set prices for
the goods and/or services supplier.