Planning the Purchase

Before you begin

Prior to commencing any planning, can you answe​r yes to the following?

  • Are you aware of and do you understand:
    • the purchasing principles and your responsibilities and accountabilities, including necessary ethical standards and code requirements;
    • relevant purchasing policies; and
    • the Crown Contracts Confidentiality Policy?
  • Is the purchase justified?

    • Was consideration given to other ways of achieving the desired outcome or acquiring the required outputs?
    • Was the decision to purchase made following the development of a business case (used for complex, high risk, high value purchases) and do you need to do a cost / benefit analysis?
    • Does the requirement align with agency objectives / desired outcomes?
  • Do you have the authority to purchase?
    • If appointing a consultant or contractor, has Secretary or Deputy Secretary approval been obtained as required by the Treasurer's Instruction 1113?
  • Do you have the necessary funding?

What do you need to consider/plan?

Undertaking planning prior to preparing procurement documentation is the foundation of a good specification, selection and contracting process.

Prior to undertaking a high value, complex, high risk, unique or strategic purchase, you should develop a formal procurement plan.

You may wish to adopt a full project management approach. If so, guidelines and documentation are available to assist you on the Department of Premier and Cabinet's website

Regardless of the complexity / value of your purchase, all purchases require some degree of planning, and the list below will assist you to plan your purchase.

​What is the estimated value of the procurement?

​It is important to estimate the value of the procurement as accurately as possible and in accordance with the valuation rules set out in Treasurer's Instruction 1104. 

This is because different rules may apply depending on the value of the procurement ie higher value procurements may be impacted by free trade agreement obligations or there may be additional requirements relating to industry consultation or industry participation plans.

Market research

It is important to have an understanding of the market to clarify your needs, identify possible suppliers and understand potential risks to the procurement.

Information on market research is available here.

Impact on local suppliers​What local suppliers are available and how will you enhance their ability to compete in the procurement?


What are the Buy Local Policy requirements?

Do you need to formally consult with industry and have  approved a pre-procurement industry consultation report?

Specification preparation

The specification is the description of your Agency's requirements. This should encompass all the functional, performance and technical requirements of the goods and or services being procured. If the specification is not appropriate then the end result may not meet your needs

Purchasing method and documentation

What purchasing method will you use? The purchasing method will generally depend on:

What procurement documentation is required?

Evaluation planning

Who will be on the evaluation committee?   

Should an evaluation plan be developed?

What evaluation criteria, including weightings (if relevant) and evaluation methodology will be used?

Have appropriate value for money considerations have been identified?

Should a Local SME Industry Impact Statement be requested from potential suppliers?

Risk mitigation

Is it necessary to undertake a risk management assessment and develop a risk management plan?

Do you need to employ a probity adviser? (A probity adviser is recommended when a purchase is complex, of high value or is likely to be contentious.)

Contract management

Who will manage the contract? Do you need a formal contract management plan?