A Request for Tender (RFT) is a document that invites offers from suppliers to provide specified goods or services. It is generally used when approaching the open market ie for purchases valued at $250 000 or more.
The RFT must include all information necessary to enable potential suppliers to prepare appropriate submissions in response, relevant terms and conditions, details of applicable Government policies, a clear description of the goods or services required and any mandatory clauses required by the Treasurer's Instructions.
A RFT generally consists of four parts:
Conditions of Tender
- Conditions upon which the agency is prepared to receive and evaluate tenders including relevant Government policy information ie the Crown Contracts Confidentiality Policy;
- Any relevant Conditions for Participation (mandatory participation requirements);
- Evaluation criteria (and weightings if used); and
- Advice on the closing date, time and place of lodgement and agency contact details.
A comprehensive description of the agency's requirements including the functional, performance and technical requirements of the goods and/or services being procured.
Conditions of Contract
The terms of the contract by which the successful supplier and the agency will be bound.
Information on when a formal agreement/contract should be used is located at Finalising a Contract.
Lists all the information that is required to be provided by the supplier to ensure that relevant information is provided in a comparable format with that supplied by other suppliers.
The Tender Form may be expanded to specify the format in which information is to be provided by the supplier. There must be a clear link between the information requested in the Tender Form and the evaluation criteria, specification and contract requirements. Suppliers should be asked to provide all the information needed to fully evaluate their offers. An expanded Tender Form format is recommended as it assists:
- suppliers to address all evaluation criteria, specification and contract requirements; and
- buyers to evaluate submissions because they have been presented in a uniform format.
A Local SME Industry Impact Statement template should also be provided.
Preparing the Request for Tender
The Conditions of Tender, Conditions of Contract and Tender Form are usually prepared once the specification and evaluation criteria have been developed.
The Request for Tender may be developed in conjunction with users of the end product, the Evaluation Committee or, if necessary, technical or procurement specialists.
When preparing the RFT documentation, note the following:
- The Crown Solicitor must approve all Conditions of Tender and Contract used to undertake a tender process.
- Template RFT documentation has been developed by the Crown Solicitor. There are eight different RFT templates available for the purchase of goods, services and IT. If this documentation is used, further approval is generally not required provided there are no material changes to the documentation. However, agencies should review the documentation before it is issued to ensure that it contains all relevant provisions required by the Government's policies especially in relation to the Buy Local Policy requirements, where applicable. Any material alterations must be approved by the Crown Solicitor (Treasurer's Instruction 1109). The Crown Solicitor should be consulted on any special conditions of tender or contract that are required.
- The inclusion of certain clauses in the Conditions of Tender and/or the Contract are mandatory. Information on these is set out in the Treasurer's Instructions 1109, 1119 and 1124.
- Generally, the Crown Solicitor's template documentation contains these mandatory clauses, however, you should review the documents prior to issue to ensure no further amendments or additions are required. In particular, if a Tasmanian Industry Participation Plan is required, the RFT documentation should be modified to accommodate that requirement.
- The Conditions of Tender must include information on any conditions for participation and the evaluation criteria and weightings (if any) that will be applied.
- The specification should clearly reflect the needs of the agency.
- The Government Information Technology Conditions (GITC) must be used for all IT purchases (regardless of value) unless otherwise provided for in the Treasurer's Instruction 1123. For further information on the GITC, including the Head Agreement, pro forma and example orders and guidelines, and a list of GITC accredited suppliers, see here.
- As for all Government contracts, confidentiality requirements in relation to the provisions of the contract are not allowed for unless specifically approved by a Head of Agency in accordance with Treasurer's Instruction 1401(4).
Where procurement is impacted by a free trade agreement, additional requirements may apply. Further information on the FTA requirements is available in the International Procurement Obligations publication.