Alternative Buying Opportunities

Alternative buying opportunities fall into two headings:

  • piggybacking; and
  • clustering.

These are in addition to using whole-of-government / common-use contracts and whole-of-agency contracts. Information on whole-of-government / common-use contracts is also found below.

Whole-of-government / common-use contacts

The Departments of Treasury and Finance and Premier and Cabinet have developed a number of whole-of-government / common-use contracts where a common requirement for either goods and or services across all general Government sector agencies has been identified.

Information on the contracts established by the Department of Treasury and Finance can be found in the Contracts section of this website. The use of most of these contracts is mandatory and, where it is, an exemption from the requirement to use same can only be approved by the Secretary, Department of Treasury and Finance, or an authorised delegate of that Secretary.

Information on the contracts developed by the Department of Premier and Cabinet is located in Treasurer's Instruction 1112.


Another agency may have already conducted a procurement process and signed a contract with a supplier, a multi-use list or set up a panel arrangement, to provide goods or services that your agency is interested in. If the original procurement process and the established contract allow, it may be beneficial for your agency to 'piggyback' off the original contract. However, care must be taken to ensure that value for money is still achieved.

There are certain requirements that apply before piggybacking is possible:

  • the potential use of the arrangement by other agencies must have been specified in the original request for tender documentation at the start of the procurement process;
  • the terms of the contract must specify that there is potential use by other agencies and specifically allow for other agencies to back onto the contract; and
  • the respective needs of agencies must be identical.


Clusters are formed where more than one agency approaches the market with a single procurement request. This is a way of reducing costs and duplication when two or more agencies have the same procurement needs.

In such cases, one of the agencies forming the cluster will take a leading role and undertake administrative tasks such as preparing the request for tender documentation, opening the tender, and finalising the resultant contract.

All agencies forming the cluster must be specified in the request for tender documentation at the start of the procurement process, and they must also be detailed in the terms and conditions of the resultant contract.

As for 'piggybacking', there should be no difference in the nature of goods or services being procured by each agency.

How to identify alternative or combined buying opportunities

You will need to research the procurements of other agencies to see what may be possible in your situation. Available resources are:

  • The Tenders Website has a "Future Opportunities" section that all agencies are encouraged to use for publishing the details of any contracts they may be offering over the coming months.
  • The Tenders Website also displays details of awarded recurrent contracts. The published details include the period of each contract so that interested parties can determine when an agency is likely to renew the contracts.
  • The Procurement Reference Group provides an opportunity for procurement officers in each agency to discuss upcoming tenders and agency needs.
  • Other agencies' purchasing officers (Agency Procurement Contacts).