Government agencies often undertake a tender process in order to procure the necessary goods and services required for a wide range of projects. The requirements are outlined in detail, and a request is made for businesses that offer the relevant goods and services to put their best foot forward.
Once the tenders have been submitted by private enterprises, the Government agency then assesses the most suitable tender applicant for their needs.
Whilst the process sounds simple in theory, it can actually be quite complex in practice. For a private enterprise to enter into a legally binding contract with a government-owned entity, there are a few things that need to be in place for a successful partnership.
To help understand the entire process and provide your business with the best chance at securing a government tender contract, this article outlines some of the most important information you need to know. Plus, we provide some helpful resources to refer to throughout the process.
There is an online hub for Australian government agencies seeking to engage private enterprises
The Australian Government publishes all approaches to market (ATMs) by government agencies across all industries. This helps businesses to review opportunities based on their own capabilities.
You can review all of the current opportunities at tenders.gov.au
An Expression of Interest is different to a Request for Proposal
Government agencies can engage the marketplace in a number of different ways. An Expression of Interest is the preliminary process whereby the government agency puts forward some details of the project at hand, but the capabilities of the current market to satisfy these needs have not been established.
A Request for Proposal is generally issued when the government agency has clearly defined the parameters of the planned project and investigates the ability of the market to provide innovative and cost-effective solutions.
There are guidelines for procuring goods and services by which government agencies abide
Government agencies are bound by a set of publicly available guidelines, updated in 2014, that influence a number of key areas of the procurement process.
Some of the key areas of these guidelines include:
- Encouraging competition
- Ethical Procurement
Asking someone else that has previous experience with government tenders could save you a lot of time
Even if it’s in a different industry to the one in which you operate, a friend, relative or former colleague who has previously won government contracts in any capacity is going to make a great ally.
Spend some time discussing their experiences, both positive and negative, about the government tender process and it may end up saving you hours of research and wasted effort.
Always include relevant business certifications in tender responses
Remember, you are competing with a host of other similar businesses for a lucrative government contract. Take the opportunity to prove the value of your business in your tender response where relevant.
Internationally recognised certifications like ISO 9001 can help to distinguish the quality standards and reliability of your business.
Collective bargaining is a possibility for some tenders
Collective bargaining allows the strengths of two or more enterprises to pool their resources and talents in order to win a government contract. Essentially, you can bring another business on board to diversify your skills and broaden your appeal in the tender process.
There are certain steps involved, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission regulates the entire process. You can learn more about collective bargaining at business.gov.au.
These are just a few of the most important tips and things to know about the government tender process. If you are preparing to write a tender and would like some further tips on what should be included, take a look at these free articles and insights from Australian tender writing specialists.
Thinking of getting quality management certified? Head over to our Resources page and download one of our free checklists to find out if you’re ready to get certified.
If you’re interested in applying for more government tenders and would like to be ISO certified, call us on 1800 065 800 or email us via our contact page.
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