Finding Government Tenders and Engaging with Government
The Australian federal, state and local governments make thousands of tender requests every year to the private sector to supply goods and services. Each level of government has its own responsibilities which may overlap in some cases however it is well developed and consistent. For example, the Federal Government is responsible for defence and the State Governments are primarily responsible for health, education and local transport. Government in Australia.
The different levels of government agencies advertise tenders through their respective government tendering websites. Firms may register as a supplier and many of these websites operate an alert service. Government websites provide information free of charge and will always have a .gov.au extension.
The federal government publishes opportunities, annual procurement plans, multi-use lists and contracts.
AusTender is the centralised publication of Australian Government business opportunities, procurement, multi-use lists and awarded contract information.
State Governments & Territories
State Governments across Australia manage separate tendering and procurement systems. It is generally a centralised function within the relevent Department of Finance that sets the broad guidelines, procedures and centralised tending and procurement mechanisms. That being said, it is the specific relevent Departments that make decisions on the appointment of suppliers and successful tenders.
- Australian Capital Territory: ACT Shared Services Procurement – The ACT Government invites businesses to tender for infrastructure projects and goods and services across the Australian Capital Territory and register for personalised email notifications.
- New South Wales: NSW eTendering – NSW’s website for information about business opportunities with/for NSW Government agencies. NSW ProcurePoint is the start point for registering for Prequalification Schemes.
- Northern Territory: NT’s QTOL is the NT’s Quotation and Tenders and supplier registration can be found here QTOL Registration. NT.Gov.Au’s Bidding for Government Contracts is as good a starting point as any for understanding the process of qualifying for providing services to the NT government.
- Queensland: QTenders – Queensland Government tender opportunities & registration for email notifications. The Government Information Technology Contracting (GITC) site is the Queensland Supplier Accreditation starting point for ICT suppliers but even it has a pre-requisite step which is industry accreditation via CCIQ QAssure.
- South Australia: SA Tenders & Contracts – Publicly-available bidding opportunities within the South Australian Government and registration for email notifications. SA Procurement Services Panel is the access point for Prequalification schemes in SA.
- Tasmania: TAS Government Tenders – The Tasmanian Government’s publically-accessible procurement opportunities for businesses; supplier registration is not compulsory but registered user benefit from other features, such as personalised email notifications.
- Victoria: Tenders VIC – Victorian Government tendering & e-notification website. The Victorian Government Purchasing Board is the start point for understanding how to secure government business with the state.
- Western Australia: Tenders WA – Western Australia Government public sector tenders & contract information and registration for email notifications.
Other tender & procurement websites
The Industry Capability Network (ICN) – is a partially government-funded business network that introduces Australian companies to projects. ICN offers a new business source for suppliers and a search for project managers.
The importance of building relationships with Government
Individual agencies and branches within Government make decisions on suppliers. Therefore, in addition to tender registration and prequalification (if applicable), it is imperative to build relationships with relevant government buyers. Government may, at times, seek limited quotes from known suppliers, directly negotiate with a single supplier or accept proposals for non-tendered projects. It is therefore important to build relationships to raise awareness and profile your capabilities to deliver on a government contract.
This requires identification of relevent government departments and agencies at Federal, State and local levels of Government. Government in Australia
There are numerous ways to engage with government. Industry or government-focused conferences, forums or events are important as government are regular attendees at industry events and forums to gain information and are also willing to share insights into their activities and challenges. Events in Australia.
Preparing to respond to a Government Tender
For a foreign entity, it is important to be aware of all regulatory requirements, conditions, pre-qualifications, licences, registrations etc that you might need to supply to government and have these in place. Registrations and licences may take longer than expected particularly if a local entity, an ABN for an foreign-owned entity or a local bank account is required to be set up. As such, it is recommended that professional advice be sought early in the process. Governments may take a long time to make decisions given their requirement to comply with internal procurement procedures and approvals however, once this has been completed, things may then move quickly.
Government and innovation
Governments everywhere are grappling with how they evolve, regulate and deliver services in a time of significant digital change, innovation and disruption. These changes impact almost all areas of government from transport, to health, to education and to even how the government procures and engages with suppliers.
It has never been a better time to engage and build relationships with Governments as they seek to respond to market dynamics and evolve their services and delivery models. Governments are spending considerable resources to understand and position services and regulation to better meet the changing enviornment and are increasingly open and perceptive to information, insights and learnings to support these changes.
Gaining an understanding of the complexities and nuances of the problems Governments are seeking to solve – and the issues that they are grappling with – is imperative. It will allow for the development of relationships through the provision of information and insights and the ability to put forward solution-oriented capabilities and services that may involve partnering or collaborating with other companies or organisations.
Government agencies are also creating opportunities to collaborate to innovate. This includes new mechanisms to accept proposals, innovation competitions and challenges, sandbox enviornments, trials and alternative funding options. Examples of this include the Innovation NSW program and the Public Sector Innovation Fund in Victoria.
There are a number of for-profit commercial websites that offer Invitation to Tender (ITT) searching, alerts, consulting and support services. These sites will not be official .gov.au sites.