Tender Process

Why submit a tender?

Submitting a tender is a great way to earn new business. Many large and small organisations regularly “go out to tender” to find and appoint suppliers for contracts.

Businesses often use a tender process for large contracts or to appoint suppliers for a certain amount of time. For example a tender could be used to appoint a supplier for a new building or a stationary provider for the next 12 months.

When submitting a tender it's important to remember that it's a highly competitive process, so it's imperative that you provide your best quote. Many organisations, particularly government agencies, will not negotiate prices once the tender has closed.

Questions to ask before you decide to submit a tender

Writing and preparing your response to a tender can be daunting, expensive and time consuming, and there is no guarantee of success. Before deciding whether or not to submit a response, take a moment to consider the following questions:

  • Do I meet the requirements specified in the request?
  • Am I able to fulfil all of the requirements myself, or do I need to contract some of the work to another party? If so, to whom will I contract the work and how much will that cost?
  • Do I have the financial capacity to deliver the requirements of the request?
  • Is there an actual or potential conflict of interest that could prevent me from making a response?
  • Do I already have the resources to do the job?
  • Is it going to be viable for me?
  • Is it within my capacity to do the work?
  • Have I read, or am I familiar with, all of the organisation's policies on purchasing?

Most tender documents also include a contact name. Use this contact to find out if there's any additional detail or information that may assist you in preparing your application. Showing interest and discussing the job will make you more memorable when the decision panel is analysing all of the submissions.

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Western Australian Government tenders

The state government is one of the largest organisations in Western Australia to request tenders. More than 40,000 individual contracts are awarded each year by government agencies, which vary from appointing a printer to provision of catering services or construction of a new jetty.

The amount of the tender will determine the process for applying. Generally for purchases:

  • $150,000 or more - a formal tender process is used;
  • $20,000 to $150,000 - a written process is used;
  • $5,000 to $20,000 - a verbal quote is used; and
  • under $5000 - agencies generally purchase directly.

Tenders WA provides information to help suppliers who want to register for access to the Tenders WA online system. They also host five free seminars during the year. These are for businesses that want information on the government quote and tender process (each seminar is the same, so it is only necessary to attend one).

These seminars benefit businesses that are new to the provision of goods and services to government, and the quote and tender process, and those who want to update their knowledge. However, these seminars only present information on the provision of goods and services for government agencies, they do not deal with Building Management and Works tenders that relate to infrastructure or maintenance.

In some cases, the West Australian Government establishes whole-of-government contracts for the procurement of goods and services. These contracts are called Common Use Arrangements (CUAs) and establish suppliers to provide particular goods or services for a set period of time. More information can be found at the Department of Finance

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How do I find out what tenders are available?

Most organisations advertise tender opportunities in electronic marketplaces online. A call for tender can also be advertised in The West Australian newspaper. Doing a search for “tender opportunities” or similar key phrases in a reputable search engine such as Google or Yahoo will return a list of some of the major tender websites in Australia .

For more information about federal government tenders and finding other governments' tender opportunities, refer to the Tenders and contracts section of business.gov.au, or check out the list of resources at Government contracts and tenders

You can then contact the relevant public authority or tenders office specified in the advertisement, or listing, to request a copy of the request document by mail.

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