$80k - $200k

We welcome your feedback and suggestions. For feedback, support or technical issues, please email ccsdesk@finance.gov.au. If you have a query about the procurement process or policy then please check with your central procurement area.

$80k - $200k

If you have come to this page directly, please go to the page “What is BuyRight?”. 
This contains conditions that you need to first consider when conducting your procurement.

Key policies that apply to procurements in this value range are:  

This page will guide you through the process for procurements between $80k - $200k.

  • + provides additional detail under each step of the process
  • ► denotes an action step
  • Notes and text in the blue boxes provide additional information and tips
  • Click the orange “Why?” box to see the relevant section/s of the policy

Start at step D.1 below and follow the entire process.

 

D.1. Indigenous Procurement Policy
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Procurements in this value range come with obligations under the Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) around using Indigenous businesses to deliver your goods or services.

When does IPP apply? 

  • The IPP mandatory set aside will apply when the value of your procurement is estimated between $80k and $200k.
  • If your procurement is:
      • estimated within the range of $80k to $200k
      • not subject to a CPR Appendix A exemption
      • does not meet one of the CPR 10.3 conditions for limited tender, and
      • not using CPR 2.6 for measures determined necessary by an accountable authority
 then you MUST check whether an Indigenous Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) can deliver the goods or services on a value for money (VFM) basis before approaching the market.
Using an Indigenous supplier will help your entity to meet its Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) targets.

► Check Supply Nation for an Indigenous supplier that can meet your requirements. This is a mandatory step.

If you find an Indigenous supplier(s), use CPR Appendix A Exemption 16 in your procurement plan. This allows you to approach only those Indigenous business(es) you identified (and this exemption will need to be  recorded in your paperwork).

If using an Indigenous supplier under this exemption, exit this process and follow the $10k-$80k Process from step C.2: Plan your procurement onwards.

 

Why?

D.2. Check for an Existing Standing Offer Arrangement (Panel)
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Standing offer arrangements (panels) are set up by entities for frequently sourced goods or services. The benefits in using a standing offer are:

  • a competitive process has already been undertaken and suitable suppliers identified which allows you to approach one or multiple suppliers as required
  • contract terms and rates have already been agreed
  • entities may use panels that have been set up by other entities which provide efficiencies to both purchaser and supplier.

 How do I find a standing offer arrangement (panel)?

  • Standing offers are listed on AusTender.
  • All standing offer arrangements are listed under a Standing Offer Notice (SON). The SON will show you approved suppliers and provide details of the panel.
  • Check to see whether your entity is eligible to use the standing offer - there is a section on the SON that notes who is can use the standing offer arrangement. 
  • If the standing offer also has a panel ID then it can be managed through Dynamic Sourcing for Panels (DS4P) tool within AusTender.
  • If your entity is approved to use the standing offer, you can access the relevant documents through DS4P once you have registered as a government buyer. If you cannot access DS4P you will need to contact the panel manager via the contact details provided.

► Review standing offer arrangements to see if there is a standing offer that suits your requirements.

If you find a standing offer, do not continue with this $80k - $200k process. Follow the Using an Existing Standing Offer process.

Why?

D.3. Conduct Market Research
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You need to understand the market from which you are going to procure. This will help you decide on the best approach.

► Are there many suppliers in the market or is it quite limited?

► Are these goods/services available off-the-shelf or do they require customisation?

► Are there any limitations in the market such as capacity to supply goods/services or availability of goods? Does this affect the price or the competitiveness of the market?

► Are there any other risks inherent in this market?

► Do you have a good understanding of the estimated price of your procurement?

► When procuring digital or ICT goods or services you should complete a self-assessment under the Digital Sourcing Consider First Policy.  A Consider First Assessment Tool can be found on the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) website.

You can contact potential suppliers when conducting market research. Be mindful of the information that you give them so as not to advantage one supplier over another that may be eligible to compete for this procurement. Avoid the specifics of your requirement and keep your enquiries general in nature.

Why?

D.4. Clearly Define the Requirement
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You will need to define your requirement in a way that can be easily understood by the supplier(s). This description will be key information in your approach to market (ATM) documentation.

Here are some tips:

► set out the specifications in terms of performance and functional requirements where applicable.

► specifications should be succinct and to the point - do not over specify.

Limit Conditions for Participation to those that are essential to meet the requirements of the procurement - legal, commercial, technical and financial abilities or experience.  Do not include any ‘nice-to-have’ elements, as any tender submissions that do not demonstrate their ability to meet the conditions for participation must be rejected.  This means that they cannot be considered for the resultant contract.

► minimise the use of jargon and avoid the use of specific brands, products or trademarks (see CPRs 10.12)

► think about your required timeframes and if long lead times may be required

► consult subject matter experts where required (technical, operational etc.)

► include any relevant standards

Further information on developing a specification can be found here (CPRs 10.9 - 10.13).

► When procuring digital or ICT goods or services you should complete a Fair Criteria checklist under the Digital Sourcing Fair Criteria Policy.  The checklist can be found on the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) website.

It is good practice to have someone not involved in the process review your description for clarity and understanding.

Why?

D.5. Plan your procurement
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You need to decide the best way to approach the market  to get the right outcomes for your procurement.

How will I approach the market?

Procurements valued at or above the relevant procurement thresholds (i.e. $80k for general procurements or $7.5m for construction procurements) are required to go to open tender unless an exemption or a condition for limited tender applies.

Exemptions to open tender

► Check CPRs Appendix A to see if your procurement is exempt from Division 2 of the CPRs.

If your procurement is exempt under this provision, Division 2 of the CPRs does not apply so exit this process and follow the $10K-$80K process from Step C.2: Plan your procurement.

Conditions for limited tender

► Check CPRs 10.3 to see if your procurement may be carried out as a limited tender.

There are a number of circumstances where a limited tender may be more appropriate. If your procurement meets the requirements for a limited tender, you may approach a single supplier or a select number of suppliers rather than a full open tender. Some requirements under Division 2 of the CPRs still apply and they can be found at CPR 10.4. While you do not need to do an open tender, you will still need to follow this process.

► If using a limited tender condition continue this Step D.5: Plan your procurement after the “note” box.

Using an open tender approach

If your procurement does not meet either of the above conditions for an exemption or limited tender, you will need to go to open tender.

 What is a limited or open tender?

Open Tender involves publishing an open approach to market on AusTender and inviting submissions. In this approach, you do not know who or how many potential suppliers will reply to your tender.

Limited Tender involves approaching one or more identified potential suppliers directly to invite submissions.

► Contact your central procurement team to discuss whether your procurement may require a Public Interest Certificate (PIC). Resource Management Guide (RMG) No. 422 - Handling Complaints Under the Government Procurement (Judicial Review) Act 2018 sets out the conditions when a Public Interest Certificate will apply and the process and timing for applying for one.

Procurement Plan

► Develop a procurement plan that records the issues you consider, the decisions you make and how you will approach the market. You may wish to use the CCS Procurement Plan.

► Conduct a risk assessment using your entity’s risk management framework and include in your procurement plan. If significant risks are identified you may need to develop a risk management plan.

► Gain your delegate’s approval for your procurement plan.

Why?

D.6. Assess Conflicts of Interest
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Now that you know the market and have assessed the best way to approach the market, you will need to assess whether any of the people connected with this procurement have a potential conflict of interest. 

A conflict of interest arises where a person has an affiliation or personal interest that might prejudice, or be seen to prejudice, their impartiality.

► Ensure all people materially involved in the procurement process complete a conflict of interest declaration. Your entity may have a conflict of interest template.

► Discuss and manage any potential conflicts of interest in accordance with your entity's Accountable Authority Instructions (AAIs) (see your intranet or seek advice from your central procurement area).

Conflicts of interest are common occurrences and do not infer any misconduct in itself. However, not declaring a conflict of interest or not managing a conflict appropriately may be construed as misconduct.

You may need to assess conflicts of interest multiple times throughout the process to take account of additional people becoming aware of procurement details or as more information becomes available, particularly when potential suppliers have responded.

Why?

D.7. Prepare the Approach To Market (ATM) Documentation
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When going out to potential suppliers, you MUST ensure that your approach is consistent and equitable to all potential suppliers.

► Develop your ATM documentation. For procurements valued under $200k, you MUST use the CCS approach to market template unless you meet one of the criteria outlined within RMG No. 420 Part 2.

You will also need to document how you intend to evaluate the responses (evaluation criteria are set out in the CCS ATM terms). This should be done before you approach the market but MUST be done before any responses are received. 

► Develop an evaluation plan. 

 Handy Hints

  • Use the approach to market that the delegate approved in your procurement plan developed in Step 5: Plan your procurement
  • Use the description of your requirement as developed in Step 4: Clearly define the requirement
  • Carefully consider the use of mandatory conditions for participation, as you must exclude any tenders which do not fully meet these requirements
  • Do not use unnecessary jargon and acronyms within the ATM documentation
  • Adhere to minimum time limits for your tender to be out in the market (see CPR 10.20 – 10.27)
  • Suppliers with 100 or more employees in Australia must supply a letter of compliance with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 with their tender submission or prior to contracting with the Australian Government. If you use the CCS ATM this will already be addressed (this applies to general goods and services over $80k and construction services over $7.5m).

Why?

D.8. Obtain Delegate Endorsement to Approach the Market (ATM)
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Prior to approaching the market, you MUST obtain the endorsement of your delegate to proceed. This is because when you release your ATM you are obliged to continue the process to finalisation and award of contract  should you find a suitable supplier (see CPRs 10.35). 

► Ensure that unallocated funds are available. 

► Obtain delegate endorsement for the release of your ATM. If you use the CCS procurement plan, an approval minute will have been generated automatically.

Why?

D.9. Release the ATM
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AusTender is the Australian Government’s procurement information system and is a centralised web-based facility that publishes a range of information, including entity’s approaches to market.

► For Open Tender: You MUST publish open approaches to market on AusTender. Do this as per your entity's established procedures (search your intranet or seek advice from your central procurement area).

► For Limited Tender: You may use AusTender or choose to publish and receive submissions in another manner (e.g. email, tender box).

If you are using a method other than AusTender you should ensure that you have suitable governance and processes in place for the receipt and opening of tenders.

AusTender Help Desk

Phone: 1300 651 698 (between 9am and 5pm ACT Local Time, Monday to Friday, excluding ACT and national public holidays)

International: +61 2 6215 1558

Email: tenders@finance.gov.au

Why?

D.10. Manage the Tendering Period
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Potential suppliers may seek clarification of information in the ATM documentation before the end of the closing time for questions, as outlined within the ATM.

► If you receive questions from potential suppliers during the tender period:

» if received prior to any closing of questions deadline, answer them promptly (in writing to all suppliers, without identifying the source of the question) - If published in AusTender, publish the responses as an addendum.

» if required to provide additional or revised material then ensure it is made available to all potential suppliers in a timely and equitable manner - this can be directly if undertaking a limited approach to the market and must be via an addendum openly on AusTender if understaking an open approach to market.

» if you receive questions after the closing of questions deadline then you are not obliged to answer. However, you should consider responding if the issue risks compromising the procurement. If a change needs to be made that would impact on potential supplier submissions, you can consider extending the closing deadline.

► If a potential supplier requests an extension of time to submit their response, you are not obliged to agree. If you are considering granting an extension of time, your decision should be based on:

» whether genuine and reasonable grounds exist (e.g. not due to the potential supplier‘s disorganisation)

»  it MUST not unfairly disadvantage any other potential suppliers and the extension is applied equally to all potential suppliers

»  the request is received within a reasonable period before the closing deadline.

Why?

D.11. Receive ATM Responses
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Procedures to receive and open ATM responses MUST guarantee fairness and impartiality and MUST ensure that ATM responses are treated in confidence (see CPRs 10.32 – 10.34).

► Download ATM responses from AusTender or open/collate responses if delivered in another manner.

► Responses MUST be treated as confidential before and after the award of a contract (see CPRs 7.23). Ensure that only those specified in the evaluation plan have access to the responses or information relating to those responses in accordance with the evaluation process.

► Follow the screening process as set out in your evaluation plan. This may include screening for:

» whether the response was received by the ATM closing time,
» completeness of the response,
» compliance with the minimum content and format requirements and
» conditions for participation.

► Exclude responses that do not meet the requirements of the screening process.

► Identify and manage new conflicts of interest (if any).

AusTender automatically closes at your specified closing time (Note: If suppliers have any issues in the lodgement process, direct them to contact the AusTender Helpdesk 1300 651 698).

Late submissions cannot be accepted unless it is due to the mishandling by the procuring entity (see CPRs 10.28).

Minor unintentional errors of form may not constitute a non-compliance with ATM requirements.  You may contact potential suppliers to correct such errors (see CPRs 10.33).

Why?

D.12. Evaluate Supplier Responses
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Evaluation of any responses to the ATM will need to follow your evaluation plan. Tender responses are confidential and should only be distributed to those in the evaluation team (see CPRs 7.23).

► Follow the process identified in your evaluation plan and evaluate against the criteria documented in your ATM. This will generally involve:

» each member of the evaluation team individually evaluating each of the responses

» the team then meeting to agree the strengths and weaknesses of each response. This will also generate the information for any future supplier feedback (see CPRs 7.6)

» the team recommending a preferred supplier(s), based on best value for money, to the delegate for approval. If no response represents value for money, your recommendation may be to stop this process and further refine the procurement

► Prepare an evaluation report based on your findings and recommendation (You may wish to use the CCS Evaluation Report) including identifying any issues for possible negotiation or reconsideration.

► Gain written delegate endorsement of the recommendations and your evaluation report.

● Evaluation best practice considers all potential suppliers capability and capacity to meet your requirements first and then to consider pricing information to enable an unbiased assessment of value for money.

● Do not materially change the evaluation plan or the evaluation criteria (including any weightings) after the opening of ATM responses.

● The delegate may not accept your recommendations and instruct you to take another course of action.

● A potential supplier's submission may not completely fulfil your requirements but may have the potential to represent value for money subject to negotiation of certain issues.

● If you recommend a preferred supplier that will present value for money subject to negotiation of certain and subsequently these issues cannot be satisfactorily resolved, you may decide to go to the next potential supplier. This scenario needs to be well documented in your evaluation report.

Non-public sector employers with 100 or more employees in Australia must supply a letter of compliance with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 with their tender submission or prior to contracting with the Australian Government.  If you have used the CCS ATM this should have been addressed in the preferred supplier’s response. 

Why?

D.13. Draft Contract (Using CCS)
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You will need to prepare a draft contract that will incorporate the preferred supplier's ATM response.

 ► Draft a CCS Contract that meets your requirements and is consistent with your approach to market documentation and the preferred supplier's ATM response.

For procurements valued under $200k, you MUST use the CCS Contract unless you meet one of the exemptions outlined within RMG No. 420 Part 2.

You MUST use the CCS Contract if you used the CCS Approach to Market..

If you are using the CCS, it is a condition of submitting a response that the supplier agrees to enter a contract under the terms set out in the Commonwealth Contract Terms. This means that the Commonwealth Contract Terms may not be re-negotiated.

Why?

D.14. Obtain Delegate Approval under PGPA Section 23
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Once you have completed your evaluation and before entering an agreement, you MUST seek approval under section 23 of the Public Governance Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).

► Prepare the PGPA Section 23 approval minute (if using the CCS Evaluation Report this will be automatically generated).

» Ensure that the evaluation recommendations and draft contract are attached.

» You should also include a list of any negotiation issues (if any). Note: the Commonwealth contract terms are not negotiable and the supplier should have agreed to these in their response.

► Submit to delegate for approval.

 When does the Contract get signed?

The delegate should not sign the contract at this point. The supplier should sign the contract FIRST but not before PGPA Section 23 approval is granted.

Why?

D.15. Negotiate
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Once relevant approvals have been granted, you can notify the preferred supplier and proceed to finalise your contract.

There may be issues arising from the preferred supplier's tender that will need some level of negotiation or clarification.

► Notify the successful supplier. Notifying the successful supplier in writing (an email may be sufficient) provides a record of notification.

► If the delegate has agreed that negotiations are required, invite the preferred supplier to negotiations. Include an agenda identifying the issues to be discussed. (Note: the Commonwealth Contract Terms are not able to be negotiated).

► Conduct negotiations. Bring in subject matter experts if required.

► Document the outcome of the negotiations and seek agreement to the outcomes from your delegate.

► Incorporate agreed positions into the contract.

  • You may not have any significant issues for clarification. Usually minor issues can be dealt with through email.
  • Your negotiation is generally about finalising the contract details. There may be opportunity to refine some details such as:
    • price, rates or fees
    • schedule and delivery
    • performance including key performance indicators (KPIs)
    • service levels
    • security requirements
    • ICT integration
  • Negotiations may not necessarily be about getting a cheaper price. The preferred supplier has made an offer in their tender that you have judged as providing value for money. If you push the supplier too low you may not get a satisfactory outcome or achieve the anticipated value for money. However you may be able to find economies through refining requirements and processes.
  • Ensure that the effort expended in your negotiations is commensurate with the potential benefits.

Why?

D.16. Formalise Contract
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Once the contract has been agreed by you and the preferred supplier you can proceed to finalise your contract.

► Provide the final contract for signature. The preferred supplier is required to return a signed copy of the contract (either physically or electronically).

► The Commonwealth is also required to sign and return a signed copy of the contract to the supplier.

► After the contract has been formalised, enter this procurement into your entity's Financial Management Information System (FMIS). You may also be required to submit relevant supporting documentation.

► Entities MUST report contracts on AusTender within 42 days of entering into a contract (see CPRs 7.18). Your FMIS may facilitate this reporting or you may have to do this manually. Check with your CFO or your central procurement area.

Why?

D.17. Advise unsuccessful suppliers
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Once the contract or purchase order has been formalised in step D.16: Formalise Contract, you are required to notify other suppliers that provided responses

► You MUST notify the unsuccessful supplier(s). Notifying unsuccessful suppliers in writing (an email may be sufficient) provides a record of notification.

► You MUST offer all suppliers (including the successful supplier) the opportunity to receive feedback on their response.

Tip: How to Conduct a Supplier Debrief

Why?

D.18. File documents
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You are required to retain all relevant documents in accordance with the Archives Act 1983. Relevant documents include any documents that record decisions and/or approvals, including those with signatures.

► File documents in accordance with your entity's records management practices.

Manage the contract. More information can be found in the Australian Government Contract Management Guide on the Department of Finance website.

Why?