Planning a procurement

Annual Procurement Plans

Rule: Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs) - Paragraphs 7.8 and 7.9 

Relevant entities must maintain a current Annual Procurement Plan on AusTender to draw the market’s early attention to potential procurement opportunities. 

Annual Procurement Plans (APPs) provide information to the market on significant procurements that relevant entities plan to undertake through an open tender within the next 12 months. Early notice of upcoming procurement opportunities: 

  • help relevant entities to identify cooperative procurement opportunities and facilitate early planning 
  • enable collaboration between businesses that may not be in a position to bid on their own.

Entities should ensure they have processes in place to regularly and comprehensively identify potential upcoming significant procurements and ensure these procurements are then captured in an updated APP. If a relevant entity has no significant procurements planned in the next 12 months, they should publish an APP stating that no significant procurements are planned. 

At a minimum, relevant entities should update their APPs on six monthly basis, including publishing notification of that no significant procurements are planned.

Relevant entities should not include planned procurements in their APPs which they intend to conduct through a limited tender, or procurements from existing arrangements such as established panels.

An accountable authority of a relevant entity may choose not to publish a planned procurement or not to include details of a planned procurement in an APP.

APPs must include a concise strategic procurement outlook statement, which broadly discusses any key, major or strategic initiatives from which the entity expects procurements to arise. More than one strategic procurement outlook statement can be provided, for example, along business lines such as corporate, legal, and information and communications technology.

If a procurement is included in an APP as a planned procurement, the CPRs allow an entity to reduce the time limit for potential suppliers to lodge a submission for an open tender Approach to Market (ATM). However, relevant entities are responsible for ensuring that procurement processes are transparent and that any shortened timeframe does not detract from either the open competition aspect of the procurement process, the ability of potential suppliers to submit quality bids, or the outcome.

Recognising the potential impacts for suppliers of shorter tender timeframes, the APP Agency Reference ID published on the APP should be linked to the ATM listing. This allows potential suppliers that have the planned procurement added to their watch list on AusTender, and as a result, be notified that the ATM has been published. 

Factors an entity may wish to consider when deciding which planned procurements to include in the APP include: 

  • information that would add value to the entity’s relationship with industry, potential suppliers and contractors
  • the level of meaningful information available
  • whether the entity wishes to have the option to reduce time limits for submissions
  • the likely significance of the planned procurement
  • the likely value
  • the potential for multi-agency access
  • the likelihood of the planned procurement actually occurring
  • the method of planned procurement.

Planned procurements listed in APPs are required to include details such as:

  • the subject matter of the planned procurement
  • the estimated quarter of the financial year of the planned ATM
  • whether the planned procurement will potentially allow multi-agency access
  • the goods and services category code (UNSPSC code).

Publication of a planned procurement on an APP is not a commitment from a relevant entity that an ATM will be conducted. 

As APPs are used as planning tools by relevant entities and business, every effort should be made to keep them up to date. It is appropriate for information contained in an APP to change in order to remain consistent with an entity’s procurement needs. 

Did you find this content useful?