tips  |  27 Aug 2021

5 things all suppliers must think about when selling to government!

If you are considering applying for a tender, there are five key things Government buyers think about and look for when reviewing your tender.

construction workers

These are the five key things Government buyers think about and look for when reviewing your tender.

1.    Value for money

Value for money is the primary objective. As a seller it is important you understand what value for money means, and you can demonstrate what you are selling is value for money.

Value for money is not the lowest price nor is it the best bargain. Value for money is all the benefits over the lifecycle of what is being purchased without all the costs.

Whilst what you are selling can be the best on the market and the cheapest - if the Government sees that it may fail or cost more to adopt or maintain then your product may not be the best value for money.

2.    Fair and open competition

Government agencies must encourage competition and furthermore, they are specifically required to champion new businesses including small businesses to pitch for Government work.

3.    Easy to do business

All Government agencies should:

  • Notify suppliers in advance of opportunities and allow time to prepare,
  • Make it easy for suppliers to understand contractual terms and comply with them,
  • Pay small business suppliers promptly.

4.    Seek innovative products and services

Government agencies should not keep buying the same things time and time again. They are urged to consider innovative options when buying goods and/or services.

5.    Buying sustainably

All Government agencies need to spend public money wisely - meaning they should only buy what they need and source sustainable alternatives when available.

Additional rules which apply to Government buying

Additionally, Government agencies must -

  • Buy from whole-of-government contracts if available although some exemptions apply,
  • Have the authority to buy from you if they ask you to quote,
  • Select suppliers based on an evaluation criterion not just pick preferentially or the first supplier who comes to mind.

The Supplier’s Code of Conduct also applies to buyers. When buying goods and/or services, Government agencies are required to:

  • Comply with applicable laws, regulations, policies, and procedures,
  • Act with integrity and openness,
  • Demonstrate fairness and transparency in all dealings with individuals and organisations,
  • Disclose any perceived or real conflicts of interest,
  • Encourage fair and open competition while seeking value for money and innovative solutions,
  • Adopt procurement processes to make it easy to do business,
  • Publish details of contracts awarded as required by legislation,
  • Protect and prevent the release of commercial-in-confidence information,
  • Not seek or accept any financial or non-financial benefits from potential, current or past suppliers,
  • Respond to reasonable requests for advice and information including tender debriefings,
  • Investigate complaints.

If you believe a Government agency has not complied with the Supplier’s Code of Conduct, you can make a complaint to your State Government’s Procurement Office.