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Identifying Opportunities

What does the Government buy?

The Australian Government is a large potential client for businesses of all sizes selling a wide range of goods and services.

From advertising and cleaning services to engineering and office equipment, and from training and project management to research and recruitment—Australian Government organisations purchase a wide variety of goods and services from the private sector.

Each Government organisation has its own needs, and makes its own purchases to meet its requirements.

What is AusTender?

AusTender is a free information system operated by the Australian Government. It provides centralised publication of Australian Government business opportunities, annual procurement plans, multi-use lists and contracts awarded.

How do I get information from AusTender?

One of AusTender’s most useful features for any potential supplier to government is the subscription service that allows you to register your area of business interest. You can then receive free automatic email notifications of the latest opportunities as they are advertised.

Registration on AusTender is free and simple to complete.

Be sure to specify the widest range of goods and services that your business may supply so that you do not miss out on opportunities.

How do I get help using AusTender?

There are a number of ways in which you can obtain help and advice. AusTender is supported by a professional and dedicated team who will be ready to assist you. You may contact the Help Desk by phone or email:

Phone: 1300 651 698
International: +61 2 6215 1558
Email: tenders [at] finance.gov.au

The AusTender Help Desk is available between 9am and 5pm ACT Local Time, Monday to Friday (excluding ACT and national public holidays).

Please note that questions regarding any aspect of the ATM or the ATM documentation, should be directed to the nominated agency Contact Officer.

Is everything the Government buys advertised and can any business respond?

Generally speaking, Government requirements valued above $80,000 are advertised publicly via AusTender and are open to any business that wants to respond. This approach creates fair competition and helps achieve the best value for money.

There are some exemptions to the AusTender notification policy.

Requirements valued below the relevant threshold do not have to be advertised publicly.

How can I find out what the Government wants to buy?

For contracts above $80,000, you can visit AusTender and search current Approaches to Market to see what an Australian Government organisation is currently in the market to buy. You can search by keyword or just browse all the current opportunities sorted by closing date, or by the buying organisation for example.

If you are already registered on AusTender, you will be sent an email whenever there is an opportunity that matches your criteria.

Government purchases below $80,000 are not advertised broadly and the government will approach the market directly for quotes.

For lower value contracts, it may be helpful to market to Government organisations as you would for any other potential client. The challenge can be in reaching the buyer(s) within the organisation at the right time. Calling on government agencies in the hope they are buying your service or product (commonly called Cold-Calling) is not an efficient marketing method.

Case Studies

Bringing unique Indigenous flavours to the government

Indigenous catering company Bandu is a great example of a small business that’s doing big business with the Australian Government.