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What is involved in selling to the Australian Government?

The process the Australian Government follows when buying from the general market may seem quite structured and formal, although it is getting easier.

The Australian Government is accountable for the way it spends taxpayer’s money and this means the process has to be open, honest and fair.

The core principle when spending money is Value for Money.

Value for money is the core principle underpinning Australian Government spending. Value for money is to be achieved through:

  • encouraging competition and non-discriminatory processes;
  • using resources in an, efficient, effective, economical and ethical manner
  • making accountable and transparent decisions
  • considering the risks; and
  • conducting an efficient buying process

This means that value for money is not just about price: decisions are based on an assessment of all the costs and benefits of each proposal against the original business need.

A value for money assessment, may include consideration of factors such as:

  • meeting the specifications
  • experience and performance history;
  • flexibility, innovation and adaptability for the duration of the contract
  • environmental sustainability and
  • whole-of-life costs.

The Australian Government must follow certain rules when buying goods and services. These are described in the document, The Commonwealth Procurement Rules.

Generally the process is most structured for buying goods and services in excess of $80,000.

See See Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for further information. For greater depth read, Selling to the Australian Government: A Guide for Business.