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Introduction - A guide to government procurement

The Australian Government is a large potential market for businesses of all sizes.

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

As a potential supplier to the government you need to know who to contact and, importantly, how to find business opportunities and effectively compete. You also need to understand the rules and processes that apply to how the government buys goods and services.

If you are interested in doing business with the Australian Government, then this guide is your starting point. It answers basic questions on the essentials, such as:

  • How does the government market work?
  • Where do you find business opportunities?
  • How do you win government business?
  • What are the rules when the government buys from the private sector?

The Department of Finance has developed this guide to help you identify opportunities and to compete for government business.

Who should read this guide?

This guide is for businesses that are interested in supplying goods or services to the Australian Government. It will help you better understand the specific demands and processes that apply when the Australian Government buys.

This guide does not cover the practices of State, Territory or Local Government entities. These are covered by their own procurement requirements and policies.

What is Procurement?

In this guide, we use the term procurement. Procurement is another term for buying goods and services. Procurement encompasses the whole process of buying goods and services. It begins when a need is identified and the decision is made to buy. Procurement continues through the processes of risk assessment, seeking and evaluating alternative solutions and the awarding of a contract.