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Where do I start?

Pursuing opportunities to supply to the Australian Government is a commercial decision each business must make for itself. A fully informed decision will provide the greatest potential for a successful outcome.

Understand the customer

Understanding the Australian Government as a customer is the same as marketing goods and services to any potential buyer.

The Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs) are the common rule set for most Australian Government procurement activities. Regardless of the specific process, achieving value for money is the core rule underpinning Australian Government procurement.

The information available on this website, via the Guide to selling section, will give you an understanding of the obligations that apply to relevant Australian Government organisations as outlined in the CPRs, and help you to begin researching potential buyers.

Search opportunities

AusTender is the ideal resource for monitoring what is happening in the Australian Government marketplace. The easiest way to find out what goods and services the Australian Government buys is to check available and upcoming business opportunities via AusTender Business Opportunities:

  • Australian Government organisations advertise publicly available business opportunities on AusTender
  • Details of contracts with Australian Government organisations valued at $10,000 or more are also published on AusTender (AusTender Contracts and Amendments).

AusTender’s search functionality can help you identify individual tenders or contracts which may be of interest to your business. For example, you can search for relevant business opportunities based on a variety of indicators including agency name, category of goods or services, or the closing date for submissions.

There is an abundance of information listed on AusTender including:

  • Current opportunities
  • Panels
  • Recently closed tenders undergoing evaluation
  • Contracts awarded
  • Annual Procurement Plans.

Further information on how to use AusTender is available from the Frequently Asked Questions – Using AusTender section of this website, and on the AusTender Help and Information Centre.

The AusTender Help and Information Centre also includes a variety of reports to help you better understand opportunities in your sector.

Understand the process and market appropriately

The business processes and procedures the Australian Government uses when purchasing from the private sector is similar to other market segments. However, Australian Government organisations must follow some specific rules to ensure the process is open, honest, and fair and provides value for money outcomes.

Understanding what the Australian Government is looking for will help you prepare a response to an opportunity efficiently. An understanding of the buying behaviour of the Australian Government, the rules it must follow, and the responsibilities it has during each stage of the buying process will assist you in targeting your marketing efforts to achieve the best outcome.

Tendering competitively to give your response the best chance for success

Competition is a key element of the Australian Government’s procurement framework. To be successful in winning contracts you need to respond effectively and rate well during tender evaluation. Following are some suggestions to help ensure your tender response has the best chance of success:

  • Review the planned procurements for your sector on AusTender so you can identify potential opportunities or engage with relevant Australian Government organisations
  • Monitor AusTender so you know as early as possible of the release of an Approach To Market remember to also monitor your email notifications from AusTender for any updates
  • Critically assess if this is the right business opportunity for you and understand the type of information you will need to incorporate or provide with your response
  • Start your response early
  • Seek clarification early, if needed
  • Attend a briefing session if offered
  • Read, re-read, and understand the requirement
  • Include everything requested
  • Prepare to submit your response well in advance of the specified closing time (late submissions are not accepted)
  • Keep your response concise and on topic
  • Don’t under-price, but justify your price
  • Demonstrate value for money
  • Be clear if you are suggesting any innovative business solutions and ensure that these are costed
  • Ensure your submission is complete and accurate (it is unlikely there will be another opportunity, within this process, to promote your response)
  • Emphasise your competitive difference – what makes your business the best candidate for the contract.

We hope that this section has given you a useful overview of opportunities to sell to the Australian Government, and a high-level understanding of the process and its requirements.

To better understand the specific demands and procedures that apply when selling to the Australian Government, refer to the Guide to selling section of this website.