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A procurement activity involves the use of Government funds to buy goods or services. The Australian Government uses a range of different procurement methods to meet its requirements. These are generically known as an approach to market (ATM).
Procurement encompasses the whole process of buying goods and services. It begins when a need is identified, and a decision has been made by Government on the procurement requirement. Procurement continues through the processes of risk assessment, seeking and evaluating alternative solutions, awarding of contracts, the delivery of and payment for the goods and services and, where relevant, the ongoing management of the contract and consideration of disposal of goods.
Commonwealth Procurement Rules
The Commonwealth Procurement Rules are the basic set of rules for all Commonwealth procurements and govern the way in which Government entities undertake their own processes.
Applying for Employment Services procurements
The Australian Government buys employment services from a range of organisations to deliver programs across a broad variety of areas of need.
In 2022 the Government will be transforming its current employment services and the way it delivers these services to job seekers and interacts with employers and providers. More information can be found at New Employment Services Model page of this website.
Employment services purchasing activities are advertised via AusTender and are open to all organisations that want to respond. This approach creates fair competition and helps achieve the best value for money.
Potential suppliers for Government services, such as employment services, need to understand the rules and processes that apply to how the Government buys services.
A helpful guide to assist with tendering for Government services is available.
Information about new ATM
Government entities must publish advanced notice of their longer term procurement plans via an Annual Procurement Plan which is published on AusTender. All open ATMs are published on AusTender which is free to register.
Potential providers can find out about new ATMs and opportunities to deliver Government services by registering on AusTender. Make sure to include a wide range of relevant key words in your registration profile so the system can send you email alerts of the latest opportunities as they are advertised.
Late submissions will not be accepted
Government entities cannot accept your offer if it is submitted after the deadline unless the delay is due solely to mishandling by the Government entity. It is therefore vital that your offer is submitted by the deadline. If it is late for any other reason, by even a few minutes, it will not be accepted. The tender response lodgement platform will NOT allow a late tender submission.
Understand the program and check eligibility
Before preparing a response to an ATM, you should familiarise yourself with all documentation in the relevant application pack available through AusTender. Make sure you understand the services, eligibility requirements and the conditions for participation. This will help you to determine whether your organisation is eligible to apply for the tender.
Be sure to attend an industry briefing if it is offered. Industry briefings provide an opportunity to ask questions and deepen your understanding of the service requirements and tendering conditions. Attending these sessions will give you a better idea if this business opportunity is right for you.
Addressing selection criteria
You must address the selection criteria demonstrating your organisation’s ability to deliver the services specified in the ATM documentation.
All submissions will be assessed against the selection criteria that is set out in the ATM documentation. The ATM documentation will describe how the response will be evaluated/assessed. Selection Criteria may be weighted on its relative importance and if so, this information will be detailed in the ATM documentation.
Below are some examples of common selection criteria. This is a guide only. Selection criteria will vary for each tender:
- experience and capacity to deliver required services
- organisational governance arrangements and risk management
- innovation/effective service delivery approach
- past performance delivering similar services
- financial viability.
In addressing the selection criteria, tailor your response to the specific program requirements, job seeker cohorts, locations, or service delivery requirements. Support your response with strong evidence that can be validated. This may include past contract compliance, past performance, published material or reports, case studies etc and detailed descriptors.
Responses must be submitted, including any mandatory forms, before the closing date and time specified in the ATM.
Demonstrating value for money
It is very important to understand that Government entities are looking for value for money rather than just the lowest price.
Value for money includes assessment of tender response against the selection criteria, obtaining quality in service delivery, benefit of the tender to the Australian economy and the risk to the Australian Government and other factors consistent with the guidance issued by the Department of Finance, Value for Money.
Conditions for participation
The conditions for participation will be clearly stated in the ATM documentation. When the Government purchases services it is required to complete certain checks and ensure that minimum conditions are met to ensure that value for money is achieved.
You will be asked to provide business details such as:
- Australian Business Number (ABN)
- information on relevant insurances
- a current Statement of Tax Record (STR) in correct format and date
- other relevant details.
Suppliers are asked to provide financial information to demonstrate that they are financially viable and have the capacity to deliver the proposed services for the term of any employment services program. The level of financial information required under each program and activity may differ.
Copies of the documents that may be requested are:
- current audited financial statements
- credentials information
- sub-contractor credentials information (if required)
- registered business name certificate
- other relevant details.
Procurement Connected Policies
Government departments are responsible for the implementation of Procurement Connected Policies. Information on Procurement Connected Policies can be found at the Department of Finance's website.
IT security compliance
The department is responsible for ensuring that any organisation it contracts to deliver services has adequate security processes and controls in place. Information can be found at Digital Information Assurance/IT Security Compliance page of this website.
You will be asked to provide information on a broad range of cyber security topic areas from governance to personnel processes, use of information and communications technology services and processes to identify and report a security breach.