Have you come across words like panels, panel arrangement and panel tenders? Find out what they're all about here in this article.
What is a Panel Arrangement?
A panel arrangement is a method of procurement that is typically used for goods and services required on a regular basis such as groceries, cleaning products, fuel, office stationery, and consumables.
A panel will typically comprise one or more suppliers who are selected following a tender process which contains standard terms and conditions under which the suppliers must deliver the goods/services.
Opened and Closed Panels
Why Panel Arrangements are used?
For government organisations, this means having consistency across the goods, work and services they procure. Panels can also be used for regular, large purchases, where a single provider might struggle to meet the organisation’s requirements.
By becoming a preferred supplier or being accepted into a panel-agreement, you now carry significant weight with the buyers. You won’t need to prepare as many tender responses (a big plus), and you can maintain business relationships with the buyer organisations.
How can Suppliers get onto a Panel?
Seek appropriate opportunities as they arise on Australian Tenders.
Register your business with the organisation on its procurement portal or e-Tendering website. This is often a government department or organisation.
Show your capability, a strong value proposition, a willingness to work with your buyers to meet their needs, and some degree of flexibility (you may have to work with your competitors in some cases).
What is required?Several obligations must be met for those who are part of a panel arrangement. A few of these requirements have been highlighted below as examples. These requirements are requested by the buyer organisation WALGA panel arrangement and may differ according to the buyer organisation/ government. To see what a real Preferred Supplier Arrangement/Program (PSA) entails, check out WALGA’s program here.
- Best Price Guarantee
There is a legal requirement for all preferred suppliers to provide their best pricing and conditions of supply exclusively through the buyer’s panel arrangement.
- Full Compliance
The integrity and reputation of the buyer are built on the fact that the appointed preferred supplier delivers in accordance with their contractual commitments. This includes cooperating with any compliance audits that the buyer establishes directly or through an independent auditor.
- Quarterly Management Reporting
You may need to provide a quarterly activity report to the buyer on activity generated under the PSA. This includes all work with members that has not been tendered. The buyer maintains confidential data on contract usage, including actual expenditure per member and projected savings against market prices (as outlined in your bid to be part of the panel).
- During the contract
The parties involved will comply with specific contract management activities, including establishment and management of KPIs (for the preferred suppliers and the buyer), ongoing compliance and risk management, audits and quarterly contract management meetings/contacts.
The table below provides direct links to purchasing departments from each state across Australia and pages to learn more about their schemes and panel arrangement.
|State||Purchasing Department Link||Schemes and Panels|
|WA||Procurement||Common Use Arrangements|
|VIC||Supplying to Government||Apply to join a contract, panel or register|
|QLD||Supply to Queensland Government||Supplying for buying categories|
|NZ||For Suppliers||Products and Services|
|FED||Selling to the Government||Whole of Australian Government Arrangements|
||Procurement||Whole of Government Arrangements|
|NT||Doing Business with Government||How Government Buys|
|SA||Doing Business with Government||Apply for Government Building and ICT Contracts|
|TAS||Winning Government Business||Common-use Contracts of the TAS Government|
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