How the Western Australian Government buys your services - all about open tenders, common use arrangements and more.The Western Australian Government buys goods and services for around $14 billion each year. They have policies to guide the purchases such as buy local, and open competition. Learn about how the system works in WA so your business can benefit from government procurement.
How does the WA Government buy?
WA Government organisations make purchases through one of the following methods:
Common Use Arrangements
What are Open Tenders?
For purchases above $250,000 government organisations must undertake a competitive procurement through an open tender. In an open tender Government organisations will typically publish a Request for Tender (RFT) that sets out the organisations requirements and selection criteria.
An evaluation panel then assesses all offers against these requirements and a preferred supplier is chosen. Following the endorsement of the tender committee, the contract is then awarded to the successful respondent. All open tenders are published on the Tenders WA website.
A tender is typically advertised on the WA government's Tenders WA website for a minimum of 10 working days and the tender documentation is available to download. The Tenders WA website does not include local government tenders and we suggest you subscribe to Australian Tenders to receive email alerts for all tenders in WA.
What are CUAs (Common Use Arrangements)?
Goods or services commonly used by government are procured under Common Use Arrangements (CUAs). It is worthwhile checking to see if the goods or services your company provides is subject to a Common Use Agreement as a first step. CUAs are valid for a fixed period typically between 2 and 5 years after which they are reviewed and may be re-tendered.
How does direct purchase work?
When purchasing goods and services up to $50,000 that are not on a CUA, government organisations may purchase directly from suppliers. Typically 2 to 5 suppliers will be invited to submit a quote via phone, email or face-to-face. Quotations are then evaluated and the successful supplier will then be sent a written purchase order.
Request For Quote (RFQ) and Written Quote
For purchases between $50,000 and $250,000, government organisations/departments must request written quotes in the form of a Request for Quote (RFQ). These do not have to go to open tender. It is however not uncommon for government organisations to go to tender for purchases of less than $250,000. In some cases this can be an open tender or an invited tender where only selected companies are invited to tender.
WA Government Buying Policies
The WA Government has a number of policies that you need to consider when tendering:
Free Information Seminars
The WA Government has regular seminars for those who are new to tendering which are free of charge and highly recommended. You can register for the next seminar on Department of Finance website.
For more information about how to make the most of working with the Western Australian Government, read the guide to tendering.