An Expression of Interest (EOI) is to gauge interest in tendering. It's an approach to market for organisations or individuals to express an interest in providing particular goods or services.
The request typically seeks information from the respondents that will demonstrate their capacity to perform the contract and results in the respondent entering contract negotiation or being shortlisted for a later tender.
At Australian Tenders, we publish all tender opportunities, including Expressions of Interest. EOIs are widely used in Australia for a variety of purposes, including:
- Leases for property which typically require the respondent to propose an annual rent
- To select operators for cafe's, restaurants, canteens and other retail outlets
- Used as a method of shortlisting contractors or sub-contractors for a subsequent tender
- Used as a method registering contractors or sub-contractors for a subsequent tender
- To form a panel of pre-qualified contractors for subsequent works
- Used for procurement of goods and services of a low value for which a formal tender process is not required
- To gather information to assist the proponent in preparation of tender documents
Expressions of Interest have very similar characteristics to a tender:
- A written request document, but significantly shorter than that for a tender
- Responses are solicited from more than one organisation
- Pre-defined evaluation criteria and a formal evaluation process
- A fixed time to respond
- Scope of work is often defined but in significantly less detail than a tender
- Contractual conditions defined for participation in the EOI
The principal difference between an EOI and an RFT, except for lease agreements, is that there is typically no requirement for you to submit a price for the scope works. The general intent in issuing an Expression of Interest is not to immediately enter into a contract with the successful respondent/s but rather enter some form of negotiation or process which may lead to a contract.
In the case of a tender, your tender can be accepted, and you can then be legally bound to enter into a contract for the scope of work defined. This is typically not the case for an EOI. You are usually not bound to undertake the work if successful.
EOIs are very similar to tenders, and like tenders, the devil is in the detail. Be sure to read the EOI documents carefully, particularly the EOI conditions, to understand your legal obligations when submitting a response.
Want to learn more about tendering and EOIs? Australian Tenders offers a range of resources designed to help you learn and experience the tendering market. Check out how we can help you find and win tenders!