Informed Government Tender Debriefing: Quick Guide on Contract Awards, Tender Debriefing and Complaints
You worked many hours to complete and submit a tender. Maybe your business won or maybe your business was not the successful tenderer. Did you know that in either case you should not pass up on the opportunity to get more information about how well your business scored? How to improve the quality of your tenders next time round? Where to find information on contract awards and informed government tender debriefing?
Tendering takes time.
Lots of time.
The aim is to improve the quality of your tenders so that it takes less time to complete, you can re-use and replicate information and ultimately be successful.
Notwithstanding the many pains around tendering, there are many reason why tendering is important for business growth. Therefore, you want to make sure that your business optimises the quality of your tenders along the way. And that’s why you want to make sure that you do take your opportunity to attend a government tender debriefing.
Information on Contracts Awarded
All public authorities are bound to procurement rules and guidelines. In Western Australia, the State Supply Commission Procurement Policies regulate government procurement.
The threshold value of contract award details being publicly available depend on the level of public authority – e.g. local government is lower than state government. As a general rule all public authority contract awards above $50,000 must be made available.
Often, local governments list tender awards in their council minutes and meetings.
What information must be made available?
Contract details include details such as :
- the contract number,
- contract title,
- type of contract,
- total estimated value of contract or special panel contract,
- start date and
- term of the contract.
This refers to the relevant authority or department. The details include contact details such as contact number and email address)
This refers to the supplier(s) receiving the contract award and include the business name and number.
Above certain thresholds and in certain states (e.g. Victoria), you may find that procurement agencies make more information available and only withhold key business sensitive trade secrets.
In general, when you have tendered, you can work on being advised of the above mentioned details as part of your notification from the relevant public authority.
Business can use contract award information to research previous contract awards and contract values. With the total contract values known, you can work out what your tendered amount was and how to benchmark your business.
An informed government tender debriefing: your opportunity for lessons learned
Certain public authorities do really well and provide details of tenderers and the evaluation against the tender criteria. But often, you will only receive the abovementioned information and nothing more.
However, you can attend a tendering debrief but
YOU HAVE TO REQUEST IT.
As part of the tendering debrief you can request to review your business performance against the tendering evaluation criteria.
Not enough businesses request the debrief and too many businesses accept half-baked non-useful information.
Half-baked debriefing does not qualify as an informed government tender debriefing!
If you really want to improve the quality of your tender, you should take every opportunity at requesting your tendering debrief. And work through the detail of your tender against each and every criteria.
Another word of advice:
Do not only focus on what you can do better, but also the areas where you did really well.
What information will you not receive during a Government Tender Debriefing?
Can you receive detailed information submitted by your fellow tenderers?
You will not:
- receive your competitors detailed information.
- receive their schedule of rates or tender response.
Because all procurement is subject to the procurement rules such as Probity and Accountability whereby procurement must ensure that a due and diligent process is followed to ensure:
- Communication does not disadvantage or advantage one supplier over others.
- Officers do not compromised their ability to act, or can be seen to act, impartially; and also
- Security and confidentiality of supplier information and evaluation processes.
Would you be ok if your competitor received your business information??
Would it not affect your business adversely and therefore you would like it to be protected?
Insufficient feedback on your tender after requesting a government tender debrief?
Where you do not receive an opportunity to attend a government tender debrief and you have not requested it in writing, issue a formal written request with the contact person listed in the tender.
If you do not get the information or if the quality of information provided against the tender evaluation criteria lacks the required detail, then lodge a formal complaint.
You can refer the matter to the relevant state government body e.g. State Supply Commission in Western Australia. The State Supply Commission may then undertake an independent review of your complaint.
However, if you require a formal complaint review, you:
- must be a party to the matter involved in the complaint;
- have failed to resolve the complaint with the public authority concerned;
- submit the complaint in writing (via letter, e-mail or fax); and
- provide the documentation of information supporting the complaint.