We work out the best procurement process for goods, services or works by looking at their value and risk. We use a tender process for high-value and high-risk goods, services or works. We work out the level of risk and value on a case-by-case basis. We explain when we don’t need to do a tender process here.

For questions about the tendering process, email Tenders or contact Council Procurement on (03) 9278 4323.

How we find a supplier

We have 8 ways to find a supplier to provide goods, services or works.  

  1. Direct purchase with a corporate credit card or purchase card for low-value purchases, such as a course under $5,000.  
  2. Use an existing supplier.
  3. Approved purchasing schemes. This can happen when the Minister for Local Government issues a direction that allows councils to purchase from different schemes. For example, there might be an insurance scheme run by the Municipal Association of Victoria.
  4. Use a supplier on an existing panel, including panels created by councils in the eastern region and Victoria.
  5. A tender process with a small number of possible suppliers.
  6. An open or public tender process.
  7. Joint procurement, such as with another council.
  8. Use Victorian State Government contracts, such as State Purchase Contracts.

We may decide to complete a one-stage or multi-stage procurement process.

Request for Information

If we aren’t sure what type of goods, services or works we need, we may complete a Request for Information (RFI) process. 

This can help us:

  • get advice about the best ways to meet our needs
  • learn about available technologies, products or services that meet our needs
  • find out if proposed terms, conditions and deliverables will be accepted by suppliers in the market
  • find out if proposed budgets are enough to meet our needs.

Expressions of Interest

Expressions of Interest (EOI) must give public notice. This means that we must put an advertisement in The Age that allows anyone in the public to put a proposal forward. We mainly use EOIs when the amount is greater than the threshold we set. 

We also use it when:

  • there are likely to be many tenderers
  • tendering will be too expensive
  • the procurement is complex
  • we aren’t sure if a supplier will want to provide the goods, services or works we need. 

An EOI process is the first stage of a 2-stage process. It’s followed up by an open or closed tender process. You shouldn’t be trying to engage suppliers during an EOI process.

How we assess responses

We use selection criteria to help us work out the best supplier for the goods, services or works we need. We develop the selection criteria before putting our goods, services or works out to market. We include these selection criteria in the procurement documents we provide to potential suppliers. 

We also look at how financially viable a potential supplier is. This means we look at their financial position and our level of risk if we use that supplier. We may also check a supplier’s financial position while they are delivering the goods, services or works we need. This helps us work out if their financial position has changed since they signed the contract with us. 

A Tender Evaluation Panel within Council assesses the responses and provides recommendations. However, this panel is not the final decision-maker.

Awarding a contract

After we assess responses from potential suppliers and review the recommendations from the Tender Evaluation Panel, we decide which supplier is awarded the contract. 

We are also committed to being transparent with how we award contracts to suppliers. If we award a procurement contract of more than $500,000 (excluding GST), we will make the following information available on our website:

  • contract number
  • contract title
  • date awarded
  • name of successful supplier
  • contract term
  • contract value.

We will make this information available at least one month after the contract is signed.

Tender debriefs

After we sign the contract with the successful supplier, any unsuccessful suppliers can ask for a debriefing session. We can provide feedback to the unsuccessful supplier about their submission. This can help them improve their responses and/or performance in the future.

Grant funding

If we receive funding from state or federal governments, we must follow our Procurement Policy and the Local Government Act 2020 (Vic). This is unless there are grant conditions that provide alternative arrangements, such an upgrading a sportsground. We don’t need to follow our Procurement Policy or the Local Government Act 2020 (Vic) if we are providing grant funding to local organisations.

Changes to a contract

We need to check all changes to an existing contract to work out if they are just changes, or whether it means we need to create a whole new contract.

If there is a change to the contract, we look at the cumulative effect this change has on the value of the whole contract to work out who has the authority to approve it.

An officer can change a contract with approval from the CEO or if they have the correct financial authority under the Procurement Authority Limits Guidelines below. However, an officer can only change the contract up to a certain monetary amount. This amount depends on the officer’s financial delegation under the Procurement Authority Limits Guidelines below. If the cost is higher than this amount, the officer must take it to an employee who has the authority to approve it.  

We need approval from the relevant financial delegate before all changes are applied to a contract. This includes making sure there is enough budget for the changes.

Cumulative spending

We have cumulative spend limits that apply to spending over time with one supplier by one department. We can’t use cumulative spending to split a procurement into smaller parts to avoid procurement thresholds. However, we do understand that certain goods, services or works of the same or a similar kind will be purchased from the same provider under separate arrangements on a regular basis. 

In these situations, we must look at the 2-year average spend on the goods, services or works purchased from the same supplier. We can use this number against the procurement thresholds. We don’t have to worry about cumulative spending limits when different departments use the same supplier for goods, services or works. 

How we manage joint procurement

We must consider any opportunities for joint procurement. Where possible, we will work with other departments across the organisation, other councils and public bodies.

Any report that recommends joint procurement, must include information about who would be involved and:

  • why we chose to go ahead with joint procurement; or
  • why we chose not to go ahead with joint procurement.

Options for joint procurement include:

  • supplier panel arrangements
  • other councils
  • the Municipal Association of Victoria Procurement
  • state or federal governments. 

How we manage commercial information

We will make sure commercially sensitive or confidential information is:

  • properly collected
  • securely stored
  • processed and published (where applicable) in an appropriate way.

How we manage disputes

Our contracts include dispute management and other dispute resolution actions. These aim to reduce the chance of disputes increasing and leading to legal action.

How we manage supplier relationships and performance

We manage supplier relationships and monitor performance before, during and after creating procurement arrangements and contracts. 

This allows us to:

  • act early if there is a problem
  • get the best result
  • make sure the goods, services or works are being completed on time 
  • make sure the goods, services or works are being completed to the agreed standard. 

How much we monitor will be in line with our level of risk. 

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