Victorian Government Purchasing Board
Achieving Excellence in Government Procurement

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Administrative office: an office specified in section 16(1) of the Public Administration Act 2004.

Accountable officer: the head of any given department or for a public body, the chief executive officer (or comparable title) of that body.

Advance tender notification: a notification of the timing of a tender to be advertised in the near future.

Agency: any government or semi-government organisation not defined under the Public Administration Act 2004, i.e., not a department or administrative body.  Also referred to as non-Crown bodies and public bodies.

Aggregated demand or aggregation: a generic term whereby demand for identical or similar goods or services are grouped together to leverage benefits from greater economies of scale when negotiating with potential suppliers.
(Source: Adapted from, Paul Rogers (2012), 'The Glossary', Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (www.cips.org/en/products-services/procurement-glossary external site icon)

Annual supply report: a report to the Victorian Government Purchasing Board (VGPB) from mandated organisations providing information and data relating to the purchase of goods and services during one financial year.

Asset: assets can include anything that is capable of being owned to produce value.  Buildings, equipment and machinery are examples of tangible assets.  ‘Know how’, brands and other intellectual property are examples of intangible assets. Assets typically appear on a balance sheet.
(Source: Adapted from, Paul Rogers (2012), 'The Glossary', Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (www.cips.org/en/products-services/procurement-glossary external site icon)

Asset disposal: When an asset reaches the end of its useful life, an asset disposal process helps you decide the best way to get rid of that asset. It can maximise the residual value of your assets, for example, by recycling or reuse by another party.

Audit: Audits are typically part of a control process to validate that key activities are being or have been undertaken and to identify weaknesses or opportunities for improvement.
(Source: Adapted from, Paul Rogers (2012), 'The Glossary', Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (www.cips.org/en/products-services/procurement-glossary external site icon)

Australasian Procurement and Construction Council (APCC): the peak council whose members are responsible for procurement, construction and asset management policy for the Australian, State and Territory governments. Papua New Guinea is an associate member. The APCC is comprised of 11 member agencies. For more information visit www.apcc.gov.au external site icon.

Australia and New Zealand Government Procurement Agreement (ANZGPA): an agreement that recognises the benefits to industry and government of treating Australia and New Zealand as a single market for government procurement, and accords with the principles of the Australia New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (ANZERTA). For more information visit http://www.apcc.gov.au/SitePages/Procurement.aspxexternal site icon

Benchmarking (procurement): the process of comparing one's business processes with standard measurements against industry peers.  Dimensions typically measured are quality, time and cost. Benchmarking is used in determining value for money.

Best and Final Offer (BAFO): refers to a multi-stage procurement process, in which offers from bidders are subject to clarification and/or negotiation, and bidder[s] are invited to submit their final offer, which will not be subject to subsequent negotiation.
(Source: Adapted from, Paul Rogers (2012), 'The Glossary', Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (www.cips.org/en/products-services/procurement-glossary external site icon)

Best practice: seeking to identify and apply the best processes to achieve better value-for-money outcomes.

Bid: an offer by one party to enter into a legally binding contract with another party, often used interchangeably with quotes, proposals, tenders and offers.

Bidder: the party offering to enter into a legally binding contract with another party, often used interchangeably with respondent, tenderer or supplier.

Business case (procurement): the information needed to decide whether to support a proposed project, before significant resources are committed to engaging the market. The core of the business case is an assessment of the costs and benefits of proceeding with a procurement activity.

Business Victoria: a comprehensive online resource designed to help businesses start, run and grow. Business Victoria's website external site icon is managed by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.

Buyer: a generic term to describe the organisational role of someone whose job involves acquiring goods and/or services.  Buyers may also include managers and senior executives who are the prime value-for-money decision-makers for major procurement projects that are facilitated by specialist procurement staff. Buyers may not have procurement as their single focus.

Capability: competence, capability and capacity are often used interchangeably to describe an individual’s or organisation’s ability to perform tasks or activities effectively. VGPB policy defines procurement capability as matching the person(s), resources, systems and processes to the requirements of a procurement activity.

Capability assessment: an assessment of the level of procurement capability within an organisation.

Capability development plan: a summary of the organisation’s capability assessment and plans to increase capability where required.

Category: a grouping of related goods or services based on similar characteristics. For example, packaging as a category may include a variety of different goods and materials, all of which share a common purpose. A category may be further divided into subcategories based on physical characteristics, such as plastic packaging, or cardboard packaging.
Source: Adapted from, Paul Rogers (2012), 'The Glossary', Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (www.cips.org/en/products-services/procurement-glossary external site icon)

Category manager: the person nominated to manage the day-to-day matters of a category.

Category management: at the organisational level, category management covers better management of areas of spend that include similar goods and services, and involves analysis of and interaction with the appropriate market sectors. It also forms the basis for organising the procurement team to manage the end-to-end procurement process for a specific range of goods or services.

Category management plan: is a document that identifies key activities, contract performance monitoring, governance arrangements and continuous improvement implementation for a category of goods and services.

Category strategy plan: is  a document that provides a full picture of a category and explores procurement initiatives based on the outcome of a thorough market analysis that will lead to the best value for money outcome.  it defines objectives, the desired outcomes such as increased financial and non-financial benefits, contribution to realising government objectives and priorities, reduced business risks and improved value for money, etc.  It may also identify continuous improvement opportunities such as productivity gains, improved quality, demand management and innovation.  The category strategy should incorporate stakeholder expectations and may have short, medium and/or long term objectives.

Chief procurement officer (CPO): provides strategic expert advice and oversight of the procurement function to drive and ensure value-for-money outcomes in the organisation. The CPO is responsible for developing and monitoring a number of strategic procurement activities. The CPO can be a role or a position as defined in the VGPB’s governance policy.

Change management: a structured approach to transitioning and aligning individuals, teams and organisations from a current position to a desired future state. Most organisation-wide initiatives involve some level of change management aimed at helping employees welcome, embrace and accept changes in policy, process, systems and/or behavior.

Close arrangements: generally have a set number of suppliers for a given period of time.  For more information refer to the VGPB's Guide to aggregated demand.

 Commercial-in-confidence: information provided for a specific purpose that is not to be used for any other purpose than set out in the initial document.

Competitive neutrality: a policy which aims to ensure that where a government business is competing with the private sector, adjustments are made to remove any net advantage (or disadvantage) that the government business has because it is owned by government. For more information visit http://www.dtf.vic.gov.au/Publications/Victoria-Economy-publications/Competitive-neutrality-policyexternal site icon

Complexity: the level of intricacy and scope of issues involved in procuring a good or service, as defined in the VGPB’s complexity and capability assessment policy.

Complexity assessment: an assessment of the level of intricacy and scope of issues involved in procuring a good or service which considers a broad range of factors including risk, total cost of ownership and market dynamics.

Compliance: organisations are responsible for ensuring that their procurement processes comply with VGPB supply policies and that financial processes comply with the Financial Management Act 1984 (FMA) and associated financial management regulations.  In accordance with section 54C(2)(d) of the FMA, the VGPB can require the accountable officer to audit organisations compliance with supply policies and ministerial directions.

Conditions of contract: contractual terms which define the obligations and rights of the parties involved in the contract, and form the basis of the contract awarded to the successful bidder.

Conditions of participation: rules governing the content and submission of an offer and the conduct of an invitation to supply.

Confidentiality agreement: a written legal document that is proof and record of the obligations agreed to between parties to protect the commercial interests of the department and/or the contractor. Often used interchangeably with deed of confidentiality.

Conflict of interest:  a conflict between public duties and private interests. Conflicts of interest can be actual, perceived or potential. The Victorian Public Sector Commission provides resources to help public sector officials, organisations and directors of public entities protect the public interest by identifying and managing conflicts of interest appropriately. For more information visit www.vpsc.vic.gov.au external site icon (Source: definition as outlined by the Victorian Public Sector Commission website)

Conflict of interest form: a document signed by all staff and consultants involved with a procurement process to indicate that they do not have a personal or professional conflict of interest with the procurement project.

Consultancy: A consultant is a particular type of contractor that is engaged primarily to perform a discrete task for an entity that facilitates decision making through:

  • provision of expert analysis and advice; and/or
  • development of a written report or other intellectual output.

(Source: Department of Treasury and Finance, Financial Reporting Directions 22G Standard disclosures in Report of Operations November 2015)

Contract: an agreement between two or more authorised persons on behalf of their organisations to perform or not perform a specific act that is enforceable in law. A contract may be verbal, written or inferred by conduct.

Contract documents: documents construed together as one instrument of contract. They may include terms and conditions, specifications, drawings, delivery schedules and payment schedules.

Contract management: all activities at the commencement of, during and after the contract period, to ensure that all contractual obligations are fulfilled.

Contract management plan: a document outlining strategies for managing a contract and mapping out the process for developing the on-going contract.

Contract management planning strategy (CMPS): the CMPS identifies how individual contracts within a procurement category could be managed. Developing a CMPS takes place at the beginning of the planning process after identifying procurement categories and carrying out an assessment of complexity. 

Contract manager: the person nominated to manage the day-to-day matters of a contract.

Contract publishing system: a web-based system which provides information about contracts equal to or exceeding $100,000 (including GST) entered into by Victorian Government departments and mandated agencies. For more information visit the Contract Publishing System external site icon

Contract variation: is a mutually agreed amendment to vary the obligations set out in a contract for goods and services.  A contract variation must be documented between the parties to form a deed of variation.

Contractor: is an individual or organisation that is formally engaged to provide works or services for or on behalf of an entity. This definition does not apply to casual, fixed-term or temporary employees directly employed by the entity. 
(Source: Department of Treasury and Finance, Financial Reporting Directions 22G Standard disclosures in Report of Operations November 2015)

Covered entity: departments and administrative offices bound by VGPB policies and also noted in Article 15 of various Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) to which Australia is party to e.g. Australia United State FTA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Singapore Australia FTA.

Critical incident: A critical incident is an emergency, crisis or disaster under which an organisation may adopt streamlined and flexible procurement processes to facilitate an immediate response.

Data room: a room set up as part of a complex procurement process or other bidding processes to give bidders access to detailed information (such as technical drawings or intellectual property) needed to prepare bids.

Debrief: the process of advising unsuccessful respondents, on a no commitment basis, of where improvements in their offer would make them more competitive in future.

Declaration of private interest: a written declaration made by a person who may have, or could be perceived to have, a personal interest in the outcome of a procurement process or project. This person may need to be excluded from the procurement process. See conflict of interest.

Deed of confidentiality: see confidentiality agreement.

Deed of variation: a document signed by both parties which details changes to a contract.

Default: a failure of a party to perform a contractual requirement or obligation, including failures to meet deadlines, to perform to a specified standard, or to meet their obligations in relation to a materialised risk.

Department: a body existing by virtue of an order made under the Public Administration Act 2004.

Discount rate: the rate used to calculate the present value of future cash flows. The discount rate is usually the cost of capital used to fund the investment from which the cash flow is expected.

Discounted cash flow: the net present value of a stream of future cash flows (see discount rate).

Due diligence: the process of reviewing and analysing in detail the capacity of a bidding organisation to meet future contract performance requirements. This may include a detailed assessment of the organisation's financial stability, legal risks, technical capacity, and infrastructure.

Entity: any government or semi-government organisation not defined under the Public Administration Act 2004, i.e., not a department or administrative body.  Also referred to as non-Crown bodies and public bodies.

eProcurement: involves the online conduct of business-to-business procurement processes using web-based applications.
(Source: Adapted from, Paul Rogers (2012), 'The Glossary', Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (www.cips.org/en/products-services/procurement-glossary external site icon)

eServices Register: is an online facility the Victorian Government uses to procure Information Communication and Technology (ICT) related goods and services.  Use of the eServices register to procure ICT professional services is mandatory for all organisations mandated by VGPB scope.  For more information refer to this link.

eTendering: an internet-based electronic system that provides the facility to electronically invite or advertise an expression of interest, invitation to supply, (request for quote and request for tender) distribute invitation documents, securely receive and open offers, and provide various notices.

Evaluation criteria: standards of judgment, and ranking or priority, used to assess offers and compare alternatives put forward by respondents to an invitation to supply.

Evaluation matrix: a table that summarises the score or ranking of each offer against the procurement specifications.

Evaluation plan: a document that details the methods, techniques and resources allocated to evaluate offers.

Evaluation strategy: how offers will be evaluated. The evaluation strategy is documented in the evaluation plan.

Expression of interest (EOI): used to identify suppliers interested in, and capable of, delivering the required goods or services. Potential suppliers are asked to provide information on their capability and capacity to do the work. It is usually the first stage of a multi-stage procurement process.

Financial delegate: a person authorised by the Minister to make general or specified decisions constrained only by the instrument of financial delegation. Specifically, financial delegates commit and incur expenditure, and sign contracts.

Financial delegation: a power handed down to a second party to act on their own behalf, but not including power to further delegate. The second party is responsible for actions arising from their use of such power.

Finance lease: a lease under which the lessor effectively transfers to the lessee substantially all the risks and benefits incidental to the lease and where legal ownership may or may not be actually transferred.

Force majeure: Acts of God and other specified risks (e.g. terrorism) beyond the control of the parties to the contract and as a result of which a party is prevented from or delayed in performing any of its non-financial obligations under the contract.

Gateway review: short structured reviews of a program or project carried out at key decision points in the program or project's lifecycle. Gateway reviews are carried out by a review team consisting of experts or practitioners who are independent of the team managing or running the program or project. (Source:Department of Treasury and Finance - http://www.dtf.vic.gov.au/Investment-Planning-and-Evaluation/Understanding-investment-planning-and-review/What-is-the-Gateway-review-process)

General Government Mandated Entities: these are entities that are mandated to comply with VGPB supply policies and are part of the General Government reporting sector. Refer to Scope of Policies page for a list of mandated entities.

General Government Non-Mandated Entities: entities that are part of the General Government reporting sector, but are not mandated to comply with VGPB policies. Refer to Scope of Policies page for a list of mandated entities.

Governance model: governance in procurement refers to the overall systems and procedural arrangements to ensure that the procurement process applies appropriate levels of control and probity. The key components of a governance regime are an appropriate procurement policy; procedures defining how the process should be managed; allocation of roles and responsibilities so that roles are clearly defined and appropriately capable staff manage the key processes; and controls and review processes to monitor the performance of the procurement process.
(Source: Adapted from, Paul Rogers (2012), 'The Glossary', Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (www.cips.org/en/products-services/procurement-glossary external site icon)

Government Business Enterprise: a commercially focused government-owned trading body constituted under state legislation and/or corporations law as a separate legal entity.

Head agreement: governs the overall commercial terms, processes, procedures and contract management requirements applicable to a whole of government contract or contracts under a standing offer arrangement, such as a state purchase contract (SPC).

Indemnity: a general legal principle related to insurance that holds the individual recovering under an insurance policy should be restored to the approximate financial position he or she was in prior to the loss.

Industry Capability Network (Victoria) (ICN): a non-profit organisation funded by the Victorian Government to support import replacement and help Australian companies access export opportunities. For more information visit http://www.icn.org.au/  external site icon

Innovation: Innovation is about turning ideas into reality. It is the creation of new products, technologies, processes and/or ideas that are thought to be better or more effective by the innovator than what is currently available. Innovation in procurement is about using the competitive market to come up with innovative solutions.

Insurance: an economic device whereby the individual substitutes a small certain cost (the premium) for a large uncertain financial loss (the contingency insured against) that would exist if it were not for the insurance contract.
(Source: Vaughan, Emmett J. and Vaughan, Therese. (2003) Fundamentals of Risk and Insurance, Ninth Edition. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.)

Intellectual property: the term for property rights such as: patents, trademarks, design, confidential information, copyrights, and know how.

Internal procurement unit (IPU): a body in each department responsible for ensuring that procurement activity complies with VGPB policy. The IPU assesses the procurement capability of the organisation and prepares a capability development plan on an annual basis. It also identifies major procurement categories and reports annually to the accountable officer on the organisation’s procurement activities.

Invitation briefing (also known as tender briefing): a forum held where a government representative briefs prospective tenderers regarding a tender process and responds to questions.

Invitation to supply: a process of inviting offers to supply goods and/or services. This process covers both the request for quotation and request for tender process.

Key performance indicator (KPI): a performance measure that is important to the organisation, business unit or individual who is being measured. In procurement, KPIs are typically used as measures of supplier performance and may be part of a contract or service level agreement. Choosing the right KPIs requires a good understanding of what is important to the organisation.

Late offer: (also known as a late tender) is an offer received after the required closing date and time .

Lease: an agreement conveying the right from a lessor to a lessee to use the leased items for a stated period of time in return for a series of payments by the lessee to the lessor. See also Financial Lease and Operating Lease.

Liability: debt or responsibility; an obligation that may arise by a contract made or by a tort committed.

Liability cap: an arrangement whereby a supplier’s liability for damage or loss incurred by the government entity is limited to a certain amount.

Lifecycle cost: the total cost of an item or system over its full life. It includes the cost of development, production, ownership (operation, maintenance, support), and disposal, if applicable. Also referred to as  whole of lifecycle cost or total cost of ownership.

Limited market approach (also known as limited tendering): the approach to one or a limited number of potential suppliers.

Machinery of government: the allocation of functions and responsibilities between departments and ministers. In Victoria, these matters are the sole responsibility of the Premier.

Market-based solutions: applying strategies to gain relevant market knowledge to identify the optimal path to market and drive value-for-money outcomes.

Market analysis: the systematic review of the characteristics, capacity and capability of the supply market in order to understand the extent to which the market meets the needs of the buying organisation.
(Source: Adapted from, Paul Rogers (2012), 'The Glossary', Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply www.cips.org/en/products-services/procurement-glossary external site icon)

Market approach: the process undertaken to inform the market of your requirements to obtain offers to meet your requirements.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): a document which records the intentions of parties in a less formal way than a conventional contract document. It is not legally binding unless it specifically states that it is intended to be enforceable in the courts.

Negotiation: the bargaining process between two or more parties. Each party has its own viewpoints and objectives, but seeks to reach an overall satisfactory arrangement.

Non General Government Entities – these are entities that are not part of the General Government reporting sector, but are controlled by Government for financial reporting purposes.  Refer to Scope of Policies page for a list of mandated entities.

Offer: a document lodged by an Invitee (tenderer, supplier, bidder) in response to an invitation containing an offer to provide goods and or services in accordance with the invitation to supply.  This may also be known as a quote, tender, submission, registration or bid.

One-off supply: a purchase of a specific quantity of goods or services, which has been subject to a discrete invitation to supply process.

Open arrangements: allow new suppliers to be added during the term of the arrangement. The arrangements for adding/removing suppliers should be included in the information provided to the market when establishing the arrangement. For more information refer to the VGPB's Guide to aggregated demand.

Open market approach (also known as an open tender): the process of publicly inviting tenders usually through the release of a request for tender (RFT) or expression of interest (EOI) to the open market.

Operating lease: a leasing arrangements in which substantially all risks and benefits incidental to the ownership of the leased property effectively remain with the lessor (the owner of the property) rather than passing to the lessee (which would make it a finance lease).

Panel: panel arrangements include two or more suppliers who can deliver the services or goods under a contract arrangement. Panel arrangements mitigate the risk of possible supply or performance problems associated with an individual provider. It also allows increased value-for-money benefits through the use of competitive tension. Panels can be an open or closed arrangement.

 Partnerships Victoria: a policy of the Victorian Government, giving effect to a commitment to optimise the level of infrastructure spending through a responsible use of the resources of both the public and private sectors.

Pre-qualification arrangements: provide a list of suppliers who meet certain criteria.  A procurement process needs to be undertaken by the buyer to determine which supplier offers best value for money.

Price indicator: a measure of general price trends, typically used to measure changes in the price of one or more goods or services at a particular point in time. A price indicator can be applied to calculating a contract price over the contract period

Probity: uprightness, honesty, proper and ethical conduct and propriety in dealings. It is often also used in government in a general sense to mean good process. Refer to the guide to probity for more information.

Probity advisor: provides guidance on achieving standards of probity across the entire procurement process.

Probity auditor: a contractor who monitors and reports on due process in the conduct of procurement activity.

Probity plan: a document that sets out the steps to be taken and the processes to be implemented to ensure market engagement is conducted in a fair and ethical manner.

Process contract: a collateral contract arising in relation to the tendering process before acceptance of a tender by the party inviting tenders.
Source: Hughes Aircraft case – Hughes Aircraft Systems International v Air services Australia (1997) 146 ALR 1. NSW

Procurement: all the business processes associated with sourcing activity, spanning the whole cycle from identifying needs to the end of a service contract or the end of the useful life and subsequent disposal of an asset. It also includes the organisational and governance frameworks that underpin the procurement function. Procurement does not include stored management and logistics that are part of the wider subject of supply chain management.

Procurement activity plan: details planned procurement activity for at least the next 12 to 18 month period and is reviewed annually to keep the market informed of changes or developments. A high-level summary plan must be published on the organisation’s website to improve transparency for suppliers. Refer to this link to see the latest procurement activity plans.

Procurement process: the step-by-step process for the planning, establishment and contract management of small and large acquisitions.

Procurement practitioners: individuals who specialise in procurement as a major function of their position. They typically hold a vocational qualification in procurement. Procurement practitioners are skilled and experienced in facilitating the process of procurement. Practitioners focus on compliance to procurement policy, good practice and the operational aspects of developing and managing contracts efficiently and effectively.      
(Source: Building Government Procurement Capabilities, Australasian Procurement and Construction Council Inc.)

Procurement process report : a document that summarises the procurement process undertaken prior to the award of a contract or agreement to a supplier or group of suppliers.

Procurement professionals: individuals who specialise in strategic procurement. They typically hold a tertiary qualification in strategic procurement or a related field. Procurement professionals are generally involved in tactical and strategic projects. They exercise responsibilities that focus on delivering the best value-for-money outcomes; lead project teams in developing and managing complex procurement; and may be responsible for forming, managing and developing procurement teams.
Source: Building Government Procurement Capabilities, Australasian Procurement and Construction Council Inc.

Procurement risk: the chance of an event occurring, which will have an impact upon procurement objectives, measured in terms of consequences and likelihood.
(Source: Common Glossary of Procurement Terms, Australasian Procurement and Construction Council Inc.)

Procurement strategy: an overview of an organisation’s procurement profile. It includes a procurement activity plan, a contract management planning strategy, a supplier engagement plan and a capability development plan.

Project director: the individual with overall responsibility for delivering the project and managing all members of the procurement team, including external advisors and consultants.

Project manager: the individual responsible for delivering the project. The project manager leads and manages the project team, with the authority and responsibility to run the project on a day-to-day basis. 

Proposal: often used interchangeably with bid, quote, tender or offer.

Public Private Partnership (PPP): a long-term contract between the public and private sectors where government (or direct users) pays the private sector to deliver infrastructure and related services on behalf of, or in support, of government's broader service responsibilities. PPPs typically make the private sector parties who build infrastructure responsible for its condition and operation on a whole-of-life-basis.

Public sector: comprises general government sector entities, public non-financial corporations and public financial corporations that have government ownership or control. 

Purchase order: a form of contract, which is an official document used to authorise and record the purchase of goods or services by a buyer. It is the prime reference confirming the contractual situation between the buyer and supplier.

Purchasing: the acquisition of goods and/or services from a nominated supplier. Purchasing is a component of the wider function of procurement and consists of activities such as ordering, expediting, receipt and payment. Often used interchangeably with procurement.
(Source: Adapted from P&SM Jargon Buster, The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply)

Purchasing card: any type of purchasing card used within the Victorian Public Sector (i.e. general government purchasing card, corporate card, credit card, purchasing card facility). It is a payment mechanism which can provide benefits in the form of efficient procurement and reduced administration costs.

Quality (procurement perspective): the sum of the features and characteristics that satisfy customers' needs throughout the life of a product or service.

Quality assurance (QA) (procurement perspective): the outcome of all the planned and systematic actions and operational techniques suppliers put in place to give buyers confidence that their goods and services will consistently meet certain requirements for the whole of their useful life. Quality assurance enables suppliers to provide formal assurance that their goods and services have been either assessed as meeting a relevant product standard, and/or produced by a process assessed as conforming to a relevant quality system standard. 

Quotation/quote: an offer to supply goods and/or services, usually in response to an invitation to supply known as a request for quotation. Often used interchangeably with proposal, tender, bid and offer.

Register: a list of pre-qualified potential suppliers of nominated goods and/or services, who have satisfied the conditions for inclusion. Also known as pre-qualified supplier arrangements.

Request for information (RFI): refer to expression of interest.
(Source: Adapted from Common Glossary of Procurement Terms, Australasian Procurement and Construction Council Inc.)

Registered training organisations (RTOs): vocational education organisations that provide students with training that results in qualifications and statements of attainment that are recognised and accepted by industry and other educational institutions throughout Australia.

Request for quotation (RFQ): a written process of inviting offers to supply goods and/or services involving simple documentation and a limited number of potential suppliers.

Request for tender (RFT): an invitation to supply or a request for offer against a set of clearly defined and specified requirements. Invitees are advised of all requirements involved including the conditions of participation and proposed contract conditions.

Respondent: (invitee, supplier, bidder) someone who has or intends to submit an offer to an organisation. Often used interchangeably with potential suppliers or tenderers.

Risk assessment: the overall process of risk identification, risk analysis and risk evaluation.
(Source: ISO/FDIS 31000 Risk management – Principles and guidelines)

Risk management: Risks can occur at various stages in the procurement process and should be focused on both the operational consequences of non-performance and the risks to business delivery if a procurement does not achieve the desired value-for-money outcomes. Risks to the procurement activity should be continually monitored and managed and new risks identified throughout the procurement cycle.

Risk management plan: a scheme within the risk management framework specifying the approach, the management components and the resources to be applied to the management of risk.
(Source: ISO/FDIS 31000 Risk management – Principles and guidelines)

Scalability: is about adapting the procurement function to the needs of the organisation ensuring that sufficient capability (people, systems and processes) are in place within the organisation to handle the complexity level of all procurement activity. Scalability is also about simplifying procurement processes and not running an overly onerous process for low-value, low-risk purchases.

Scope of work: The range of activities to be undertaken as part of a contract for services.  The scope of work may specify what has to be done and by when. See also Specification.

Service agreement: sets out the specification, including service delivery requirements of a whole of government contract or contracts under a standing offer arrangement.

Small to medium enterprises (SMEs): firms with less than 200 full-time equivalent employees and/or less than $10 million turnover (Australian Bureau of Statistics). Note that the Victorian Government uses the employment numbers to define small, medium and large enterprises. Under 20 is defined as small, 20-199 is defined as medium and 200 plus is defined as large.

Social enterprise: an organisation which has economic, social, cultural or environmental goals focused on public or community benefit. The organisation engages in commercial activities in order to achieve its mission, and invests the proceeds of its commercial activities in fulfilment of its mission. Social enterprises can be structured as being for profit or not-for-profit.

Software licence enterprise agreement (SLEA): agreements to supply multiple software licences and associated services on a whole of government or departmental basis.

Sole entity purchase contract (SEPC): a procurement arrangement established when a sole organisation has a specific requirement for frequently purchased goods and services. SEPCs are mandatory contracts for the organisation establishing the arrangement.

Sole supplier: sole supplier contract arrangements are established following a specific requirement for frequently purchased goods and or services, and where value for money can best be achieved by engaging with one party. The arrangement also works as they are seen as market leaders and guarantee strong services levels complemented with competitive pricing.

Specification: a statement, which clearly and accurately describes the essential requirements for goods, products or services. It may also include the procedures by which it will be determined that the requirements have been met. 

Standard form contract: a legal document developed to establish uniform terms and conditions for the procurement of goods and services. 

State: the Crown in right of the State of Victoria.

State purchase contract (SPC): a mandatory standing offer agreement for departments for the purchase of goods and services. The purpose of SPCs is to pursue whole of government contracts to achieve the best value-for-money outcomes, and make best use of the State’s aggregated purchasing power.

Statutory authority: an organisation established under an Act of the Victorian Parliament for a public purpose.

Supply policies: policies created by the VGPB to govern procurement of goods and services by all Victorian Government departments and specified entities.

Strategic sourcing: the strategies and mechanisms used to approach and interact with the supply market that take account of both present and future business needs.

Supplier: an entity that is providing or has provided goods and/or services to, or on behalf of, a department or agency.

Supplier engagement plan: documents an organisation’s processes, systems and communication approaches to cover all dealings with suppliers.

Sustainability: meeting present-day needs, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. In practice, this means adopting a broader range of decision-making criteria than traditional economic criteria. Corporate social responsibility and triple bottom line considerations extend procurement decision-making criteria away from just price and quality to include environmental merits, as well as the social impacts of alternative solutions.

Tender: a document in the form of an offer to supply goods and/or services, usually submitted in response to a public or selective invitation such as an RFT.

Tender box: a secure location within which tenders, offers, quotations or bids are placed.

Tender briefing: see invitation briefing.

Tender officers: individuals nominated to open the tender box and register tenders (offers) prior to evaluation in accordance with an organisation's procedures.

Tenderer: a party submitting a tender in response to an invitation to supply (request for quote or request for tender).  Also known as a bidder, supplier bidding for work or an invitee.

Tenderer response schedules: forms which are part of the RFT, and state the information to be provided by tenderers. 

Tenders VIC: the website provided by the Department of Treasury and Finance for advertising all government tenders. For more information refer to this link.

Value for money: involves a balanced judgment of financial and non-financial factors. Typical factors include fitness for purpose, quality, whole-of-life costs, risk, environmental and sustainability issues and price. For more information refer to the guide to value for money.

Variation: refer to contract variation.

Victorian Industry and Participation Policy (VIPP): a Victorian Government initiative to promote greater access for SMEs to work with major projects. For more information visit this link.

Victorian Government Purchasing Board (VGPB): is the independent government entity that; develops, implements and reviews procurement policies and practices, monitors compliance and reports irregularities; and fosters improvements in the use and application of purchasing systems. The VGPB provides leadership in government procurement of goods and services to deliver value-for-money outcomes for Victoria. For more information visit About the VGPB.

Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority: a statutory authority responsible for the registration of education and training providers in Victoria, including the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector. Visit www.vrqa.vic.gov.au.

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