Victorian Government Purchasing Board
Achieving Excellence in Government Procurement

Q. Where can I find information for suppliers?
Information for businesses can be found by visiting the supplier’s webpages.

Additional information can be found via the Tenders Vic or visit Business Victoria websites.

Q. Where can I find out what procurement opportunities are available for suppliers?

VGPB policies require departments and mandated public bodies to plan and outline their anticipated procurement activity for the following 12 to 24 month period. This plan is published so that suppliers can see what relevant opportunities are coming up and who to contact for further information – To see what government is procuring refer to this link.

Q. How can I register as a supplier to government?

The Business Victoria website has advice and information on marketing to government.

The Victorian Government does not maintain a central list of preferred suppliers. There are a number of ways for suppliers to receive notifications of procurement opportunities:

For suppliers who provide Information Communication and Technology Services they may wish to register their business on the government eServices Register.

For suppliers who provide marketing services, they may wish to register their business on the marketing services register.

Q What are the benefits of the VGPB’s policies for businesses?

Businesses benefit from the VGPB’s policies’ increased emphasis on forward planning, transparency and greater market engagement between government and suppliers. The framework reduces the administrative burden, encourages innovation and gives businesses greater visibility to upcoming procurement opportunities. 

Q. How do I make a complaint about part of the procurement process?

Complaints need to be lodged directly with the organisation managing the procurement process. Refer to the invitation to supply documentation or the organisation website. VGPB policy requires departments and mandated public bodies to have a complaints management system that sets out the process and procedures for addressing complaints.

Please refer to the governance policy for further information.

Q How do the policies encourage small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) participation?

The policies require departments and mandated public bodies to publish a procurement activity plan (PAP) online. The PAP provides the upcoming procurement activities along with the business unit to contact.

The PAP makes it easier for suppliers to access information on government procurement opportunities, both ongoing supply arrangements and one-off opportunities. This is particularly beneficial for SMEs that wish to participate in the government marketplace.

Q. Can small businesses enter into business relationships with the Victorian Government?
Competition is open to any sized company. Government considers each application on its own merit and bases procurement decisions on a fair appraisal of value for money. The VGPB ensures that departments engage in procurement processes that are simple, not overly risk averse, prescriptive, onerous or inconsistent, nor act as unnecessary barriers for local providers or small to medium businesses.

Q. How can small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) access aggregated demand opportunities?

The VGPB policies strengthen the requirement for departments to consider SMEs across all relevant government procurement.

The procurement activity plan, which is published online, will indicate whether a particular procurement activity will proceed on the basis of an aggregate demand process. SMEs are able to prepare themselves to either bid directly to government or form a consortium.

The Department of Treasury and Finance is working constructively with Small Business Victoria and the Industry Capability Network to ensure services of SMEs are brought to the attention of principal contractors in their bid for government business.

Q. I have a good idea or product that could help government. How do I let government know?

Review the Victoria Online website and research funding programs available.   Alternatively, contact the relevant department directly. The Victorian State Government has also released a revised Market-led proposals guideline for assessing proposals from the private sector to deliver a project or service which offers something genuinely unique and of value to Victorians.  For more information refer  to this link.

Q. How does the reform reduce burden of insurance provisions and liability capping?

The VGPB’s market engagement policy requires departments and public bodies to give consideration to the cost to suppliers in engaging with government.

All procurement proceeds on the basis of an assessment of complexity. This clearly defines the level of risk and better informs the appropriate level of insurance and liability requirements.

A government procurement guide already permits flexibility in specifying insurance and liability caps that reflects the level of risk of the procurement.  To view this guide for insurance provisions.

Q. What is the Victorian Industry Participation Policy?

The Victorian Industry Participation Policy (VIPP) was introduced to encourage participation by SMEs in major government procurement contracts for projects and infrastructure, major events, investment attraction and community facilities grants.

VIPP applies to contestable government projects with a value of $3 million and over in metropolitan Melbourne and $1 million and over in regional Victoria, including:

•              government procurements;

•              investment-attraction, industry and regional development grants;

•              major projects and events; and

•              Partnerships Victoria infrastructure projects.

VIPP is not a VGPB policy.  For more information about VIPP refer to this link.

Q. How does VIPP impact the VGPB’s policies?

The Government has announced the release of VIPP guidelines to streamline current processes, making it simpler and reducing compliance costs for businesses. While the VIPP is not a VGPB policy, the two policies’ objectives are aligned in facilitating SME participation and local sourcing in the conduct of government procurement.

Offers

Q. Can a department accept a late submission?
No, to ensure a transparent and equitable process late offers (tenders, bids, proposals) are generally not accepted unless a supplier can clearly document to the satisfaction of the organisation’s chief procurement officer that an event of exceptional circumstances prevented timely submission.

Q. What is a critical incident?

The VGPB’s market approach policy outlines the parameters for a critical incident declaration, which typically occurs when an emergency or incident has occurred that is considered a serious and urgent threat. Standard procurement policies and processes do not apply during a critical incident, however, departments must apply a process that ensure probity and accountability standards are retained, and value for money is delivered.

Q. How do I submit an offer?

Offers (also known as tenders, bids, proposals) are to be submitted in accordance with the terms and conditions set out in the invitation to supply documents. For further information relating to submitting an offer via Tenders Vic  refer to the Tenders Vic FAQs.

Q. What are the terms and conditions of an invitation to supply?

All terms and conditions are specified in each invitation to supply document. Where there are no terms and conditions specified, the Victorian government default terms and conditions prevail. These are available at this link.

Q. How do I know what criteria a department is using to evaluate an offer?

All invitation to supply evaluation must be carried out in a comprehensive, equitable, auditable and transparent manner. To ensure transparency, the procurement process, including the evaluation criteria, is documented in the invitation to supply documents.

Q. How long does a procurement process take?

The length of a procurement process depends on the complexity of the procurement activity.
A timetable for each procurement process is specified in the invitation to supply documents.

Q. How will I know if I have been shortlisted?

You will be informed by the relevant party. The invitation to supply documents will list the dates of when the organisation will respond to the market.

Q. Can I find out why I was unsuccessful in an invitation to supply?

The invitation to supply evaluation process is confidential. However, once the contract is executed unsuccessful tenderers can request feedback on their submission.

Q Can I provide feedback to a department on their procurement process?

Yes, most definitely.  The Victorian state government is committed to improving processes and procedures.  The VGPB encourages organisations to establish a supplier feedback.  A guide to supplier feedback is available from the following link.

For more information on procurement terms and definitions please refer to the glossary

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