How to avoid having your bid/tender response rejected BEFORE evaluation

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All Australian Government Requests for Tender are to required to be listed through AusTender.

Many will not know that their response they submit to the RFT can be rejected even before it gets to evaluation.

With RFTs being submitted on AusTender there are some technical issues and some "creative clause" issues being caused by the writers of RFTs for the Australian Government that need to be considered.

We have created an awareness pack that outlines the key issues to look out for when responding to tenders.

The aim of the awareness pack is to avoid having to tell the boss, "our offer was rejected before evaluation as we did not meet the Conditions of Tender and the Conditions For Participation".

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  • AusTender is the central point for mandatory publication of all publicly available Commonwealth Government business opportunities. Some Corporate Commonwealth entities (agencies) also have publishing obligations.

    This pack provides an overview of a new awareness workshop that is available to help bring you up-to-speed on the traps that are hidden away inside Requests for Tender being issued by Australian Government Departments and Agencies using the AusTender electronic gateway.

  • We would be very surprised if this ISN’T your aim and objective when submitting a bid response!
  • This pack is focused on providing key information regarding the front-end document sets concerning the Conditions of Tender, Conditions For Participation and the Evaluation Criteria that you will find in most Requests for Tender (RFTs).

    AusTender lists and notifies these to registered users as “Approaches To Market” (ATM)

    Why focus on Conditions of Tender, Conditions For Participation and the Evaluation Criteria?

    If you miss the key elements that we have identified then the consequences will be significant.

    Why?

    There are some traps that are hidden away in the wording and terminology which will vary inside Requests for Tender (“Approaches To Market” (ATM)” being issued by Australian Government Departments and Agencies using the AusTender electronic gateway.
  • OK, so this organisation didn’t pay attention.

    The money they spent on their bid response was wasted in total!

    Their bid response was REJECTED as it did not comply with Conditions of Tender, Conditions For Participation and the Evaluation Criteria.

    Do NOT let this happen to your business!

    BUT, we hear you say, “we always comply with the Conditions of Tender (COT)”

    The issue that we are aware of that it’s easy to assume that every CoT set are the same and rush into the tender response “focusing on the Solution/Statement of Requirement’’.

    The fact is that every RFT doesn’t have the same Conditions of Tender, Conditions For Participation and Evaluation Criteria and there are some instances when “creative writing” is creeping into RFTs that you MUST become aware of, sooner, rather than later .

    Do NOT let this happen to your business!
  • You know this stuff already BUT there are some changes happening with each RFT being published that have resulted in this awareness pack being created in order
    to help you understand the issues to be faced.

    Get it wrong and your RFT response will be rejected and NOT evaluated.

    You need to PAY ATTENTION to each and every RFT in fine detail and in particular be aware of these items that are being inserted within RFTs!
  • Submitting a tender response costs bucketloads of money.

    Why should we care about whether your bid response is effective or not?
    We figure that you would like to use your bid money more effectively!
    Minimise the amount of wasted money on bids being rejected before evaluation

    Don’t fall out of the race BEFORE evaluation!

    Plan ahead by contacting us for key tips on areas to be alert for when submitting bid responses through AusTender.
  • Our gut feel is that ‘management’ won’t be happy on a grand scale, and that your career change could happen sooner rather than later if you miss the mark by not paying attention to the creative writing appearing in Australian Government tenders.
  • You need to comply in full with ALL the Conditions of Tender, Conditions For Participation and any other “conditions” placed on you by the creative writing appearing in Australian Government tenders.

    Aren’t all these “conditions” in the one place?

    We can show you where they are scattered and located through our workshops and training courses.
  • Talk to us if you need help with;

    Quickly locating the details we already know about that are ‘buried in the fine print’
    Conditions of Tender;
    Conditions For Participation;
    Compliance requirements;
    Evaluation criteria;
    Responding in a compliant manner.

    How can you find out more?
    There are currently 3 options available;

    AusTender CoT Awareness Pack
    3 hour AusTender CoT public workshop
    In-House 1 day “focused” AusTender CoT workshop with your bid team using an existing RFT
  • We can show you some are real life examples where the wording and terminology from some recent bids that have been listed on AusTender, may not have been adequately addressed or considered, by those submitting their bid responses.

    It’s not a complete list, but it does highlight key areas that show the variety and complexity of the wording being used.

    Get it wrong and your RFT response will be rejected and NOT evaluated.

    You need to PAY ATTENTION to each and every RFT in fine detail!
  • The reality is that every Approach To Market (ATM) (you will know this typically as a Request For Tender) will be issued after extensive authoring and review by each department agency.

    There is no COMMON set of templates for the Conditions of Tender and Conditions For Participation, apart from the ASDEFCON (Australian Defence Contracting) suite of contracting templates.

    Even with the ASDEFCON suite of templates, the authors will vary across each program office and the wording and terminology will vary.

    YOU MUST check the Terms and Conditions of Tendering AND the Conditions for Participation
  • The wording and terminology will vary so DO NOT be complacent in your reading and understanding of the front-end suite of documents.
  • Why should we care about whether your bid response is effective or not?
    We figure that your management would like to use your bid money more effectively!
    You need to minimise the amount of wasted money on bids being rejected before evaluation
    You need to ensure that you don’t fall out of the race BEFORE evaluation!
    Do this by planning ahead and become aware of a significant number of areas of risk that need to be addressed.
  • You need to become aware of a significant number of areas of risk that need to be addressed when it comes to Conditions of Tender, Conditions for Participation and Evaluation Criteria.

    The best way to become aware is to bring yourself up-to-speed is to look at some key examples of the types of issues YOU WILL face when it comes to Approaches To Market (ATM = Request for Tender) issued through AusTender by Australian Government Departments and Agencies.

    You can choose to ignore this advice and that’s your call, but don’t say we didn’t warn you.

    We offer the following to bring-you-up-to-speed;

    AusTender CoT Awareness Pack
    3 hour AusTender CoT public workshop
    In-House 1 day “focused” AusTender CoT workshop with your bid team using an existing RFT
  • It’s your call, you can choose to soldier on, on your own, and run the risk of getting rejected before you even get to evaluation…….

    Or you can leverage the details we have assembled as a comprehensive awareness workshop so that you get up to speed very quickly.

    The aim of seeking advice is to help you minimise the risks of not being evaluated.

    It’s as simple as that.
  • The Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines require the use of AusTender for reporting all Commonwealth contracts and agreements.

    For all Commonwealth Government Non-corporate Commonwealth entities (agencies) under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013, AusTender is the central point for mandatory publication of all publicly available Commonwealth Government business opportunities. Some Corporate Commonwealth entities (agencies) also have publishing obligations.

    The AusTender “electronic tender box” is a secure gateway for all Commonwealth departments and agencies to lodge their tenders.

    Companies responding have a secure facility to upload their response documents.

    Files uploaded are NOT accessible to system administrators at AusTender (run by department of finance).

    Once the tender closing date and time has passed the “electronic box” can only be opened by authorised personnel of both AusTender and the relevant department/agency.

    A nominated and duly authorised Tenderbox Opening Committee must be present to provide and use the requisite ‘keys’ in synchronisation.
  • Austender reporting requirements for FMA agencies and relevant CAC Act bodies are as follows:
    • publishing an Annual Procurement Plan containing forthcoming procurements on AusTender;
    • publishing details of all open approaches to the market, including requests for tender, requests for expressions of interest and requests for inclusion on a multi-use list on AusTender;
    • publishing details of contracts and agency agreements, including panel and standing offer arrangements valued at or over the reporting threshold ($10 000 for FMA Act agencies, and $400 000, or $9 million for procurement of construction services, for relevant CAC Act bodies) on AusTender; and
    • indicating whether a contract includes confidentiality provisions, and what is to remain
    confidential.

    FMA Act agencies are also required to identify on AusTender whether contracts are for the procurement of consultancy services, and the reason for the consultancy.
  • Source: Commonwealth Procurement Rules Page 19
    AusTender
    7.5 AusTender, the Australian Government’s procurement information system, is a centralised web-based facility that publishes a range of information, including relevant entities’ planned procurements, open tenders and contracts awarded. It also supports secure electronic tendering to deliver integrity and efficiency for relevant entities and potential suppliers.
    7.6 AusTender is the system used to enable relevant entities to meet their publishing obligations under the CPRs. It also enables relevant entities to monitor and review their AusTender-based procurements, including approaches to market, publication of contracts and multi-use lists, and amendments to contracts and multi-use lists.
  • The Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines require the use of AusTender for reporting all Commonwealth contracts and agreements.

    Annual Procurement Plan (APP) - a planning tool through which agencies provide a short summary of the strategic procurement outlook for the coming year and information on specific procurements they plan to undertake. APPs are published on AusTender before 1 July each year.

    Approach to the market (ATM) - any notice inviting potential suppliers to participate in a procurement. This may include a request for tender, request for expression of interest, or request for application for inclusion on a multi-use list.

    Relevant entity – non-corporate Commonwealth entities and prescribed corporate Commonwealth entities (listed at Appendix B) that must comply with the CPRs when performing duties related to procurement.
    Corporate Commonwealth entities – as defined in section 8 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act)
    Non-corporate Commonwealth entities – as defined in section 8 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).
  • How can you find out more?

    There are currently 3 options available;

    AusTender CoT Awareness Pack
    3 hour AusTender CoT public workshop
    In-House 1 day “focused” AusTender CoT workshop with your bid team using an existing RFT

    Contact for information and pricing

    Rob Harmer
    Rob Harmer Consulting Services Pty Ltd ABN 77 053 134 400 (Operating since 1991)
    Adelaide South Australia
    email rharmer@internode.on.net
    LinkedIN http://au.linkedin.com/in/robharmer/
    Mobile 0448 650 227
    Fax +61 (0) 8 8265 1961

  • Please fill out the form and then copy the table into an email and send to rharmer@internode.on.net
    With a Subject line –
    Show me how to avoid having my Bid Response rejected
  • How to avoid having your bid/tender response rejected BEFORE evaluation

    1. 1. Copyright © 2014 Rob Harmer Consulting Services Pty Ltd All Rights Reserved Worldwide How to avoid having your “Bid Response”
    2. 2. Copyright © 2014 Rob Harmer Consulting Services Pty Ltd All Rights Reserved Worldwide The aim of your “bid response” is to – either; Be awarded a contract based on your offer; or Be invited to negotiate the basis of your offer in order to generate a contract.
    3. 3. Copyright © 2014 Rob Harmer Consulting Services Pty Ltd All Rights Reserved Worldwide This pack focuses on the “Conditions of Tender”
    4. 4. Copyright © 2014 Rob Harmer Consulting Services Pty Ltd All Rights Reserved Worldwide “Thank you for your interest in the above procurement. Your tender has been rejected as it did not comply with the Conditions of Tender and accordingly was not evaluated.” How could this happen?
    5. 5. Copyright © 2014 Rob Harmer Consulting Services Pty Ltd All Rights Reserved Worldwide Key issues  Conditions of Tendering  Conditions for Participation  Incomplete submission  Legislative provisions  Judicial matters  Tender file formats, naming  ……………etc
    6. 6. Copyright © 2014 Rob Harmer Consulting Services Pty Ltd All Rights Reserved Worldwide Bid money expended has been WASTED! How can this happen?
    7. 7. Copyright © 2014 Rob Harmer Consulting Services Pty Ltd All Rights Reserved Worldwide What are the ramifications “for your career” when your bid response is ?
    8. 8. Copyright © 2014 Rob Harmer Consulting Services Pty Ltd All Rights Reserved Worldwide You need to be FULLY Compliant with the Conditions of Tender in order to proceed to evaluation
    9. 9. Copyright © 2014 Rob Harmer Consulting Services Pty Ltd All Rights Reserved Worldwide You know this already!
    10. 10. Copyright © 2014 Rob Harmer Consulting Services Pty Ltd All Rights Reserved Worldwide Key issues  Conditions of Tendering  Conditions for Participation  Incomplete submission  Legislative provisions  Judicial matters  Tender file formats, naming, etc  ……………and this where the “Gotcha’s kick- in” there a host of others that are “buried in the fine print!” Miss these, and it’s curtains for your bid!
    11. 11. Copyright © 2014 Rob Harmer Consulting Services Pty Ltd All Rights Reserved Worldwide
    12. 12. Copyright © 2014 Rob Harmer Consulting Services Pty Ltd All Rights Reserved Worldwide Check the Terms and Conditions of Tendering AND the Conditions for Participation for each and every Approach To Market (ATM) as they will vary! Miss “the fine print” and your bid WILL be rejected!
    13. 13. Copyright © 2014 Rob Harmer Consulting Services Pty Ltd All Rights Reserved Worldwide Why should we care about whether your bid response is effective or not?  We figure that you would like to use your bid money more effectively!  Minimise the amount of wasted money on bids being rejected before evaluation Don’t fall out of the race BEFORE evaluation! Plan ahead……..
    14. 14. Copyright © 2014 Rob Harmer Consulting Services Pty Ltd All Rights Reserved Worldwide
    15. 15. Copyright © 2014 Rob Harmer Consulting Services Pty Ltd All Rights Reserved Worldwide Talk to us if you need help with;  Quickly locating the unique and varied details that are ‘buried in the fine print’  Conditions of Tender;  Conditions For Participation;  Compliance requirements;  Evaluation criteria;  Responding in a compliant manner. How can you find out more details? There are currently 3 options available;  AusTender CoT Awareness Pack  3 hour AusTender CoT public workshop  In-House 1 day “focused” AusTender CoT workshop with your bid team using an existing RFT
    16. 16. Copyright © 2014 Rob Harmer Consulting Services Pty Ltd All Rights Reserved Worldwide
    17. 17. Copyright © 2014 Rob Harmer Consulting Services Pty Ltd All Rights Reserved Worldwide The Australian Government procurement information system.  It provides a central web-based facility for:  Publishing of all publicly available Government  Approaches to Market (ATMs),  Annual Procurement Plans (APPs),  Multi-Use Lists (MULs),  standing offer arrangements  and contracts awarded  Electronic distribution of ATM documentation and addenda  Secure lodgement of tender responses Source: https://www.tenders.gov.au
    18. 18. Copyright © 2014 Rob Harmer Consulting Services Pty Ltd All Rights Reserved Worldwide AusTender  7.5 AusTender - the Australian Government’s procurement information system, is a centralised web-based facility that publishes a range of information, including relevant entities’ planned procurements, open tenders and contracts awarded. It also supports secure electronic tendering to deliver integrity and efficiency for relevant entities and potential suppliers.  7.6 AusTender is the system used to enable relevant entities to meet their publishing obligations under the CPRs. It also enables relevant entities to monitor and review their AusTender-based procurements, including approaches to market, publication of contracts and multi-use lists, and amendments to contracts and multi-use lists. Effective from July 2014
    19. 19. Copyright © 2014 Rob Harmer Consulting Services Pty Ltd All Rights Reserved Worldwide  The Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines require the use of AusTender for reporting all Commonwealth contracts and agreements. Over 200 Australian Government Departments and agencies are also required to use AusTender Source: http://www.australia.gov.au/directories/australian-government-directories/list-of-departments-and-agencies
    20. 20. Copyright © 2014 Rob Harmer Consulting Services Pty Ltd All Rights Reserved Worldwide There are currently 3 options available;  AusTender CoT Awareness Pack  3 hour AusTender CoT public workshop  In-House 1 day “focused” AusTender CoT workshop with your bid team using an existing RFT Contact for information and pricing: Rob Harmer Consulting Services Pty Ltd ABN 77 053 134 400 (Operating since 1991) Adelaide South Australia email rharmer@internode.on.net LinkedIN http://au.linkedin.com/in/robharmer/ Mobile +61 (0) 448 650 227 Fax +61 (0) 8 8265 1961 Rob Harmer offers practical tips and solutions for small / medium businesses on a wide range of topics in technology, defence industry tenders, Conditions of Tender, training etc. _____________________________________________ __ About Rob Harmer – previously Business Winning Support Manager BAE Systems (from 2008 to 2014) with over 23 years’ experience in business consulting to defence and SME businesses.
    21. 21. Copyright © 2014 Rob Harmer Consulting Services Pty Ltd All Rights Reserved Worldwide Name Email address Phone contact Company Location (State) I am interested in; AusTender CoT Awareness Pack Yes No 3 hour AusTender CoT public workshop Yes No In-House 1 day “focused” AusTender CoT workshop with your bid team using an existing RFT Yes No Registration of Interest Please “end the show” and fill out the form and then copy the table into an email and send to rharmer@internode.on.net With a Subject line – Show me how to avoid having my Bid Response rejected

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