Usual steps in a tender process



The steps set out below cover both government and private sector tendering, but government tendering is more complex and may include additional steps.

  • Define the scope of the supply and specify the principal's requirements and objectives.
  • Prepare the tender documents on which tenders will be based, including the terms of contract.
  • Supply potential tenderers with a copy of the tender documents.
  • Hold meetings with potential tenderers to give background information or to inspect locations.
  • Answer questions by potential tenderers and provide additional information, if requested.
  • Receive tender submissions for assessment by the purchaser.
  • Clarify aspects of a tender.
  • Arrange presentations of the tender.
  • Assess tenders and select a tender for acceptance.
  • Issue a letter of acceptance or sign a contract with the successful tenderer.


Tender documents



These are documents prepared by the principal and made available to potential tenderers. Principals should identify which tender documents are intended to form part of the contract. Tender documents that usually form part of the contract are the conditions of contract, specifications, drawings and other documents that set out or explain the scope of the supply.

One of the tender documents will be the conditions of tender. These conditions allow the principal to specify:

  • what a tenderer has to do to make its tender valid for assessment (known as a conforming tender);
  • the rules which will apply to the tender process; and
  • the rights of the principal to terminate the tender process and to use discretions without incurring any liability to tenderers.

Other tender documents usually include an invitation to submit a tender and a blank tender form and schedules (or templates) to be used by the tenderer.

Care should be taken in assembling the contract documents not to simply incorporate the tender, but to select the relevant contractual elements.


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