Tender guidelines

Brisbane City Council has provided the following guidance to help you understand the process and submit a tender.

Planning to tender

How do you plan a response to a request for tender?

  • Start early. Log into your SAP Ariba Business Network account to access the event under Ariba proposals and questionnaires as soon as you can. Contact the Council Contact Officer well before closing time if you don't understand something. Plan to get your response in one day before the closing time.
  • Make sure you understand what is required:
    • read the tender documentation thoroughly
    • consider the questions or requests - all questions and requests are important, and are designed to help you promote your business and capabilities to deliver the outcomes
    • are Council's requirements different to the way that you normally do business? How will this affect your ability to put in a strong tender response?
    • keep returning for any new or additional information provided in response to tenderers questions
      Note: if you ask a question, the answer may be provided to all tenderers.
  • Read the contract terms and conditions carefully. If you need legal or accounting advice, obtain this early as your non-compliances must be submitted before the tender closing time. If you submit non-compliances, they can be considered in the evaluation of your tender.
  • Gain an understanding of Council as your potential client:
    • read the specification document as this will outline what must be delivered or provided to Council
    • understand how the tender fits with the Brisbane Vision
    • explore Council's website - does Council have any policies, media statements and communications that relate to the tender topic?
    • attend the tender briefing session if one is held
  • Note the closing date and time for lodging your tender. Late tenders will not be accepted, unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Understanding the tender documentation

Most Council tenders will contain the following documents:

Table showing the list of documents most Council tenders will contain
DocumentPurposeExamples of content
Conditions of TenderSets out the rules for Council's tender process
  • tender process before and after the tender closing time
  • contact details of the key Council officer
  • closing time, date and what documents need to be included to support the tender
  • the criteria to be used in the evaluation of tenders
Tender DeliverablesObtains information from you for our evaluation
  • information about your business and your track record
  • your pricing breakdown
Specifications Details the requirements that goods, service or works must meet. Forms part of the contract with the successful supplier
  • background information about Council's need for the goods, service or works
  • detailed description of the product or goods, service or works to be provided
  • description of the outcomes or performance requirements to be achieved
  • site plans and drawings
Draft ContractThe terms on which Council will do business. Sets out the rights and obligations of each party to the contract. Allocates risks to council or the supplier
  • duration/term of the contract
  • your obligations
  • confidentiality and contact with the media
  • intellectual property
  • invoicing and payment
  • your liability to Council
  • insurances you must hold
  • when and how the contract can be terminated
Any other applicable documentationProvides further information context/background to Council's requirement
  • information about the site on which the works are to take place
  • maps

Preparing tender documentation

Guidelines and suggestions for preparing your response

  • Present your response in a simple format.
    If no set response format has been specified, follow the general format and numbering of the tender specification or deliverable attachments. Use simple, straightforward language and keep to the point.
  • Know how your tender will be evaluated.
    Provide a clear and concise response to each of the questions which will be used to evaluate your tender. Consider the evaluation criteria nominated in Council's Request for Tender when formulating your responses.

    For more information refer to understanding how tenders are evaluated.
  • Maximise compliance
    Sometimes there will be mandatory criteria. If your tender doesn't comply with the mandatory criteria  listed it will not be considered further. Non-compliances (clauses in the contract you disagree with) or points in the specification may be considered by Council in its evaluation/decision. 
  • Clearly identify the legal entity that is submitting the tender
    Council can only contract with a legal entity – this is a person or a company. Trusts and trading names are not legal entities. Clearly state the name of the legal entity that is submitting the tender and:
    • include your Australian Business Number (ABN)
    • include your Australian Company Number (ACN) if you have one
    • if you use a trading name, please also provide your full name or the full name of your company (including Pty Ltd and ACN); and
    • if the tender is being submitted by a trustee on behalf of a trust, please clearly state the full name of the person or company (including Pty Ltd etc) that acts as the trustee for the trust.  You may also be asked to provide the trust deed so that Council can confirm that the trustee has the power to commit the trust funds
  • Demonstrate your ability
    Make sure you demonstrate your ability to fulfil each criterion.  Draw on previous experiences to provide examples and offer certificates, samples, references and referees to further justify statements. If your product or service performs better than our specifications, tell us how.
  • Complete the price or cost schedule
    Ensure you have completed the price or cost schedule for all items you are tendering and ensure that your price is the most sustainable and competitive available to give you the best chance of being selected.
  • Pitch competitively
    Are you offering value for money? Value for money is based on a broad assessment of all cost and benefits of each proposal. Have you considered Value Adds? What else can your business provide that would be of value to Council and make your tender submission stand out from others?

    Examples might include extra reporting abilities, the offer of discounts for other manufactured items or services not covered by the contract, a rebate if annual spend targets are met, presentations to internal staff on industry developments and events.
  • Provide additional Information
    To further demonstrate your ability to meet Council's needs, it may be appropriate to include background information on your company's history, your employees, services you offer and any prior experience with Council. This information may be included in the covering letter as appendices or when addressing criteria.

    If you are a current supplier to Council ensure that you submit your tender response in full and don’t rely on your current contract. Each tender will be assessed equally based on the tender responses provided.

    Remember, you will be providing a good or service to Council. Demonstrate an understanding of Council’s business and how your company's skills may compliment them.

Final checks before submitting your tender

Before submitting your tender ensure that you have correctly completed and signed all appropriate tender forms and included all of the information requested by Council.

Submit your tender response before the closing time. Plan ahead and get it in a day early.

Most/all tenders will require electronic lodgement via SAP Ariba. Some Requests for Tender require lodgement of a hard copy in a Council physical tender box, for example, on level 1 in the Library, 266 George Street.

Understanding how tenders are evaluated

The criteria used to assess tenders for procurement worth over $500,000 are usually specified in the tender documents. When evaluating your tender, we may:

  • check to see if you have provided all information that we requested
  • check whether you have complied with the tender conditions
  • contact you to clarify things we don’t understand in your tender
  • shortlist one or more tenderers who most closely meet Council’s requirements
  • negotiate with you and/or other tenderers
  • ask you to sign the contract to formalise your offer to Council. This is not an acceptance of your offer. If you are selected as the successful Tenderer, Council will accept your offer by countersigning the contract and returning a copy to you.

Evaluation is undertaken using  non-price weighted criteria and a price model. The non-price weighted criteria are factors which are important to Council and will help select the successful supplier. Non-price weighted criteria are included in the tender documents with only the Local Benefit showing the weighted percentage.

The price model is the method used to produce a ‘comparative price’ that can be used to compare tenders against each other. This may be the purchase price of the item, or it may be a whole of life cost including servicing costs and the cost of consumables.

The information above will help to identify the tender which represents the most advantageous outcome for Council.

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