Tenders and Suppliers

Approved Vendors - E-Tendering for Obtaining Quotations and Conducting Tenders Guidelines

Policy Code: FN1529

Purpose

To provide guidance in order to ensure compliance with the University and State Government purchasing policies whilst achieving:

  1. Approved Vendor arrangements by Contract or Agreement.
  2. Greater collaboration between Faculties and Sections in order to influence budget spend, maximise purchasing power, obtain best value for money and fair conditions for the supply of goods and services to the University.
  3. Reduction in transaction process costs through timely, cost effective, efficient, procurement methods.
  4. The advantage of established vendor arrangements where common use clauses apply.
  5. That all arrangements/agreements are established following a compliant and open process. The University may choose to select more than one vendor for the particular products or services.
  6. Compliance with University Policy on Probity Auditing and ensure this is referred to when procuring goods or services on major projects that are of high value, high profile or of a possible contentious nature.

Scope

This Finance Guideline sets out the procedures to be followed when entering into an agreement for Approved Vendors on behalf of the University. This Guideline should be read in conjunction with the University’s

Procurement of Goods and Services Policy

Purchasing Procedure

Request for Quotation (RFQ) and Request for Tender (RFT) Guidelines

This Guideline applies to all Faculties and Sections throughout the University.

Definitions

Approved Vendors Contract Contractual agreements made between the University and  Vendor(s) and signed by the Authorised Officer of both parties following a formal RFT bidding process
EDMS Electronic Data Management System.
KPi's Key performance indicators
RFQ Request for Quotation Process for obtaining a minimum of three quotes for goods/services provision with a value between $15,000 - $99,999 over a three year period
RFT Request for Tender process for obtaining goods/service provision with a value over $100,000 over a three year period
University Federation University Australia
VC Vice-Chancellor and President
Vendor Agreement Agreement made between a University Delegated Officer and Vendor(s) of Goods/Services following a formal RFQ bidding process.

Process For Selection Of Approved Vendors

The University E-Tender Portal

All RFT’s should be placed on the University’s E-Tendering portal, “TenderSearch”.

RFQ’s can be obtained by direct contact with Vendors however “TenderSearch” is the preferred method for the University as it ensures open and fair competition.

RFT’s that have not been advertised publicly or via the E-Tender portal cannot be accepted. Federation University Australia’s E-Tendering portal has been designed to improve the speed and efficiency of the tendering process, for both the University and its vendors.

This service is provided free of charge to vendors. It allows the University to invite organisations to tender for the supply of goods and services via an electronic tender box on the University’s website.

Approval Process

The need for a tender once identified should be written and approved by a delegated officer. Where appropriate a business case should be written. Refer to Delegations - Contracts, Financial, Staffing and Tenders Policy.

A probity plan (refer to Probity Audit Policy) should be developed for high spend, high profile or possibly contentious tenders before tendering commences; this is to ensure the process is:

  • fair and impartial;
  • uses a competitive process;
  • consistent and transparent;
  • secure and confidential;
  • identifies and resolves conflicts of interest;
  • complies with legislative obligations;

Requests can be made for advice on tender documentation from the Procurement team.

Process to Invite Tenders

1. Templates for RFQ and RFT processes are available on the University’s Policy Library.

2. If required contact Procurement for verification of the relevant tender template to use to enable electronic input by vendors

i. RFQ Templates for Goods and Services for Approved Vendor Agreements, includes specifications and standard terms and conditions, Three year value less than $100,000. Refer to the Request for Quotation (RFQ) Templates webpage.

ii. RFT templates for Approved Vendors, Contractors – includes Part A Request for Tender Specification, Part B Conditions of Tender Guidelines and Part C Approved Vendor Contract Agreement draft. Three year value over $100,000. Request for Tender (RFT) Templates webpage.

3. Procurement will also advise the next Tender/Quotation Register number.

4. Completed tender documents may be sent to Procurement for review and advice before publishing.

5. It is the Tender/Quotation Sponsor’s responsibility on whether the advice proffered is taken or declined.

6. If required, design an Advertisement Template to invite vendors to register on the University’s E- Tendering Portal “TenderSearch” by contacting TenderSearch's customer service on 1800 836 337. Vendors may also be contacted verbally or in writing inviting them to register.

7. Contact Marketing and Publications for guidance and approval prior to placing an advertisement with the University’s Approved Advertising Agent. Sufficient time must then be allowed to enable vendors to register before posting the RFQ/RFT on the TenderSearch portal.

8. Once completed the RFT or RFQ documentation should be forwarded to Procurement who will organise for the tender to be placed on the TenderSearch site. If necessary the Procurement team may seek advice from legal services before placing the tender on the TenderSearch site.

9.  Tenders must be advertised on TenderSearch for a minimum of 1 week.

10. To manage the security of documents placed on TenderSearch, the following should be supplied:

i.   Once copy of the Tender document in PDF format.

ii.  One copy of the Tender document in Word format for completion by the tenderer.

iii.  One copy of the Part B Conditions of Tender Guidelines in PDF format.

iv.  Any other documents in PDF format.

11. Procurement is to keep a Register of all Tenders placed on TenderSearch.

12. Vendors registered on TenderSearch will be advised by email when a tender for their particular category is posted on the TenderSearch website.

Tender Team Selection Process

It is advisable that the tender evaluation team is comprised of a minimum of 3 representatives. For best practice this should be made up of the Tender Sponsor, user group member and representative from the Procurement team.

Selection depends on a number of evaluating criteria, including:

1.     Professional competence in respect of:

  • Compliance to specifications
  • Capability / capacity
  • Performance sustainability and current work / client commitment
  • Customer service
  • Strategic
  • Innovation

2.     Commercial in respect of:

  • Financial sustainability and viability
  • Risk and insurance
  • Conflict of interest

After tenders have been evaluated according to the selection process and a successful tender selected, the following process must be adhered to:

  • A copy of the Approved Vendor Contract Agreement draft containing all terms and conditions are to be sent to Legal Services for review
  • Once the Approved Vendor Contract Agreement has been approved by Legal Services, two copies of the Agreement are to be forwarded to the successful tenderer along with the completed Letter to Successful Tenderer for signing by the vendor The vendor is to forward the two (2) original signed copies to the Tender Sponsor
  • Once the Tender Sponsor has received the two (2) original signed documents, he / she is to then forward both copies to Legal Services for co-signing by the Authorised Officer before sending one (1) copy back to the Tender Sponsor.
  • The Tender Sponsor is to then save one (1) electronic copy of the fully signed Approved Vendor Contract Agreement before forwarding to the successful tenderer.
  • Copies of all documents from evaluation through to contract are to be forwarded to Procurement for record and audit.

Approved Vendor (RFQ) Agreement

To be established as an Approved Vendor (RFQ), the agreement must be signed by the Delegated Dean / Director / Head of Faculty / Sector or their Deputy.

A copy of the completed “Letter of Offer” should be sent to Legal Services to be held on their “DataWorks” Contract Database, an electronic copy should be sent to Procurement to be held with RFQ paperwork for future reference and audit.

RFQ Agreements should be subject to KPI’s and regularly monitored to ensure conditions of agreement are met.

Delegated Officers should ensure that goods and services are not obtained after the Agreement expiry date without extensions being arranged through Legal Services to ensure penalties and higher charges are not incurred by the University without prior negotiation and agreement.

Approved Vendor (RFT) Contract

To be established as an Approved Contractor (RFT) the Contract must be signed by the University’s Authorised Officer in accordance with the Delegations Policy.

Forward a copy of the Approved Vendor Contract (draft) to Legal Services along with the ??? to seek advice.

Once Legal Services has approved the Approved Vendor Contract Agreement, two (2) copies of the Contract Agreement are to be forwarded to the successful tenderer along with the Letter to Successful Tenderer for signing.

When the Tender Sponsor has received the two (2) original signed documents, he / she is to then forward both copies to Legal Services for co-signing by the Authorised Officer before sending one (1) original copy back to the Tender Sponsor.

After the original signed copy of the Contract Agreement is received by the Tender Sponsor he / she is to save an electronic copy of the Contract before forwarding to the Successful Tenderer. An electronic copy of the signed contract should be sent to Procurement to be kept with the RFT paperwork for record and audit.

Advantages Of Using Approved Vendors Either Contract Or Agreement

The use of Approved Vendors (Contract or Agreement) enables the University to confidently exercise its purchasing requirements for commonly used goods or services and benefit from economies of scale.

Once Approved Vendors have been evaluated and established for a particular category of goods or services they should be the first choice for University purchases before any other vendor. For those Goods or Services, “Exemptions” can only be authorised by the Associate Director, Financial Planning, Budget and Procurement of the Chief Operating Office, following the completion of an “???”.

The normal requirements to obtain quotes or undertake a tender for purchases will not apply when purchasing from an Approved Vendor (Contract or Agreement) within the contract period. Only one (1) written quotation will be required, however it is recommended that the market should still be tested to ensure best value for money, service and quality.

Contracts should be regularly reviewed to ensure KPI’s are being met.

Delegated Officers should ensure that goods and services are not obtained after the contract expiry date without extensions being arranged through Legal Services to ensure penalties and higher charges are not incurred by the University without prior negotiation and agreement.

Responsibilities

The Management Accountant, Strategic and Corporate has responsibility for the maintenance of this Guideline.

Forms/Record Keeping

Title Location Responsible Officer Minimum Retention Period
Approved Vendor - Contract Legal Office Legal Services Contract Database Administrator 7 years
Approved Vendor  - Agreement Legal Office Legal Services Contract Database Administrator 7 years

Implementation

The Approved Vendors – E – Tendering for Obtaining Quotations and Conducting Tenders Guidelines will be implemented through the University via:

  1. an Announcement Notice under ‘FedNews’ on the ‘FedUni’ website and through the University Policy – ‘Recently Approved Documents’ webpage to alert the University-wide community of the approved Guidelines; and
  2. inclusion on the University’s online Policy Library