Golden Plains Shire Council - Procurement - Victoria


Golden Plains Shire Council buys products, services and works from a variety of contractors, both within and outside the shire.  For all purchases, Council must follow rules set down by State Government, the Local Government Act and Council.

When spending public money Council takes into account:

1. Integration with Council Strategy

2. Achieving value for money

3. Sustainable procurement

4. Support of Regional Business

5. Build & Maintain Supply Relationships

6. Continual Improvement

Our Procurement Policy sets out in broad terms our purchasing principles and objectives. 

Procurement Methods

How we procure goods, works or services depends on the level of expenditure.  This is either by Quotation or Tendering.

Doing Business With Council

Issued June 2013

Information can be found at  Go to the ‘employment & tenders’ tab.  You will find:

  • ‘Procurement’ – this will give you general information relating to the Council’s procurement processes
  • ‘Tenders’ – listing of proposed, current and awarded tenders

Whether a job will be put out to tender or quotation will be governed by the financial limits in the Local Government Act and Councils Procurement Policy. 

 Tender – What is it?

A tender is an invitation to suppliers to submit their response to requested goods and services valued at over $150,000 (inc GST) or works $200,000 (inc GST).  This invitation is by public advertisement and identified by a tender reference number e.g. GPS-TXX/2013.  Submissions received that comply with the Conditions of Tender and mandatory selection criteria, including OHS are evaluated and the successful tenderer/s selected.  Tenders may be awarded to a single supplier or to a panel of suppliers as specified in the Conditions of Tender.

Quotation – Verbal/Written

A quotation is the process of inviting parties to submit a quotation for requested goods, services or works which fall under the financial values for a tender and is identified by quotation reference number e.g. GPS-QXX/2013.  Quotations received that meet the mandatory selection criteria including OHS will be evaluated and a successful bidder selected.  Quotations will generally be requested directly from at least 1 supplier for verbal quotations and 2 or more suppliers for written quotations.

Single Suppliers

Single supplier contracts are awarded through either the quotation or tender process to one supplier for the term of the contract for the provision all requirements set out in the specification.

Panel of Suppliers

Panel arrangements will vary in complexity and the number of panellists, depending on the Councils requirement. 

  1. Closed panels – a set number of panel members for a given contract period e.g. 2yrs.  These may be appropriate where responsiveness is required for a particular region and fixed prices/rates apply.
  2. Open panels – allow the addition of new panel members throughout the contract term. Operation of the panel will be specified in the Conditions of Tender and new members will be required to meet the same evaluation criteria as the original panel members.

Panel size will be determined by considering the anticipated amount of work, the type of work to be performed, the number of panel members anticipated to fulfil the requirements, the need to provide choice of providers and ensuring that panel members receive a reasonable level of work.

Accessing Quotation and Tender Documents – there is a difference!

Local Government eTender Portal

Golden Plains Shire (GPS) implemented an electronic tendering system in June 2012 called eTender.  eTender enables suppliers to access tender and formal quotation documentation via the web.  Suppliers are also able to upload responses via the ‘Electronic Tender Box’ on eTender.

Quotation Documentation

GPS operate a central lead procurement system where requests for quotations, depending on price and complexity, may come from any of our departmentsor via the Local Government eTender system.

Quotations are sought when there is no existing contract and are based on threshold limits:

  • Purchases below $5,500 – at least one quotation
  • Goods, services and works $5,501 - $33,000 - at least two written quotations
  • Goods, services and works $33,001 - $149,999 - at least three written quotations
  • Works $33,001- $199,999 - at least three written quotations

Simple Quotations

For lower value and risk quotations, suppliers will be contacted directly by a GPS contact via phone or email.  Responses should be submitted back to the GPS contact. 

** NOTE:  Quotations should NOT be submitted in the ‘Council Tender Box’.

Formal Invited Quotations

Suppliers who are formally invited to submit a quotation via our electronic eTender system are sent a do-not-reply email from eTender.  The email will state the quotation number e.g. GPS-QXX/2013, title, category, description and closing date/time.

Suppliers are asked to click the link in the email to begin the registration process.  If you have not registered to use the eTender system before you will be asked to complete the registration details.

An access code for the specific quotation is located in the email and will need to be used to access the quotation documentation. 


  • You will need to use the same email address to which the invitation was sent in order to access the documents and upload your response.  The invitation is personal to one email only.
  • An email can only be registered once in the eTender system.
  • Do not submit quotations via the ‘Council Tender Box’.  Submissions should be made as per the Conditions of Quotation.

Tender Documents

Tenders are advertised in the Geelong Advertiser and Ballarat Courier and on the Council Website under employment & tenders/Tenders.  Tender documents are accessed via the eTender system You will be asked to complete the registration details if you have not registered on the system before. Once registered on the system you will also have access to tenders by other councils using the same eTender system.  To access specific tender documents, click on the tender or search by the tender number, ‘Register as a Respondent’ and download the documents from the ‘Documents’ tab. 

Documents issued for request for tender and formal quotations are:

Part 1 & 2 Introduction and Conditions of Tender 

These are formal instructions on how the tender/quotation process will be run.  These instructions are important, should be read thoroughly and understood.  They outline how the tenders are to be submitted e.g. lodgement times and places, ‘Electronic Tender Box’ v’s  ‘Council Tender Box’ (see below for more details) including what happens if a tender is submitted late, number of copies required and in what format, and  how the tender will be evaluated including mandatory requirements.

Part 3 Specification and Addenda

The specification along with any addenda issued outline the specifics of the project to which a tenderer is required to respond.

Addenda are issued, via the eTender site to all registered suppliers, in response to questions asked by suppliers or to provide additional information for the specification of the goods, services or works being tendered.  Questions and responses are distributed to all suppliers so no one supplier gains an advantage throughout the tender process.

Part 4 Response - Complete and Submit

Answer the Question and Provide the Requested Documentation

The response document clearly sets out questions that tenderers need to answer.  Answer the complete question.  If there are five points, answer each one but be concise.  Provide supporting documentation in the order and format that it is requested.  It is frustrating for evaluation panel members having to flick through pages and pages of information to try and find a relevant answer.

Mandatory Criteria

Mandatory Criteria are pass/fail criteria.  If a response to a mandatory item e.g. OHS, Risk and Insurance including certificates of currency, Quality Assurance, Environmental is not provided the tender is deemed non-conforming and will not be evaluated.

Evaluation Criteria and Weightings

The Evaluation Panel assesses each tender for compliance before moving on to score the response to each evaluation criteria.  The criteria and weightings are listed in the response document.  The tender evaluation panel may determine not to fully evaluate any tender if, in the opinion of the tender evaluation panel, the tender does not adequately address or meet any of the evaluation criteria.

Part 5 Conditions of Contract

This sets out the conditions by which the contract will be performed and the responsibilities of both the contractor and the council.

Writing a Tender

Even if you are the incumbent contractor do not assume that the evaluation panel will know who you are.  You have one opportunity to make a first impression so make it count.  With many businesses competing for government contracts it is important to differentiate your company from other suppliers and demonstrate an innovative approach or how you can ‘add value’.  Include all relevant information to answer the questions/evaluation criteria, back up your statements with evidence and put in your best offer.

Lodging your Tender and Quotation – there is a difference!

Follow the instructions from Conditions of Tender clause 4 Lodgement of Tenders.  Wherever possible submit your tender the day before the closing date.  Late tenders, subject to the Conditions of Tender, are not accepted.

‘Council Tender Box’ – The Council Tender Box is located at the Bannockburn Council Office, 2 Pope St, Bannockburn.    This box is for TENDERS ONLY not quotations. 

‘Electronic Tender Box’ – This is for both Tenders and Invited Quotations found on eTender at

When submitting an electronic tender you need to allow time for it to upload.  The larger the file, the longer the time needed to upload.  Manuals such as OHS should be loaded as one single document not a zip file with 30 individual documents. 

Make sure the correct documents are submitted.  Tenders have been submitted with blank request for tender/quotation documents that were originally downloaded from the eTender site, one (1) page letter with just the tendered price, document’s for other councils/tenders and empty files with corrupt or no supporting documentation.  

Start preparing

Depending on the type of goods, services or works to be provided, some or all of the following will be required.

Insurance Certificates of Currency

Certificates of Currency must be provided on an annual basis to maintain status as a current supplier.

  • Public Liability  - $10mill
  • Professional Indemnity - $1mill (if required)
  • Workcover Insurance (as required)
  • Insurance of works (as required)
  • Motor Vehicle and Plant third party insurance

OHS Documentation Requirements

  • OHS Management Systems including policy and manual or booklet
  • Safe work practices and procedures including incident reporting and hazard identification
  • Testing regime for plant, equipment, electrical equipment
  • Storage and handling of hazardous substances
  • OHS training and consultation including induction, licensing and toolbox meetings
  • Workplace inspections
  • OHS performance monitoring

Organisational profile  

Attach a copy of your organisational structure and provide background information including but not limited to:

  • Number of years the business has been under its current business name; and
  • Years of experience in the type of [work/service]to be provided under the contract;


Attach details of at least three professional referees giving the name, position, organisation, telephone number and type of work performed.  Describe the nature of the relationship and relevance to the work/services performed to the current specification.

NOTE:  Do not list a GPS staff member as a referee.  Contracts completed for Council can be listed under relevant experience.


Provide details of the subcontractor(s) including:

(a)     name, address, number of people employed, qualifications, skills and experience; and

(b)    obligations that will be subcontracted.

Remember …..

Check our website regularly and keep up to date with the provision of your insurance documentation and OHS requirements. 

For further information see the Council website or email




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