NSW eTendering is an online tendering system used by NSW Government agencies to make available information about tendering opportunities.
Historically, this information has been disseminated in hard copy paper format and newspaper adverts. Whilst the eTendering System reflects the traditional processes and controls that have ensured Government tendering in NSW, since July 2000 the eTendering System has introduced many advantages that have allowed both Government and potential tenderers to save time and effort in the tendering process. All of these advantages have been realised without sacrificing the high degree of probity that has made government tendering in NSW a great example that others follow.
New users to the system are encouraged to read this page in full if time permits; and if not to return to this page prior to using any of the system's functions for the first time.
For optimal performance and experience using eTendering, you should have as a minimum the following software and internet browser revision levels:
- To meet eTendering security standards, your browser must support 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer encryption
- For login access, your internet browser must support cookies
eTendering system functions have been tested and proven using the following software, other operating systems or browsers may not function correctly:
- Windows XP SP2 or higher
- Internet Explorer 8.0
- Chrome 44.0 or higher
- Mozilla Firefox 31.0 or higher
- Mac OS X
- Chrome 44.0 or higher
- Mozilla Firefox 31.0 or higher
- Safari 7.x
Note: Safari 8.x and Safari IOS8 are not supported on eTendering. Use of Safari 8.x or Safari IOS8 is not advised and an alternate browser should be used to ensure optimal eTendering functionality.
Step-by-Step Guide to NSW eTendering
Welcome to this guide for visitors to the NSW Government eTendering service.
Visitors should be aware that all the business opportunities that are advertised on the NSW eTendering system by participating NSW Government Agencies are listed on the website https://tenders.nsw.gov.au/
NB: You may notice that the system refers to all business (or tendering) opportunities using the generic 'RFT', which stands for Request For Tender, this should be taken to include Expressions of Interest (EOI) , Request for Quotation (RFQ) etc.
Table of Contents
You can find an array of information on eTendering sites. Information about tenders is listed under the five stages of a tenders life-cycle, they are:
- Proposed - Opportunities that are yet to begin but some details are available
- Current - Opportunities that are open and are seeking responses
- Closed- Opportunities that have now closed in tht last 30 calendar days.
- Archived - Opportunities that have closed more than 30 calendar days ago.
- Contracts Register - Opportunities that have closed and the Contract winner(s) have been selected.
- Standing Offer Notice - Opportunites that have closed and the Standing Offer winner(s) have been selected.
The various life-cycle stages offer various display sorting functions so that the listing of opportunities can be altered to suit your needs. The 'Sort-by' function is found in the top right hand corner of each of the stages display screens. You can 'Sort by' the following:
- Agency - the Agency responsible for the opportunity
- ID - sorts the listed opportunities by Tender or Contract Notice ID
- RFT Type - sorts the listed opportunities by Tender Type
- Title - sorts the opportunites alphabetically by Title
- Category - the type of good, service, or work being sought
- Publish Date Ascending / Descending - sorts the opportunities by Tender Published Date
- Last Updated - the most recently edited opportunities
- Close Date & Time Ascending / Descending - sorts the listed opportunities by the response Closing Date & Time
- Contract Value - sorts Contract Award Notice by value from highest to lowest
Contract Name - sorts the Contract Award Notice in alphabetically by Contractor Name
There are two search options on the NSW eTendering system, a 'Keyword Search' and an 'Advanced Search'.
The 'Keyword Search' (found on the top toolbar on every page) allows for quick searching for opportunities. The 'Advanced Search' allows for more detailed searching through the Tenders, Contract Award Notices and Standing Offer Notices, using criteria such as agency name, tender type, title, publish and close dates, location, category of good or service being sought, contract notice value, contractor name and ABN.
Tender Specific Information
Each opportunity (prior to becoming a 'Current opportunity' - proposed Tenders will not have all details available) on the system must contain the following information before it can be published as a 'Current' opportunity.
- A unique RFT ID
- RFT ttle, or the name that the opportunity is known by.
- RFT description of works, goods or services being sought.
- The UNSPSC Category of the works, goods or services being sought.
- The name of the person running the opportunity, or Contact Person
- The Contact Person's Telephone number
- The Contact Person's Fax Number
- The Closing Date for the Opportunity
- The Closing Time for the Opportunity
- The Tender Type - for example 'Open' or 'Selective'
- The cost of the Tender documentation (if any)
Other information, about a particular RFT, that may be included is:
- Instructions to Tenderers - For example site meetings or response requirements clarification
A list of the Tenderers that have been selected from the pre-qualified panels for that Tender
Other General Tendering Related Information
If you are seeking general information about how the NSW Government or a particular Government Agency establishes what suppliers it uses, visit the 'Related Links' and 'Policy Documents' pages on the website.
You are required to enter your email address and a password when either: collecting documents or when you are lodging a response. You create your own password and enter other details about yourself the first time you perform either of the above tasks (i.e. collecting documents or lodging a response) ...alternatively, if you choose you, can setup your registration details prior to this by clicking the 'Register' link in the left top toolbar found on every page. Each subsequent time you perform either of these tasks you will need to enter the same email address and password.
Should you forget your password there is a Password reminder question function that can be used to remind you or to send you an email with a new password.
Why do I have to register?
The reason that you are asked to register your details when collecting the documentation is simple. Government agencies need to know who they are potentially doing business with in case the specification changes during the course of the tender. When you register you will be asked to include a valid e-mail address. An e-mail message will be sent to this address if an amendment or update to the original information is issued. If you do not take the amendment into consideration in your response that response may be rendered invalid or simply leave your response out of the running. The information you enter will only be used for tendering related matters in accordance with the NSW eTendering Privacy Statement - a link to which can be found on the left panel of each page.
The reason you are required to register when lodging a response is so we have a clear record of exactly who the respondend 'tendering entity' is for each Tender. When it comes to opening the electronic Tenderbox that list is made available to the witnesses (officers present to ensure probity in Government Tendering) for verification.
NB: If you are Tendering on behalf of someone else you will have the opportunity to reflect the body that you are tendering on behalf of...for example in a consortium situation, the consortium should be the legal entity lodging the response. However, your registration details will not be changed.
Once you have entered the correct details you will be able to proceed with the task that you set out to perform.
If you have any trouble with your registration please use the 'Contact Us' link found on the left.
You will notice when you complete your registration details the last option asks whether you "Do you wish to receive email notifications of tender processes as they are published on NSW eTendering?".
Once you have set up your email notification profile you will be able to return to change it (or stop the emails being sent) as required.
When tender opportunities are invited they are attributed a 'Tender Type', which dictate who can participate in that opportunity.
Below are the types of tender and a description of the way they work:
Request for Proposals
An invitation for expressions of interest / seeking preliminary proposals. In many cases these may be used as a basis for shortlisting tenderers, along with other criteria such as expertise and experience. Prospective tenderers are initially evaluated for their proposal against the relevant selection criteria. A number of those who best meet the criteria are invited to tender. For complex or some other types of procurement, where the product or service outcomes are highly dependent on the content of the proposals received from Tenderers, the outcome may be negotiated.
An invitation to tender that is made to a limited number of tenderers, from a Pre-qualified Panel. Tenderers are pre-qualified, for an ongoing program of works or services, on a proven record of satisfactory performance in the category for which tenders are sought.
An invitation to tender by public advertisement with no restriction placed on who may tender. Tenderers will normally be required to demonstrate in their tender that they have the necessary skills, resources, experience, financial capacity, and in some cases licences, accreditations, etc., to fulfil the tender requirements.
Invitation To Respond
This is not a tender. The system is being used for invitation for public response to information published on, or accessible though, this website.
Examples would include EIS, Discussion Papers, registrations for position appointments, etc.
A notice published on this website that relates to procurement or other relevant matters. It does not normally require any formal response. This is not a tender.
Pre-Qualified / Invited
Only those directly invited to tender, may obtain an RFT for the purpose of lodging a tender response.
Generally an invitation from a pre-qualified register of approved tenderers who have the ability to undertake the particular work or type of work proposed, a limited number of service providers are known to carry out the work or service (or in emergency or other restricted situations). Tenderers have usually been pre-qualified, accredited, or selected for the type of work and financial range. Competitive bids called from a standing offer (panel / period) contracts would also use this type.
Expression of Interest for Specific Contracts
An invitation for Expressions Of Interest (EOI) for pre-registration of prospective tenderers for a specific work or service. Applicants are initially evaluated against published selection criteria, and those who best meet the required criteria are invited to Tender (as tender type Selective).
Expression of Interest For Pre-Qualification
An invitation for Expressions Of Interest (EOI) for pre-registration of prospective tenders for a type of work or service. Application are initially evaluated against published selection criteria.
This type of limited (invited) tender process applies when only one service provider is invited to tender - it is mainly used for low value, low risk procurement, or where specific circumstances mean that no reasonable alternative or substitute works, product or service exist.
There are two possible methods of collecting the documents from the NSW eTendering website. The options are Downloading a Softcopy or Ordering a Hardcopy.
Downloading a Softcopy involves collecting one or several documents in computer file format that is delivered to your PC at the time you choose to download across the Internet. If there is a cost for the documents the payment has to be made prior to the download being allowed.
Ordering a Hardcopy involves registered visitors using the system and indicating that they wish to have the documents sent to them via normal mail. If there is a cost for the documents the payment has to be made prior to the order being registered.
NB: Be aware both options will not always be available for every opportunity.
The documents that can be downloaded from the system are defined as follows:
- RFT Preview Document(s) - a document that outlines details about the tender or may even be the tender document in an unprintable/unsavable format. The RFT Preview Document(s) is always free to download - hardcopies cannot be ordered although an 'exhibited copy' of tenders is usually made available at the office of the Tendering agency for those who wish to assess the suitability of the tender.
- Participation Instructions- up to eight files that make up the complete tender documentation. The publishing agency can set these documents to be either downloadable as a softcopy or ordered as a hardcopy, or both. To download or order the documents may incur a fee, and hardcopies may cost more than softcopies. If you buy the less expensive version (for example the softcopy) you will be charged the difference for the hardcopy. However - in the same example - you would be able to collect the softcopy as many times as you like at no extra cost.
The information that is available to order or download for each opportunity changes depending on the circumstance for that opportunity. The other types of information available is:
- Amendment - These documents are issued after the original request goes out and usually contain amendments to the original opportunity. It is crucial that the contents of any amendments are taken into consideration before submitting a response.
NB:If you have registered on the system with an accurate e-mail address and then gone on to download or order a specific set of documents for an opportunity, and that opportunity subsequently issues an amendment then you will be notified via e-mail to the address you registered with.
- Contract Award Notice and Standing Offer Information - After an opportunity has closed, and the responses that have been lodged are evaluated and a winner (or winners) are announced. The announcement notice will include the winner(s) and the dollar value of the winning response(s) and other relevant information.
For a demonstration of how easy it is to respond to a tender opportunity online visit our 'Demonstration RFT'. Click here to link to the Demonstration RFT. Simply click on the link 'Lodge a Response' and provide registration details (as required, depending on if you have previously registered on the NSW eTendering system). Then follow the on screen prompts.
When you are ready to respond to a particular opportunity simply find that opportunity in the 'Current' listing using the methods outlined above.
Here you will find a blue link to 'Lodge a Response' (NB: Not all tenders allow online responses - always carefully read documentation to ascertain how your response should be sent).
When you click the blue 'Lodge a Response' link you will be asked to enter your email and password (if you have not already logged in).
When you have entered your email address and password correctly a new screen with the heading "Lodge a Response -Who is Tendering?" – asking if the tender response you are submitting now being submitted on your own behalf OR on behalf of a different legal entity or organisation? You will be able to change the information or modify what is presented.
Once confirmed you will be presented with a new screen – "Lodge A Response".
Below the heading appears some text explaining what to expect during the process, please read this carefully.
At the bottom of the page is a table of estimated file upload and download times, please read this carefully.
Above the download/upload estimate table you will see spaces for file entry. You will see five (5) entry fields and five (5) corresponding 'Browse...' buttons. Select the 'Browse...' button corresponding to 'File 1' and then choose the file you wish to upload. If you have more than one file in your response then repeat the process.
Hint: This process of uploading files is very similar to attaching files to an e-mail...in that you browse for the file and then choose the correct file prior to sending the e-mail (or in the case of eTendering submitting the response).
If you have more than five files please compress several files using a tool such as WinZip.
An alternative way of uploading a large response is to respond to the same RFT more than once.. follow these steps below:
- Number the files you are submitting; for example if your company is called 'CompanyX' name the first file "Company_X_file_one_of_six.doc" and then the second file could be named: "Company_X_file_two_of_six.doc".
- Click the 'Lodge' button. After a few moments (these two files are travelling to our offices via the Internet) you will see a message on the screen saying that your upload was successful.
There is a receipt number issued for each response; please record this number.
- Click the 'back' button on your Web browser.
- The "Upload RFT Response" screen will appear again for you to enter files (following on from the example above)"CompanyX_file_three_of_six" and then "CompanyX_file_four_of_six" and then "CompanyX_file_five_of_six" and then "CompanyX_file_six_of_six".
- Click the 'Lodge' button again and wait for your receipt confirmation to appear.
- Record the receipt number and then simply wait for the evaluation process. Good luck.
If you would like to confirm that the evaluation team did receive your response in full you can contact the person named as the contact person for that opportunity.
NB: Your response should not be considered complete if you have not seen a receipt onscreen.
The eTendering system contains the following other features:
Provide a link to the NSW Directory website, listing all the NSW Government Agencies. The 'Agency Addresses' can be found on the left.
This section includes links to websites that contain tendering and government procurement related information. The 'Related Links' found on the left, include other NSW websites and other national websites.
Contact Us | Feedback
Provides a function for e-mails to be sent to eTendering system administrators and eTendering Helpdesk staff. If you have any ideas/complaints/questions about the system you should take the opportunity to let us know using either one 'Contact Us' link is found on the left and the 'Feedback' is on the bottom right both found on every page.
Rules of Tendering
Outlines how the New South Wales Government will conduct its procurement activities when interacting with the private sector. The 'Rules of Tendering' link is on the left.
- Always check that your e-mail address in your registration is accurate. You will not receive Amendment notifications if this address is wrong.
- Always submit a tender response in the name of the entity that the tender is on behalf of. This makes clear who the tendering entity is for the evaluation team and makes the evaluation faster.
- Try to avoid responding at the last minute. In the same way that you would not normally send a courier or drop your paper-based response in the post right on closing time on closing day the same logic should be applied to the Internet. Between the physical location where you are sending the response from and where the response has to travel to there are many variables that may affect your response submission timing.
- If you are seeking advice on how your company can become a supplier of goods and services to NSW Government please visit this website.
Should you require any further assistance with using this NSW eTendering system please click the 'Contact Us' link found on the left of every page.
Questions about a particular tender or business opportunity will be answered by the person managing that opportunity; in the first instance always direct questions to this person - they are usually named in the documentation.
This section contains information about relevant tendering and procurement policies for the Agency whose website you are visiting. Many visitors to the site find that many of the questions they have about tendering and associated subjects (such as panel contracts etc) can be answered in this section and the links that it provides. The 'policy document' link can be found on the left.
RSS Feed – Current Request for Tender (RFTs)
Rich Site Summary (RSS) provides a feed of frequently published website information. RSS feeds are readable through many web browsers, email accounts and dedicated RSS feed readers.
To supplement customised email notification, an RSS feed of all publicly available RFTs currently out to the market has been implemented on NSW eTendering’s Current Tender List web page. The feed will be updated daily after business hours.
To subscribe to the RSS feed, click the RSS icon on the top right of the page, and select an appropriate RSS reader.