Bidding for government contracts

If you are a small or large business there are plenty of chances for you to bid for work with the Northern Territory (NT) Government.

This page will help you increase your opportunities to compete for government work and improve the quality of your quotes and tenders.

For remote contracting policy go to the Department of Local Government and Community Services website.

For information on indigenous participation in construction projects go to the Department of Infrastructure website.

Before you submit your bid

Make sure you are ready to respond to NT Government contracts by doing all of the following:

Some categories of spend such as building and construction require accreditation. For more information about accreditation in the NT go to the Contractor Accreditation Limited website.

Know your customer

The NT Government is made up of over 30 agencies and each agency is responsible for determining its individual purchasing requirements.

Your business should understand each government agency's role as a potential buyer and its business needs. 

This will help you target your goods and services to the relevant agency.

You can find more information on agency websites.

Build relationships

It is important to build a relationship with the customer agency.

Public tenders and quotes are not the only way the government obtains goods and services. 

Agencies can also procure directly or by select quotes and select tenders. 

Agencies research the market for supplies and price estimates for goods and services. To help with an agency's purchasing decision, make sure they are aware of your capabilities and have all relevant supplier information. 

Government agencies will need to know the following about your business:

  • what goods or services you supply
  • what sets you apart from your competitors
  • why the government should buy from you.

You should go to functions and events organised by industry associations and the NT Government to promote your business directly to agencies. 

Know the procurement process

There is a procurement process that all agencies must work to.

Read more on government procurement methods.

Your bid must be value for money

The NT Government seeks to achieve best value for money outcomes rather than the lowest price. 

Agencies will look at the following criteria during procurement assessment:

  • price
  • past performance
  • local content
  • timeliness
  • capacity
  • innovation
  • supply needs.

These criteria are weighted and results are published for all procurement activities valued at over $15,000.

Local content

The NT Government works to build the capability and competitiveness of businesses in the Territory in many ways.

In government procurement activities, all tenders must include the local content assessment criteria with a minimum weighting of 25%. 

In responding to the local content questions, you will have the opportunity to demonstrate the local content and benefits of your proposal in areas such as:

  • employment
  • up-skilling - including apprenticeships, formal and informal training
  • local industry participation - as contractors and part of the supply chain
  • local industry development
  • Indigenous development
  • regional development.

Each request for quote or tender is unique, and therefore the local content questions asked may differ. You should read the questions carefully and provide a response that is relevant to that procurement activity and brings out the local benefits of your proposal in the strongest possible way.

For more information on the government's Buy Local plan go to the Buy Local website.

If you are unsuccessful

An unsuccessful bid is a chance to learn and improve for your next opportunity.

If you are an unsuccessful tenderer for purchases over $15,000, you can have a debrief meeting with the agency. This will give you information about your response and where it could have been improved.

Debriefs focus on strengths and weaknesses of each submission and any gaps in your submission. 

Debriefs do not discuss other supplier's responses.

Last updated: 19 April 2016