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.

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.


The NT Government is made up of over 20 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.

You should read the upcoming tenders and contracts and awarded government contracts

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

You can find more information on agency websites.

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.

You should register your business capability on the Industry Capability Network (ICN) NT website.

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.

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

Read more on procurement tiers.

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

Agencies may look at the following criteria during procurement assessment:

  • local content - minimum weighting of 30%
  • past performance
  • timeliness
  • capacity
  • innovation
  • supply needs
  • price - maximum weighting of 30%.

These criteria are weighted and the weight for each criteria will be set by the procuring agency.

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

In government procurement activities, all procurement must include the local content assessment criteria with a minimum weighting of 30%.

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 read the Buy Local Plan.

An unsuccessful bid is a chance to learn and improve for your next opportunity. If you are an unsuccessful tenderer, you can seek feedback as follows:

Purchases over $15,000

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.

Purchases under $15,000

For purchases under $15,000, you can contact the agency directly.

You can ask why you were unsuccessful and discuss any areas for improvement.

Last updated: 05 February 2020

Share this page:

Was this page useful?

Describe your experience

More feedback options

To provide comments or suggestions about the NT.GOV.AU website, complete our feedback form.

For all other feedback or enquiries, you must contact the relevant government agency.