Approaching the supplier market

There are many ways to buy goods and services for NSW Government.

If the goods or services are covered on an existing arrangement, you can buy directly from approved suppliers. These arrangements include whole-of-government contracts, agency contracts, prequalification schemes and other standing panel arrangements.

If the goods or services are not covered by an existing arrangement, choosing an approach to market will depend on:

For detailed information see:

Common ways to approach the market

Request for quotation (RFQ)

You can use an RFQ to seek price quotes from suppliers on an existing contract or prequalification scheme. RFQs are usually used when the goods or services are well defined with standard terms and conditions. You can use NSW eQuote to issue and manage RFQs.

Request for tender (RFT)

An RFT is the traditional way to approach the market. In an RFT, you advertise an open tender to all suppliers in the market via NSW eTendering. They then send a response addressing your requirements. You need to include terms and conditions in the tender documents.

Expression of interest (EOI)

An EOI can help test the market if it is dynamic or not well-known. It can help find out if the goods or services are available and which suppliers can provide them.

You can use an EOI to shortlist suppliers and then invite them to tender. This is known as selective or multi-stage tendering.

Request for proposal (RFP)

You can use an RFP when the final product or service is known and you want suppliers to propose ways to achieve it. RFPs can be a good way to get innovative solutions.

Like EOIs, you can use RFPs to shortlist suppliers and then invite them to tender.

Direct negotiation

You can use direct negotiation when the supplier market, products and services are well-known. The market may be small and specialised, with limited opportunity for competition.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has guidelines for managing risks in direct negotiations.

See complex market engagement methods for more information.

Other ways to approach the market

View the Market Approaches Guide (PDF, 603KB) for more ways to approach the market.

The guide also covers tendering periods, number of quotes, external involvement, disclosures and procurement principles.

The Market Approaches Guide replaces the Tendering Guidelines, the Selective Tendering Guidelines, and the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation Tendering Manual under the policy framework.

Complex approaches to market

View complex market engagement methods for an overview of reverse auctions, direct negotiations and managed service contracts (MSCs).