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Before you begin

Before contacting suppliers, you should think about how you approach procurement objectives, market analysis, strategy, probity, governance, resourcing innovation, evaluation and contract management.

Early in the procurement process, you should start thinking about:

  • how you will address innovation during planning
  • how you will evaluate potential suppliers
  • how you will manage the contract with a successful supplier/s

Planning for innovation

Innovation is when you use new ideas to solve problems. Innovation can improve the value for money of what you plan to buy. You should encourage innovation, where possible, in the early stages of buying.

This is the time when potential suppliers compete for your business. Suppliers have specialist expertise and experience to innovate. They may have more suggestions than your organisation about how to innovate.

Innovation can be a criteria you follow when you evaluate offers.

You should nominate people in your organisation as ‘innovation sponsors’. Their task is to encourage innovation when engaging suppliers in the market.

Remember to consider how regulatory or legislative requirements can impact innovation.

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Planning for evaluation


Before contacting suppliers, you must have a plan to evaluate their ability to provide goods, works or services. Your plan should include criteria to measure value for money, how you will manage probity and social procurement.

When planning your evaluation, consider:

  • an outline of what you’re buying
  • any risks involved with what you’re buying
  • how evaluation criteria are linked to the buying objectives
  • how questions you ask a supplier relate to evaluation criteria
  • the evidence a supplier will need to give to show their capability to provide the goods or services
  • how many people will be part of the evaluation panel and what skills they should have
  • how you will score or measure the supplier’s ability to provide the goods or services you need (evaluation model)
  • how long it will take to evaluate suppliers’ responses

There are other evaluation requirements for construction services and works, and construction requires certain mandatory evaluation criteria to be used. They are listed in Direction and Instruction 3.7

Outline your responses to these to help you develop your evaluation plan.

Planning to manage a contract 

You can plan how you will manage a contract at a high level before selecting a supplier.

Contract management planning defines how you and the supplier meet your obligations before, during and after the contract period. A high-level plan outlines how you will deliver value for money over the life of the contract.

As you plan your procurement, you should consider:

  • who manages the contract once it starts
  • how you will engage with the supplier
  • an exit strategy for the end of the contract

You should consider this information before you create a contract.

Reviewed 30 October 2018