Request for tender

Prepare a request for tender and understand the key components of the documentation.

Purpose of a request for tender

A request for tender (RFT) is a formal, structured invitation to potential tenders to bid for planned construction works. The RFT should allow tenderers to provide information that aligns with the evaluation criteria, enabling you to evaluate responses and select the contractor.

If the procurement process involves a two-staged go-to-market strategy, you will need to develop and evaluate the expression of interest (EOI) before issuing the RFT.

When structuring the RFT document, consider separating key aspects of the document, such as tender conditions, the scope of works and contractual aspects, avoiding unnecessary content crossovers between these sections.

Broadly, the RFT should outline:

  • project overview and tender requirements including:
    • an overview of the opportunity, tender process and key timeframes
    • project scope summary and commercial arrangements
    • tender requirements, and
    • returnable schedules aligned to the evaluation criteria
  • project scope and delivery requirements including elements such as:
    • functional brief
    • technical specification
    • services specification (only where relevant), and
    • any other relevant requirements of the project
  • draft contract documents.

Specific information on the project scope and delivery requirements, as well as the draft contractual documents, can then be issued to the relevant disciplines.

The extent of information included within the RFT may be dependent on the project's size and complexity and selected procurement model. Depending on the capability and capacity of in-house resources, you may wish to engage a consultant to assist in developing the RFT.

Regardless of the complexity of the project, it is recommended that all RFT response requirements are only articulated within the returnable schedules (clearly aligned to the evaluation criteria) and nowhere else throughout the documentation.

You may wish to speak with your OTCD representative about gaining access to standardised RFT documents to help in preparing the tender documentation. Standard conditions of tendering and tender returnable schedules are available for low and medium complexity projects (for use with the Victorian public sector model AS 4300-1995 General Conditions of Contract and AS 2124-1992 (June 2018 General Conditions of Contract for Design and Construct)).

For HVHR projects you will likely require more bespoke advice in the development of the tender documentation. Notwithstanding this, strong precedents exist for most procurement models and can be requested via DTF and OTCD project representatives.

Guidance on the process and requirements for releasing the tender documentation, including tender and forward notices, and evaluating responses, is available.