​A tender is an offer to provide goods and / or services for a particular price and on strict conditions. Tenders can include quotations, proposals, offers, estimates, prices and bids.

An invitation to submit a tender is usually initiated by the client or customer. Tenders are usually advertised in the newspapers. Some trade magazines also include notification of tenders.

Doing business with government

All Northern Territory Government tenders for works, goods or services of between $10 000 and $1 million are publicly advertised in an appropriate Territory newspaper or at Quotation & Tenders Online

Tender documents form the basis for tendering, and are available from the Contract and Procurement Services (CAPS) office in each region.

Suppliers of building construction, building services and civil works more than $30 000 in value are generally required to be accredited and rated by Contractor Accreditation Limited (CAL). CAL is a self-regulated, industry based and managed accreditation scheme, which promotes professionalism and increases confidence in contractors.

The Industry Capability Network NT (ICNNT) supports and promotes local suppliers of goods and services. NTISO maintains a free database of information on the contract capabilities and business successes of Northern Territory businesses, which helps potential purchasers from the public and private sectors to locate suitable, local suppliers.

Preparing your tender

  • If you do not know the client, it is wise to establish that the company is reputable and credit worthy.
  • Obtain the tender documents which will provide written details (including any plans, drawings or specifications) of the goods or services required.
  • Read the tender documents carefully and make sure you are familiar with all aspects of the requirement (including terms of payment and any penalty or retention clauses).
  • Seek clarification. If you are not sure of any conditions, or have concerns  about the requirement, contact the client.
  • Consider your capacity to deliver the required service properly and on time. If you cannot meet any features of the tender, or perform the work required, it may not be feasible to submit a tender.
  • Manage your time and allow yourself plenty of time to prepare your tender. Cater for unforeseen time delays. Don't leave it to the last minute.

Submitting a tender

  • Submit all required information at the time of lodging your tender. A small omission could see your tender rejected.
  • Ensure your tender is submitted in the form requested and that the lodgement instructions are followed.
  • Check your price carefully. It is your responsibility to assess your capabilities and make a commercially viable bid.
  • Retain an exact copy of your submission for future reference.
  • Allow sufficient time for postage or courier delivery. Remember also that facsimile transmissions are likely to be delayed as tender closing time approaches.
  • Even if you are using sub-contractors, you remain entirely responsible for all aspects of the contract.

If my tender is unsuccessful, can I find out why?

Yes. This process is known as 'debriefing'. If you are unsuccessful, you may take the opportunity to be debriefed in regard to specific reasons why your tender was unsuccessful to enable you to improve competitiveness for future tendering.

Need further assistance?

For further information contact your nearest Territory Business Centre.

Disclaimer: The material contained in this web page is intended for use as a guide and for general information only. It is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional advice. The Department of Business of the Northern Territory Government accepts no responsibility or liability for the correctness, accuracy and completeness of any of the material contained in this web page and recommends that users of this web page exercise their own skill, care and judgment in the application of the information contained in the web page.