Frequently Asked Questions
What is AusTender?
AusTender is the Australian Government procurement information system. It provides a central web-based facility for:
- Publishing of all publicly available Government Approaches to Market (ATMs), Annual Procurement Plans (APPs), standing offer arrangements and contracts awarded
- Electronic distribution of ATM documentation and addenda
- Secure lodgement of tender responses
Access to AusTender requires the use of an internet browser that supports and implements 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).
Login access to requires the use of an internet browser that accepts cookies.
AusTender system functions have been successfully tested using the current versions of the following operating systems and browsers:
Windows operating system
• Internet Explorer
MAC operating system
You may be able to access AusTender via other operating systems, browsers or non-current revisions but these have not been tested by us and may result in access to AusTender not operating as intended.
For optimal performance and experience using AusTender, we recommend that at all times use the current version of your chosen operating system, software and internet browser.
What are the benefits of AusTender for me as a supplier?
AusTender provides the following benefits to suppliers:
- One central point to find publicly available business opportunities and Planned Procurements advertised by the Australian Government
- Automatic notification of business opportunities (ATMs and Planned Procurements)
- Automatic notification of addenda (an amendment or update to the original ATM)
- Electronic lodgement of tender responses into a secure electronic tender box, which is administered in the same way as a traditional tender box
- Access 24 hours a day 7 days a week
- Reduced tender response costs, by eliminating the need to print, bind and courier responses
- Online access to information about standing offers and contracts awarded
Will I find all Australian Government opportunities on AusTender?
For all Commonwealth Government Non-corporate Commonwealth entities (agencies) under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013, AusTender is the central point for mandatory publication of all publicly available Commonwealth Government business opportunities. Some Corporate Commonwealth entities (agencies) also have publishing obligations. Further information on these obligations can be found at:
How does AusTender work?
AusTender allows suppliers to search and browse publicly available business opportunities, Planned Procurements, standing offer arrangements and contracts awarded for participating Australian Government agencies. Suppliers may download tender documentation and upload their responses to a secure facility.
What will it cost to access AusTender?
There is no cost to access the AusTender website. You can download ATM documentation and upload tender responses online free of charge.
What is Automatic Notification?
AusTender provides an online automatic notification facility for registered users who have registered particular areas of interest in product and service categories. Registered users will then be notified of new business opportunities and Planned Procurements via e-mail once business opportunities that match their specified profile are published.
A registered user can edit their profile at any time to amend their notification profile or disable automatic email notification if it is no longer required.
Can I elect to stop receiving email notification relating to an ATM on AusTender that I have downloaded?
Yes. An 'unsubscribe' link is contained in the addenda notification email sent to AusTender Registered Users who are recorded as having downloaded the ATM documents. Selecting the unsubscribe link will take you to AusTender. Follow the prompts to complete the process. To register your interest for this ATM again you must download the original ATM documents to receive notification of any further updates.
Do I have to lodge my tender response on AusTender?
The way in which you lodge your tender response will depend on the instructions provided in the ATM documentation by the procuring agency. It is important that you consider carefully the prescribed lodgement process, particularly if the instructions are to upload your tender response online on AusTender.
Some agencies may elect not to use the AusTender lodgement functionality and specify in the ATM documentation that a hardcopy of the response should be lodged in a nominated physical tender box.
If you are unsure about the tender lodgement process for a particular ATM please contact the nominated agency Contact Officer.
If you are unsure about the tender upload process on AusTender and need assistance, please contact the AusTender Help Desk.
How do I contact the procuring agency?
If you wish to discuss aspects of a particular business opportunity, you will need to contact the procuring agency. A Contact Officer will be nominated by the agency and contact details included in the ATM notice and documentation. Some agencies also include Terms and Conditions of Tendering in the tender documentation, which will be of assistance to you.
What if I don't lodge my tender response online before the closing time?
When lodging a tender response online, you must ensure that you lodge it and receive a receipt before the closing time. You MUST allow sufficient time for transmission of all files in your response, including time for any problem analysis and resolution. Please refer to the Terms and Conditions of Tendering for each ATM.
Where do I get help or advice?
There are a number of ways in which you can obtain help and advice. AusTender is supported by a professional and dedicated team who will be ready to assist you. You may contact the Help Desk by phone or email:
Phone: 1300 651 698
International: +61 2 6215 1558
The AusTender Help Desk is available between 9am and 5pm ACT Local Time, Monday to Friday (excluding ACT and national public holidays).
Please note that questions regarding any aspect of the ATM or the ATM documentation, should be directed to the nominated agency Contact Officer.
Why is it important for me to maintain a current email address?
If you download ATM documentation it is important for you to ensure that your email address is current. It is to this address that notification about addenda issuance, tender process changes and business opportunity / Planned Procurement notifications will be sent.
What are my obligations as a Registered User?
Can I cease using AusTender at any time?
You can cease using AusTender at any time. Please send a request to the AusTender Help Desk to have your account suspended. User profiles will be purged if they are inactive for 18 months.
I am a registered user and have noticed an ATM has been published that is of interest to me, but I did not receive email notification of the opportunity?
You will only receive email notifications that match the categories and/or keywords that you have selected in your AusTender profile. As a registered user you have access to the top level parent UNSPSC categories. Agencies however have access to sub categories. This is why the advertised category may differ to that of the category you have selected in your profile. You will receive email notification of all opportunities published under the parent category and sub categories. If you believe you are missing out on being notified of particular ATMs, check your notification settings and categories selected in your AusTender profile. The use of keywords may also restrict your notification. Email delivery failure and Internet issues may also occur for a variety of reasons which are outside of AusTender's control or due to problems occurring in your own environment. For this reason it is advisable that you check AusTender periodically for new business opportunities and Planned Procurements.
Who is responsible for the AusTender website?
The Department of Finance (Finance) is responsible for the management and support of AusTender. Finance monitors AusTender and may incorporate both supplier and agency feedback for future developments and enhancements.
Can I check to see who has been the successful tenderer for an ATM?
When an ATM has closed, the ATM notice transfers from Current to Closed status in AusTender (see tabs on the left hand navigation panel), where it will remain for 30 days before being archived. Once the procuring agency has completed the evaluation process and a contract has been awarded, the agency is obligated to post the Contract Notice (CN), including the name of the supplier, on AusTender, within 6 weeks of the contract being signed.
What is a Contract Notice?
A Contract Notice is reported on AusTender as a result of a contract being awarded by an Australian Government agency. The Contract Notice displays details of the contract, including the value and supplier.
What is a Standing Offer Notice?
A Standing Offer Notice is reported on AusTender following the establishment of a Standing Offer Arrangement. A Standing Offer Arrangement is a continuing offer to a supplier or suppliers to provide specified goods or services for a specified period. The Standing Offer Notice displays the details of the Standing Offer Arrangement, including participating suppliers and agencies.
Are all Contract Notices and Standing Offer Notices published on AusTender?
For all Commonwealth Government Non-corporate Commonwealth entities (agencies) under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013, notices of procurement contracts valued at or above the reporting threshold must be reported on AusTender. Some Corporate Commonwealth entities (agencies) also have reporting obligations. Further information on these obligations can be found at:
Machinery of Government Changes
The terms ‘machinery of government changes’ (MoG changes) and ‘administrative re-arrangements’ are interchangeable and are used to describe a variety of organisational or functional changes affecting the Commonwealth.
Some common examples of MoG changes are:
- changes to the Administrative Arrangements Order (AAO) following a Prime Ministerial decision to abolish or create a Commonwealth entity or to move functions/ responsibilities between Commonwealth entities
- movement of functions into, or out of, the Australian Public Service.
Although AusTender provides point in time transparency, Standing Offer Notice (SON), Panel and Contract Notice (CN) data may be migrated as a result of MoG changes. This means that a record may have originated under one entity but has been migrated to another entity. Migration of data is handled on a case by case basis to ensure that records are only migrated when it is reasonable to do so.
I am expecting a Contract Notice to be published, but cannot locate it on AusTender?
If you cannot locate a Contract Notice or Standing Offer Notice on AusTender through searching on available criteria (see Search Contract Notice and Standing Offer Notices in this User Guide), this could be due to several reasons:
- The six week reporting timeframe has not been reached
- An agency may receive an exemption from reporting the details of a contract if it breaches the Privacy Act or poses a risk to national security
- The agency has not published the Contract Notice or Standing Offer Notice
Can I search for a CN / SON using an ATM ID?
An agency may choose to list the ATM ID in the Contract Notice or Standing Offer Notice details, if the contract or standing offer awarded is a result of an open approach to the market advertised on AusTender. However, it is not yet mandatory for agencies to publish ATM IDs. The best way to search for a contract, even if it is the result of an approach to the market, is to do an Advanced Search based on the procuring agency (see 'Search for Contract Notices and Standing Offer Notices' in this User Guide).
I am a supplier to Government, but when I search for contracts and standing offers not all of the contracts or standing offers awarded to me display in the list. Why?
There are a number of reasons why contracts or standing offers that have been awarded to you may not display on AusTender:
- The six week reporting timeframe has not lapsed
- The contract or standing offer may be exempt from reporting requirements
- The contract or standing offer may be less than the reporting value threshold
I need to find a contract or standing offer which is coming up for renewal but I can't find it on AusTender?
If you are aware of a particular business opportunity that is due to be advertised and cannot locate it, there are several places you can look:
- Select 'Current ATMs' from the left hand navigation panel and complete an 'Advanced Search' for available business opportunities
- Select 'Procurement Plans' from the left hand navigation panel, select the agency of interest and see if the contract renewal is identified in the agency's Annual Procurement Plan
- Select 'Contract Notices & Standing Offer Notices' from the left hand navigation panel and search recently awarded contracts and standing offers to check that the contract has not recently been awarded
- Ensure that you are a registered user on AusTender and your profile is set up to receive email notification of new business opportunities and/or Planned Procurements to ensure that you do not miss out on being notified
- If you still cannot locate the information, contact the procuring agency
Can I be notified of Contract Notices and Standing Offer Notices via email as they are published?
No, only Approaches to Market and Planned Procurements are automatically push notified via email to registered users. If you are interested in reviewing Contract Notices and Standing Offer Notices awarded, you will need to search on AusTender (see 'Search Contract Notices and Standing Offer Notices' in this User Guide).
What is UNSPSC?
The UNSPSC (United Nations Standard Products and Services Code) is an open, global, multi-sector standard for the classification of products and services. Use of UNSPSC enables analysis of Australian Government procurement activity from approach to outcome by sector and across government.
All business opportunities (ATMs and Planned Procurements), Standing Offer and Contract Notices are allocated UNSPSC categories.
The entire UNSPSC codeset exceeds 87,000 category codes. AusTender uses a subset of approximately 630 category codes, which is refined from time to time to ensure it reflects the types of products and services being procured by the Australian government. You can download the AusTender UNSPSC codeset here.
The standard codeset contains a hierarchy which drills down or rolls up as required. Each level has its own unique number as per the information below:
UNSPSC Category = 80161601
- 80 Segment (first two digits of code)
- 16 Family (second two digits of code)
- 16 Class (5th and 6th digits in code)
- 01 Commodity (last two digits in code)
First two digits are ‘80’. These two digits refer to the segment of the market. In this case, the market segment is ‘Management and Business Professionals and Administrative Services’.
Third and fourth digits are ‘16’.
These two digits refer to the family within that market segment. In this case, the family is ‘Business administration services’.
Fifth and sixth digits are ‘16’.
These two digits refer to the class within the family within the market segment. In this case, the class is ‘Business facilities oversight'.
Seventh and eighth digits are ‘01’.
These two digits refer to the actual commodity within the class, family and segment. In this case, the commodity is ‘Property management services’.
AusTender use of UNSPSC
All business opportunities (ATMs and Planned Procurements), Standing Offer and Contract Notices contain UNSPSC categories. There are over 87,000 categories available within the UNSPSC. AusTender uses a subset of approximately 630 categories. These categories have been refined based on actual usage over time so that only relevant categories are available. In addition, AusTender does not allow entities to select categories at the highest segment level (for the majority of segments) as they are too broad to provide benefit for analytical purposes.
Registered User use of UNSPSC
For Registered Users UNSPSC may be used as part of their notification profile to match potential business opportunities or planned procurements. Registered users select segment level categories, which then incorporate any lower Family/Class/Commodity level categories under those segments.
In the example provided in ‘What is UNSPSC’ above, the highest level of the code would be 80000000: ‘Management and Business Professionals and Administrative Services’. This is the broadest level of the category and would enable a supplier to be notified of all business opportunities and/or Planned Procurements categorised at the Family/Class/Commodity level underneath this category.
Please note that although Registered Users may use UNSPSC as a part of their notification profile they may also leave it open to any category. The AusTender Help Desk recommends that only keyword parameters are used to match their business goods/services of interest. This minimises the risk of missing a business opportunity if the entity responsible has selected an incorrect UNSPSC category.
I have forgotten my password and requested a new one from AusTender but I have not received an email with a new password
Check your junk email folders to ensure that the email has not been blocked by your spam filter. Otherwise, contact the AusTender Help Desk.
RSS Feed – Current Approaches to Market (ATM)
Rich Site Summary (RSS) provides a feed of frequently published website information. RSS feeds are readable through many web browsers, email accounts and dedicated RSS feed readers.
To supplement customised email notification, an RSS feed of all publicly available ATMs currently out to the market has been implemented on AusTender’s Current ATM web page. The feed will be updated daily after business hours.
To subscribe to the RSS feed, click the RSS icon on the top right of the page, and select an appropriate RSS reader.
What does the Last Login mean?
When you are logged into AusTender a Last Login date displays under “Welcome User” in the Login box. The Last Login is the last date the user successfully logged in to AusTender or had their account reactivated by the AusTender Help Desk.