Ways to approach suppliers

There are different ways to approach suppliers and buy goods and services — some simple, some more complex.
On this page

Common approaches to market

Request for quotation

A request for quotation (RFQ) is typically used to get a price quote from suppliers who are part of a NSW Government contract or prequalified on a scheme.

You use an RFQ when the goods and services are well defined with standard terms and conditions.

RFQs can also be used to get quotes for low value goods and services outside NSW Government contracts or prequalification schemes, and can assist in assessing value for money for engagement, such as small to medium enterprises and Aboriginal businesses.

You can issue and manage RFQs through eQuote.

Request for tender

A request for tender (RFT) is an open opportunity to all suppliers.

You use an RFT when you have a clear set of requirements. Interested suppliers submit a response demonstrating how they can meet your requirements.

All RFTs are published in eTendering for a period between two to six weeks.

You can issue and manage an RFT through eTendering.

Expression of interest

An expression of interest (EOI) is used to test the market for new suppliers, goods or services.

Suppliers who respond to an EOI and are suitable, may be invited to quote or tender.

Request for proposal

A request for proposal (RFP) is an approach to market that seeks innovative solutions. You use an RFP when the target outcome is known, but you want suppliers to propose how to achieve it.

You can also use an RFP to shortlist suppliers and then invite them to quote or tender.

Complex approaches to market

Direct negotiation

Direct negotiation is engaging a single supplier to provide goods or services, without conducting a competitive process, and where an existing contract or scheme does not exist.

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

Direct negotiation is a corruption risk that must be managed, which adds to the complexity of your procurement.

Managed services contracts

Managed services contracts are a way of procuring a total service offering.

Establishing a managed services contract is a complex process and should be completed with the support of the procurement team in your agency or with the support of the chief procurement officer in your cluster.