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10 tips to win government work

Use other people's experience to improve your chances of winning.

On this page

  • Know what is worth spending time on
  • Understand how to write for government
  • Learn how to describe your skill set and previous experience
The first step to providing a strong tender or quotation response is to research the department or agency that is advertising. By doing this initial research, you will better understand that Department’s core service offerings and high level policy directions. In this way you will better understand the requirements of the tender or quotation and naturally be better able to focus your response. This research can be begun through the relevant Department’s website and through the Victorian government directory. If you know that a tender or quotation is to be released in advance, take the opportunity to speak to the Project Officer, before the tender is released.

1. Read the question carefully

Thoroughly read each tender question, highlight the core requirements and underline each of the supporting requirements. Read each question within the context of the evaluation criteria and specifications (Part A: The Invitation).

2. Respond in full to the question

You should:

  • ensure that each requirement of the question is addressed
  • provide evidence of relevant, recent experience (i.e. no more than three years old) and demonstrate capabilities
  • demonstrate an understanding of the product or service required
  • demonstrate that you are in a unique position to provide the service
  • differentiate your service offering.

3. Don’t assume government knows of you

Address each question as if your capabilities, strengths, people and other resources are unknown to the Evaluator.

You should:

  • describe your methodologies and approaches in detail
  • describe reference projects or sites in detail and state how this is relevant to the requirements of the tender (Specifications); don’t rely on past experience without describing it in a tender
  • describe how your resources are appropriate for the job.

4. Target your referees/references

You should:

  • highlight key requirements documented in the tender for a written reference
  • provide references relating directly to the key requirements of the tender
  • ensure that each key capability criteria listed in the Evaluation Criteria and Specifications is addressed across the references you have provided.

5. Embrace duplication

Answer each question in full, even if it seems repetitive. Do not cut and paste from one answer to another. Instead, use the repetition to reinforce required experience and capabilities.

Respond consistently, accurately and completely to every question.

6. Remember: Customer service counts

Customer Service Proposals (CSPs) differentiate your response and can generate large variations in scoring. Tenderers may share the same capabilities but not all put effort into CSPs. Provide detailed and comprehensive CSPs.

7. Offer value-added initiatives

Differentiate a tender response using value-added initiatives which:

  • relate to the requirements of the tender
  • are a product or service valued by Government
  • may be delivered by the contractor without cost or resource impacts

8. Understand Government’s key policy requirements

Understand the key procurement policies that apply and relate to current and prospective bidders including:

  • Probity (under the Market Approach Policy)
  • Market Approach Policy
  • Victorian Industry Participation Policy (VIPP)
  • Disclosure of Contracts (under the Contracts Management and Contracts Disclosure Policy)
  • Tender Complaints Management (under the Governance Policy)
  • Performance and Financial Guarantees.

9. Submit a complete response

Make sure you've completed every area by checking it off on a checklist. Use our Checklist: Completing a government tender.

10. Respond on time

Late tenders will not be accepted, unless there is conclusive evidence that the late lodgement of the Tender:

  • resulted from the mishandling of the Tender by the Department
  • was hindered by a major incident and the integrity of the selection process will not be compromised by accepting applications after the due date