Pre-qualified suppliers list
Explains when it is appropriate and how an agency must establish and operate a pre-qualified suppliers list, and manage contract opportunities.
- A pre-qualified suppliers list is a list of suppliers who an agency has pre-approved as capable of delivering specific types of goods, services or works.
- A pre-qualified suppliers list is appropriate if an agency wants to:
- verify which suppliers can deliver specific goods, services or works
- make it easier for suppliers to respond to contract opportunities by only asking for qualifying information once.
- An agency that establishes a pre-qualified suppliers list is not exempt from open advertising where a contract opportunity meets or exceeds the relevant value threshold (Rule 6 and Rule 7). An agency must openly advertise each contract opportunity on GETS. Pre-qualified suppliers should make sure that they are listed on GETS under the correct tender watch code/s to receive notifications.
Establishing a pre-qualified suppliers list
- To establish a pre-qualified suppliers list an agency must:
- publish an invitation to qualify (a type of Notice of Procurement) on GETS and make it continuously available
- allow suppliers to respond to the invitation at any time or by specific deadlines for responses
- include the following information in the invitation:
- the agency’s name and address and contact details for the person managing the process
- a clear description of the specific goods, services or works potential suppliers must be capable of delivering
- a list of any conditions that each supplier must meet to participate and how the agency will check each supplier meets the conditions
- how long the list will be active for and how it will be refreshed or terminated
- assess applicants within a reasonable timeframe and add qualifying suppliers to the list as soon as possible
- notify unsuccessful applicants promptly and, if requested, provide the reason/s why.
Operating a pre-qualified suppliers list
- To operate a pre-qualified suppliers list an agency must:
- keep an updated list and make this publicly available at all times (eg on the agency’s website)
- notify pre-qualified suppliers if the list is terminated or they are removed from the list. If an agency removes a supplier from a list it must explain why.
Managing contract opportunities
- If a contract opportunity arises for the specific goods, services or works that a pre-qualified suppliers list was established for, an agency must:
- openly advertise the contract opportunity on GETS. Pre-qualified suppliers should make sure that they are listed on GETS under the correct tender watch code/s to receive notifications
- allow any unqualified supplier to submit an application to qualify either prior to or along with its response to the Notice of Procurement.
- If a supplier submits an application to qualify before or with its response, the agency must:
- promptly assess the application
- allow a supplier who is successful in becoming pre-qualified to take part in the contract opportunity if there is enough time to complete the qualification process
- promptly notify the supplier of the decision.
More information on pre-qualified suppliers lists
When a supplier is added to a pre-qualified suppliers list it does not result in a contractual or legal relationship between the agency and the pre-qualified supplier.
To qualify as a pre-qualified supplier, the supplier must demonstrate that it can meet the criteria for delivering the goods, services or works. A pre-qualified supplier may still need to meet other evaluation criteria each time the agency wishes to purchase goods, services or works the supplier has qualified to deliver.
Pre-qualification is not the same as multi-step procurement (eg Registration of Interest followed by a Request for Proposal). There is no specific contract in mind when suppliers pre-qualify. Pre-qualified suppliers have the potential to win contracts over time, but are not guaranteed any work.
Agencies must not use the pre-qualification process with the purpose of obtaining price information from suppliers.