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Office of Strategic Procurement Services

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All Charles Darwin University purchasing needs to comply with the Procurement Guidelines (pdf.207KB).  The guidelines set out the purchasing thresholds and relevant purchasing authorities.  All staff are encouraged to refer to the guidelines if they purchase goods or services on a regular basis.

The Office of Strategic Procurement Services (SPS) plays an important role in the selection, acquisition and delivery of goods and services to the University.  Driven to manage costs and quality, Strategic Procurement Services is dedicated to supporting research, teaching and enhancing the student experience through the following activities:

  • Providing expert advice and support to University staff regarding all aspects of procurement including: purchasing, leasing, requests for quotation (RFQ) and tendering.
  • Assisting staff and providing guidance with the procurement of a broad range of goods and services, including establishing preferred suppliers in: travel, print and copy devices, telecommunications, desktop / notebook and tablet computing equipment, office consumables, facility services, major equipment and capital works.
  • Planning, managing and negotiating all acquisitions of a tenderable value ($100,000 ex GST).
  • Mitigating risk and ensuring security of supply by establishing and approving all purchase contracts or agreements of a tenderable value.
  • Ongoing development of effective 'self-help' tools to assist University staff procuring goods and services below ($100,000 inclusive GST).

Strategic Procurement Services role is to support the University's acquisition of products and services using the following fundamental procurement principles:

'Best value for money' ensures competition by wherever practical seeking competitive tenders and quotations. (This does not imply that the lowest quotation be always selected).

'Open and effective competition' all processes are to be transparent, subject to the highest levels of probity and are subject to internal and external audit.

'Enhancing where possible the capabilities of local business and industry' All potential local providers of goods and services are given the opportunity to participate in the quotation and tender process.

'Environmental protection' adopting practices to promote and protect the environment and minimise environmental harm.  This includes paying due consideration to energy efficiency and sustainability.

Supporting the fundamentals of all Free Trade Agreements.

'Ethical behaviour and fair dealing' all dealings are undertaken with impartiality, fairness, independence, openness, integrity and professionalism.

In order to direct your enquiry to the right member of our team please refer to the Contact List

Charles Darwin University utilises a Corporate Purchasing Card (P-Card) for all consumable purchases under $1,000 and for all travel related expenses. Staff members, who are responsible for purchasing high volume, but low value goods and services or those who travel regularly, may be issued a Corporate Purchasing Card with the approval of the relevant Senior Executive. Cardholders must comply with the Corporate Purchasing Card Policy and Corporate Purchasing Card Procedures and ensure the expenses are acquitted in a timely fashion via the expense management system iExpenses.

Applications for Corporate Purchasing Card (P-Card) should be submitted to for processing.  Queries in relation to the use of the P-Card for procurement (for example - general purchases, travel etc) purposes should be directed to

All enquiries related to the following, please direct them to

  • Credit limit
  • Cancellation of card
  • New applications or renewal
  • Amendments to current card
  • Disputed transactions
  • Lost or Stolen card

Purchases that are under contract do not need quotations or tenders as long as the registry details are included in the 'note to buyer'. All purchasing must comply with the purchasing thresholds and the relevant quotation must be supplied. For purchases over $100,000 you must follow the tendering process. The tendering process may be used for purchases less than $100,000, if appropriate.

When goods are to be supplied under Commonwealth Government, State Government or University contracts, quotations are not required, provided the Office of Strategic Procurement Services is involved in the process.

The list below defines the quotation requirements for various transactions.  However, the Office of Strategic procurement Services or a financial unit may call for quotations at any time.  A transaction is defined as being contained on a single requisition whether it contains multiple items or not.

Intended purchases must not be split over more than one requisition to avoid breaching accounting delegations or policies.  Breaches of policy may result in disciplinary action against the officers concerned.

Value                      Quotations / Tenders
$0 but less than $,1000At least one verbal quotation is to be ob tained
$1,000 but less than $5,000At least one quotation in writing
$5,000 but less than $10,000A minimum of two quotations must be obtained.
$10,000 but less than $100,000                          A minimum of three written quotations must be obtained.  Should the minimum number of quotations not be obtained, the associated documentation must detail the reasons why and a Certificate of Exemption may be required.
$100,00 and aboveMust be by formal tender.

The above amounts are GST Exclusive When calling for quotations, it is essential that the same information is consistently given to, and requested from, each potential supplier.

The recommended method of achieving this is by emailing the details of the requested goods or services to the supplier.  Suppliers should be given a reasonable amount of time to respond.

When accepting any quotation that is not the lowest, the reasons for not accepting each of the lower quotations must be recorded in writing.  Email any extra information to for all quotations accepted over $10,000.

Find attached Request for Quotation Form.

Under certain circumstances there is provision to dispense with the requirement to seek quotations and or public tenders and confine enquiries to one or a selective number of suppliers. A Certificate of Exemption may be appropriate for requirements >$10,000 in circumstances where the observance of the request for quotation and or public tender process is impractical or inappropriate for all or some of the following reasons: urgency, standardisation of suppliers, single-source suppliers, spare parts.

No action to commence procurement of the goods or services should be commenced prior to obtaining an approved Certificate of Exemption from the Manager Strategic Procurement or the Tender Committee.

The Tender Committee meet on a monthly basis. Please email completed Certificate of Exemption forms and supporting documents to

Download the Certificate of Exemption form.

A Standing Exemption may be appropriate for requirements >$10,000 in circumstances where the requirement is covered under an agreement or has previously been aligned to our procurement principles.

Standing Exemptions require approval by the Tender Committee before their addition to the list below:

Suppliers exempted from quotation/tender requirements

  1. Library Subscription Services
    Where those materials are available only from sole suppliers or via affiliation relationships.
  2. Works of Art
    Covers permanent acquisitions such as paintings, prints, sculpture, carvings, pottery, craft work or literature as approved by the CDU Cultural Collections Advisory Board, or ephemeral activity such as specific exhibitions, performances, films and special events etc.
  3. Membership to Professional Organisations or Associations and National Peak Bodies
    overs where membership is required in conjunction with a School Division's core business.
  4. Curriculum Materials
    Where those materials are available only from sole suppliers or licensors.
  5. Legal Practitioners and Expert Witnesses
    Where such is required to provide legal advice and expertise in their relevant fiels and appear before courts and tribunals.
  6. Cattle and Bullafo for Research or Breeding Purposes
    Where purchases are made through stock and station agents.
  7. Purchase of Fleet Vehicles under NT Fleet and Commonwealth Government Agreements
    Covers acquisitions conducted by CDU Fleet utilising preferred purchasing price provided the Work Instruction Vehicle Procurement and Disposal is completed.
    (i)  This exemption is valid when the intended function, resale value, environmental sustainability, occupational health and safety and durability of the vehicle chosen are clearly documented.
  8. Renewal of Ongoing Software Maintenance and Licensing Agreements
    Covers requirements for existing business critical information systems operated by ITMS.
    This exemption is valud provided the original acquisition of the software or licence was conducted under the Standard Procurement Guidelines ie Tender or Quotation.

The university's selection of a suitable supplier for the purchase of equipment and/or services budgeted to exceed $100,000 is through the following process:

  • Selected through a formal tender process and publically advertised – see Procurement Guidelines
  • In unique circumstances a supplier can be pre-approved by way of a Certificate of Exemption, seeking offers from a restricted number of appropriate suppliers (this process is not common, and required detailed and reasoned justification).

Publically advertised tendering is not necessarily restricted to projects exceeding $100,000. The process is often used in circumstances under $100,000 where there is a benefit to the University.

The time frame for a tender from concept to the contract endorsement is usually 12 weeks, but can be longer depending upon the complexity.

The Contracts Manager within the Office of Strategic Procurement Services facilitates the tender process and is the contact for tender related matters.

The following process is to be taken into account by the cost centres when planning their projects.

  1. Client area to obtain approval to initiate the tender by completing the Request to Initiate Tender form
  2. Client area to prepare the 'Scope of Works' (the Contracts Manager will normally liaise and provide advice and assistance with this step); the Scope describes precisely what it is that the University requires, and any related special terms and conditions.
  3. Contracts Manager will incorporate the Scope into a formal Request for Tender (RFT) document and arrange advertising
  4. Upon closed of the tender the Contracts manager will prepare a summary of the offers received, and convene the Evaluation Panel to assess the offers against predetermined selection criteria listed in the tender document.
  5. Once a decision is reached, the Contracts Manager will prepare a summary of the Evaluation Panel's deliberations in a Report for Tender Committee which meets monthly.
  6. A contract is prepared, agreed and endorsed by the University and the selected Supplier.
  7. University Purchase Order is prepared and sent to the Supplier for the project to commence.
  8. Unsuccessful respondents to the tender are entitled to a debrief; this is usually conducted by the Contracts Manager who may co-opt other Evaluation Panel Members as required.

All Charles Darwin University Tenders issued by the Office of Strategic Procurement are managed on our e-Tendering portal, TenderLink

To use this system and access our tender documents you must first be a registered supplier; there is no charge to register and download our tender documents. To register, visit our e-Tendering portal and click the Registration button (near the top of the page).

During the registration process you will be requested to provide contact details including a generic non person related email address; this email address will be used to notify your organisation of available tenders.

Current tenders

Once registered, all Charles Darwin University tenders issued by the Office of Strategic Procurement Services will be available on our TenderLink portal.

Problems accessing the portal?

If you have any technical problems using the portal, contact TenderLink support on:
T: 1800 233 533 (business hours)
E: (24 hours a day 7 days a week).

Please note: if you have misplaced your password, enter your email address on the  e-Tendering Portal and click the "Forgot your Password" link to send a reminder email.

Queries regarding tenders

Please direct any general queries regarding Charles Darwin University tenders to or the contact details specified in the tender documents.

In the event the portal is unavailable, contact the Office of Strategic Procurement Services:

T: 08 8946 6261 or via email to 


Contracts usually cover two types of circumstances:

  1. 'One off' or a Single supply contracts/s are usually for capital or asset purchases such as equipment, machinery, construction or refurbishment of a building, or maybe a specified consultancy. The contract is complete once the equipment or machinery has been supplied and/or installed, the building or building renovations completed, or the consultancy finished, keeping in mind warranty and/or liability periods to be honoured.
  2. 'Period' contracts usually cover the purchase of a range of individual items or performance of a wide number of individual services within a defined discipline over a specified period of time, and as required by the University. For instance, supply of stationery, supply of computers, travel arrangements and facilities repairs and maintenance (eg electricians, plumbers, air conditioning mechanics, carpenters and the like).
    Additionally, 'period' contracts are entered into for fully specified services over a given or contracted period of time. For example: cleaning, security services, waste management services and temporary/relief staff.
    Details of the University's approved 'Service Providers' are listed on the Office of Procurement Services web page.