Restrictions on Advertising for Open Approaches to Market (ATMs)

Full Publication

Application for an Exemption

Recruitment Advertising Policy

Audience

This guide applies to officials of all non-corporate Commonwealth entities (NCEs). Officials of corporate Commonwealth entities (CCEs) are encouraged to comply as a matter of good practice.

Key points

The Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs) require NCEs to publish all open tenders on AusTender.
This guide:

  • sets out NCE requirements for publishing and advertising open approaches to market and complements the use of AusTender.
  • replaces Resource Management Guide No. 407: Restrictions on advertising for open Approaches to Market (ATMs) (November 2015).

Resources

This guide is available on the Department of Finance website.

Additional queries can be addressed to:

Other relevant publications include:

Introduction

  1. The CPRs require NCEs to publish all open approaches to market on AusTender.
  2. If in line with an NCE's communication policy, promoting the release of an open approach to market through an official social media account, in addition to the AusTender notice, is permitted.
  3. Entities must not publish or advertise open approaches to market in the press.
  4. In limited circumstances, the accountable authority of a NCE (or an official at the appropriate level of seniority) may consider and approve an exemption request allowing advertising in the press. E.g., an entity may request an exemption if they are seeking to target potential suppliers in a remote or overseas location that has limited access to the online environment. The approval must be in writing and use the Exemption Letter Template. [word document 20 KB]

Part 1 - Media placement considerations

  1. Subject to the exemption requirement in paragraph 4, entities seeking to advertise tender notices internationally placed from:
    • within Australian territory to appear outside Australian territory must use the government's Master Media Agency (MMA); and
    • outside Australian territory to appear outside Australian territory are not required to use the government's MMA.
  2. Subject to the exemption requirement in paragraph 4, details selected for inclusion in the notification advertised through media must be the same as those published on AusTender, and direct the reader to go to Austender for further information.
  3. If an entity chooses to advertise a tender notice on its website or an official social media account, the notice must also direct the reader to AusTender.
  4. Signed exemption letters must be provided to the government's MMA in written form.  Finance will monitor exemptions and compliance with the policy.

Case Study:

An NCE is about to publish an open approach to market (ATM) to procure the services of a registered training organisation (RTO) to deliver an aid programme in the Solomon Islands. The NCE is concerned that only publishing the ATM on AusTender may mean some RTOs in the market, who are not sufficiently familiar with AusTender, will be unaware of the release of the ATM. The tender responses subsequently received by the NCE may not fully reflect the potential market and as a result, limit the best value for money outcome. In accordance with the Tender Policy, the NCE may consider placing a notice in relevant Australian and international press media referring potential suppliers to the ATM on AusTender.  The notice could state that:

  • the NCE is seeking a registered training provider who can deliver accredited courses in the Solomon Islands.
  • the ATM details and supporting information, including contact details for the ATM can be found at: www.tenders.gov.au.

The NCE must first obtain the approval of its accountable authority or an official at the appropriate level of seniority by completing and having signed the Exemption Letter Template [word document 20 KB]

The NCE may also consider promoting the release of the ATM on the NCE's website or the entity's official social media account and refer interested suppliers to the ATM notice on AusTender at: www.tenders.gov.au.

Last updated: 27 October 2016