Tender open times (Direction 3.5)

Direction 3.5 explains how to determine the period of time when a public construction tender should be open to the market.

Tender open times (Direction 3.5)

Effective date: 1 July 2018


Value for money, scalability and probity are procurement principles that are specifically relevant to tender preparation and processes.

Of particular relevance to this Direction are the following construction procurement principles:

  • appropriately planning and managing Public Construction Procurement to deliver procurement objectives;
  • employing the appropriate Procurement Models and processes taking account of the complexity and value of the project and supplier market capability;
  • reducing unnecessary burden of Public Construction Procurement for all parties;
  • encouraging appropriate innovation and responsiveness in the supplier market;
  • ensuring appropriate competition and contestability when undertaking Public Construction Procurement;
  • conducting Public Construction Procurement processes in an efficient and timely manner;
  • treating all tender participants fairly and equally; and
  • undertaking Public Construction Procurement in accordance with the relevant legislation, policy, guidance and any mandatory requirements in these Directions.

3.5 Tender open times

Agencies must ensure tender participants are allowed a reasonable time period to respond to a tender following the publication of the Tender Notice. In determining a reasonable time period, Agencies should take into account:

(a) the nature and complexity of the Works or Construction Services being procured;

(b) the tender strategy and Procurement Model;

(c) the likely tender participants and market characteristics, including whether it will be necessary for potential tender participants to establish consortia, or likely interest from international participants;

(d) the time required for participants to undertake site visits or other investigation (if applicable);

(e) the time required for participants to obtain quotes from their sub-contractors and suppliers; and

(f) the complexity of the Tender Documentation and the need for participants to obtain professional advice, and the complexity of responses sought from participants.

Tools and support

The Practitioners Toolkit includes key documents, guidance and information relating to the Ministerial Directions and Instructions.

For further information about the Ministerial Directions and Instruction for public construction procurement, please contact the Construction Policy Team.

Reviewed 25/07/2018
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