Procurement process for school property projects

Follow the six steps of the procurement process for school property projects.

On this page:


Procurement is all aspects of acquiring goods, services and works including:

  • defining the requirement
  • approaching the market
  • evaluating responses and selecting a preferred supplier
  • negotiating and awarding a contract.

The process set out on this page and the associated templates and guides must be used for all school property related procurement including for:

  • boards of trustees-led school property projects (e.g. 5YA)
  • Ministry-led school property projects (Capital Works).

School property procurement includes:

  • property planning and project management services
  • construction design, engineering and quantity surveying services
  • construction works
  • building services and facilities maintenance.

The school property procurement framework is summarised in the:


For procurement support, email the Ministry’s Education Infrastructure Service Commercial Procurement Team:

Stage 1: Initiate the procurement

1. Confirm that there is written approval to undertake the procurement (for example a business case or the school’s 10 Year Property Plan and approved 5 Year Agreement).

2. Prepare a high level description of what is required. This is called a (high level) Statement of Requirements.

3. Use the high level Statement of Requirements to estimate the Procurement Value (the maximum value of all spending that may result from the procurement - including potential variations, extensions, further engagements and/or contracts).

Stage 2: Identify the needs of the procurement and analyse the market

4. Allocate roles for the procurement:

  • Procurement Officer – conducts the procurement, for example the project manager.
  • Procurement Owner – represents the buyer (the board or the Ministry) in the conducting of the procurement.
  • Procurement Leader – provides procurement oversight: 
    • For board of trustees led procurement: the school’s Ministry Property Advisor
    • For Ministry led procurement: a member of the EIS Commercial Procurement team
  • Procurement Sponsor – provides governance over the procurement, for example the board member with Delegated Financial Authority (board of trustees run project) or Cost Centre Owner (Ministry run project). The procurement sponsor cannot be directly involved in the conducting of the procurement.
  • Evaluation Team – evaluates tenders and selects a preferred tender/Tenderer.

5. Identify conflicts of interest (personnel or commercial interests/relationships that may be perceived as causing bias):

More information: Conflict of Interest on school property projects

6. Conduct needs analysis which may include:

  • consulting with stakeholders such as board members, teachers, the Ministry Property Advisor, other schools
  • analysing previous projects/spend or similar projects at other schools
  • carrying out market research and engaging with potential Tenderers to gauge availability and encourage participation.

Needs analysis assists with determining:

  • nature, size and scope of the requirement
  • the procurement strategy (the most appropriate way to approach the market) 
  • considerations for evaluation
  • considerations for determining supply/contract arrangements.

Stage 3: Specify the Statement of Requirements

7. Develop a detailed Statement of Requirements describing the:

  • outcome sought
  • the solution/deliverables (goods, services or contract works) required to achieve the outcome sought
  • capability (skills and expertise) required to deliver a suitable solution
  • capacity (resources and availability) required to deliver a suitable solution
  • pricing structure: how tenderers will be required to price their tenders
  • intended contractual arrangement (type of contract and key contract terms and conditions).

Stage 4: Plan approach to market and evaluation

8. Reconfirm the procurement value based on the detailed Statement of Requirements.

9. Select the appropriate ‘approach to market’ method.

Minimum thresholds for approach to market method are:

Procurement value diagram

Procurement valueMinimum approach to market method
Under $10,000 Non-competitive purchase: written quote not required.
$10,000 – under $50,000 Direct source: one written quotation
$50,000 – under $100,000 Closed tender: 3 written quotations
$100,000 or more Open tender: advertised on the Government Electronic Tender Service (GETS)


These are minimum requirements and a higher threshold approach to market method should be used if warranted by the risk and/or complexity of the procurement. In exceptional circumstances, a procurement exemption may be granted to allow the use of a lower threshold approach to market method (more information: Procurement exemptions).

If the cumulative value of minor spend with the same supplier exceeds $50k within 12 months, then a closed tender must be conducted (eg. $20k contract direct sourced 6 months ago + $25k contract direct sourced 2 months ago + current $10k procurement = $55k: closed tender). Procurements must not be structured in order to avoid a threshold.

10. Draft and obtain endorsement/approval for the Procurement Plan which is to include:

  • the detailed Statement of Requirements
  • for direct source and closed tenders, nominating the potential Tenderer(s) to be invited to submit a quote and the reasons for their inclusion
  • for open tenders, deciding whether to use a single stage open Request for Tenders/Proposals or a 2 stage open Registration of Interest followed by a closed Request for Tenders/Proposals to shortlisted Tenderers
  • the evaluation plan.

Download Procurement Plan template from: Templates and guides.

11. Draft and get endorsement/approval for the approach to market document(s):

  • Request for Quotes (RFQ)
  • Registration of Interest (ROI)
  • Request for Tenders (RFT)
  • Request for Proposals (RFP).

Download approach to market templates from: Templates and guides.

    Stage 5: Approach the market and select

    12. Approach the market:

    • For open tenders, advertise the ROI, RFT or RFP on (external link) .
    • For closed tenders and direct source, send the RFQ to identified potential suppliers to invite them to submit a quote.

    A two stage open tender will involve an open ROI (advertised on GETS) followed by a closed RFT/RFP or RFP to tenderers shortlisted from the ROI.

    13. Receive and evaluate registrations/tenders/proposal/quotes (tenders) and select a shortlist/preferred tender/tenderer.

    14. Draft and get endorsement/approval for the Recommendation Report which summarises the evaluation and recommends a preferred tenderer. For a two stage open tender, a separate Recommendation Report is required for approving the selection of a short-list from the ROI (prior to conducting a closed RFT/RFP).

      Stage 6: Negotiate and award

      15. As soon as practical after the Recommendation Report has been approved by the procurement sponsor, notify tenderers that they have been either preferred (subject to final contract negotiation) or unsuccessful. For procurements of $100,000 or more, you must notify tenderers in writing and offer or provide a debrief (debriefs should be conducted after the contract has been awarded).

      Download letter templates from: Templates and guides.

      16. Negotiate a mutually acceptable contract with the preferred tenderer. The Ministry’s contract templates must be used.

      Download contract templates from: Contracts for construction works and professional services.

      17. Get written approval from the procurement sponsor for the final form of contract.

      18. Execute the contract:

      • the preferred tenderer signs two copies of the contract
      • procurement sponsor signs the two copies of the contract (signed by the tenderer).
      • one copy of the contract (signed by both parties) is held by the buyer (the school or the Ministry) and one copy is returned to the preferred tenderer.

      19. For procurements with a procurement value of $100,000 or more, post an award notice on GETS.

      20. Provide debriefs as appropriate.

      21. Retain all procurement documentation for 7 years on the project file (see: Role of the board of trustees in the early stages of a project).

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