Dealing with an unsuccessful tender outcome

The tendering process can be long and have a big impact on your business operations. If your bid is unsuccessful it can be a disheartening feeling. However, it is important to get feedback on your tender submission. You should use this feedback to conduct an internal and external review, making sure to capture any 'lessons learned' from the process.

Attend a debriefing session

A debrief with the government procurement official can help you understand how the buyer perceived your proposal and will help you to develop better tender responses in the future. Keep in mind that you don't want to impose on the buyer and that some buyers will be concerned that you are going to protest their decision. There may be some questions that they cannot answer because they are unable to do so, and you shouldn't push. If you do not intend to protest, you should make it clear to the buyer that you just want feedback so that you can provide them with better proposals in the future.

Here are a range of questions to consider asking during a debrief session:

  • How did the presentation and appearance of our tender submission stack up against the competition?
  • What differentiated our tender from the others?
  • If our price had been the same as the winner, would our tender submission have represented best value?
  • Was our tender submission easy to navigate and score?
  • Was the appearance of our tender better, worse, or about the same as our competition?
  • Did it contain any waffle or content that should have been substantiated better?
  • Were there any compliance issues with the tender?
  • Is there anything the buyer would recommend for us to improve?


However, if after listening to the government official's explanation, you are still not happy with the decision, you do have the right to raise the issue with the government agency involved in the tender.

When it is not possible to resolve a procurement complaint with the agency concerned, then you may seek the assistance of the government's Queensland Procurement Policy Compliance Unit (QPP Compliance Unit), who can help to resolve the complaint by facilitating open communication between the parties. For more information on the QPP Compliance Unit, read how to address concerns and complaints and follow the steps outlined.

You may also wish to talk to the Department of State Development if the issue relates to business, industry or regional development.

If an issue relates to the probity of the procurement process or corrupt misconduct, you can contact the Queensland Ombudsman or the Crime and Corruption Commission.

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