Quotations and Tenders for Purchases

1. Overview
2. Definitions
3. Choosing a Supplier
4. Expressions of Interest
5. Quotation and Tender Limits
6. Receipt of Quotations and Tenders
7. Tender Committee

1.  Overview

The University must maintain a reputation for fair and impartial dealing in its contracts with the public. The calling of competitive quotations and tenders is part of this process. The quotation and tender procedures are intended to ensure that:-

  • all who wish to supply goods or services to the University shall be given the opportunity to do so;
  • no particular supplier is given an unfair advantage;
  • the best value for money is obtained; and
  • appropriate records are retained to comply with audit and accountability requirements.

A periodic review of supply arrangements should be undertaken to ensure pricing of goods and services remains competitive.

The following quotation and tender procedures do not apply to goods or services supplied under Government contracts.

2.  Definitions


A quotation is a verbal or written statement of price and terms of sale for goods or services by a vendor, in response to either a verbal or written invitation by the University.


A tender is an offer made in writing to supply certain goods or to perform certain services at a given cost, in response to the relevant specifications set out in the University’s invitation.  Tenders include public tenders and selected tenders.

“Public Tender”

A public tender is a tender submitted in response to the University’s invitation to tender which has been published in a newspaper or other publication.

“Selected Tender” 

A selected tender is a tender submitted in response to the University’s limited written invitation. Selected tender action applies where public tender action is impractical or inexpedient and is subject to the approval of the Vice-Chancellor.

“Expressions of Interest”

Written expressions of interest are sought through press advertisement, inviting interested parties to indicate their capability to provide certain goods or services required by the University.

3.  Choosing a Supplier

The supplier with the lowest price should be chosen subject to the suitability and quality of the goods or services for the University’s purposes. Factors to consider when assessing a supplier’s suitability include:-

  • financial and long term viability, especially when the goods or services are being provided over an extended period of time;
  • reputation and experience in the industry;
  • warranty conditions; and
  • timeliness for delivery of goods or completion of service.

Should a supplier be selected who does not offer the lowest price, written documentation must be provided citing the reasons for not accepting each of the lower quotations or bids.

4.  Expressions of Interest

Where a major or unusual project is undertaken, this is generally the first step taken by the Tender Committee to test the market prior to seeking detailed bids through the submission of tenders.  However, expressions of interest are not to be used to circumvent the tender process. 

Written expressions of interest are sought through a press advertisement. A register of all responses received is to be kept. The evaluation of each response should eliminate impractical or inappropriate bids to arrive at a suitable short list. If a decision is made to proceed, follow the tender procedures detailed in Section 5.

5. Quotation and Tender Limits

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6.  Receipt of Quotations and Tenders

All written quotes received must be retained by the relevant cost centre for 5 years.

All tenders received are to be placed unopened in an appropriate secure location. The chair of the relevant Tender Committee is to appoint an individual responsible for the opening and circulation of offers to the relevant Committee members.

7.  Tender Committee

The University Tender Committee (“UTC”) is to be established by the relevant Core Planning Group (“CPG”) member. The membership of the UTC will be determined by the CPG member as deemed appropriate to the specific transaction. 

The Faculty/Administrative Tender Committee is to be established with the approval of the relevant Dean or Director. 

All members of the relevant tender committee are to declare any potential conflict of interest arising from any matter to be considered by the Committee.

The role of each committee is to oversee the preparation of specifications and advertisements, to consider expressions of interest and tenders and to make recommendations regarding the acceptance of tenders. The recommendation should contain the following key points:-

  • a summary of tenders received in ascending order of cost;
  • an evaluation of whether each tender conforms to the specification and giving any reasons for variations; and
  • full details of the preferred tender and the reasons for its recommendation.




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