Defence Infrastructure Panel (DIP) 2017-2022
How to Engage the Panel
For all projects valued between $80,000 - $200,000 and all projects in a remote area (as defined by the Indigenous Procurement Policy) Project Officers must conduct `Pre-Tender Due Diligence' by searching Supply Nation's Directory
for suitable Indigenous SME's before approaching members of the Panel.
Panellists are contracted in alignment with the Panel Agreement which sets out the legal framework for the panel.
Before you use the Panel you should check the Scope of Services list to identify the specific Service needs and the list of Panel Consultants who can provide them. The Scopes of Services is a pick and choose menu that allows adaptation to reflect the specific requirements of a given task.
The Terms of Engagement are common to each DIP engagement and form the basis for governing the specific legal relationship between the contracting parties. A condition of participation for all DIP engagements is that the Terms of Engagement are accepted by Panel Consultants without reservation. Any departure from these standard terms will not be accepted by Defence and the tender response will be set aside from further consideration.
All DIP engagements must comply with the processes, templates within this page and must be against the defined Terms of Engagement.
Once the service and associated Consultants have been identified, the below engagement process must be followed.
Note: Other Commonwealth Agencies
Other Commonwealth Agencies must use the Panel Engagement documentation as they provide a contracting framework under the Panel Agreement and Terms of Engagement. For your delegate approval and / or Endorsement to Proceed for the procurement activity must follow your internal documents, not as below.
Activity - Project Officer must obtain the relevant delegate approval or 'Endorsement to Proceed' before sourcing panel services
The Project Officer must use the following templates and approval requirements:
Note: This approval document should describe the approach to procuring from the DIP and provide justification for the proposed procurement strategy – e.g. result of market assessment, whole of panel, select, sole source).
Non CFI Staff
Note: Endorsement to Proceed must be obtained for all procurements with an estimated value of $200,000 and above (inclusive of GST).
The Project Officer must consider the size, complexity, cost and length of the engagement when determining whether the Simple Request for Proposal (RFP) or Complex RFP engagement process is the most suitable for their procurement.
Note: The Complex RFP template must be used for Project Management/Contract Administration Services.
The Project Officer must consider the procurement value, market capacity, Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs), Procurement Policy, evaluation criteria, exercise of delegations and the Executive Review and Approval requirements.
- Consideration of procurement and evaluation strategy by relevant Delegate.
- Endorsement to Proceed / Approved PDDP or PEP.
Activity - AS REQUIRED - Project Officer develops the Expression of Interest Letters and issues to Panel Consultants
Project Officers have the option to send a Template Letter – Expression of Interest to Panel Consultants to determine whether they have the capacity to submit a proposal. Utilising this letter may reduce the amount of document preparation work required as Project Officers will only need to develop an RFP for interested Panel Consultants. This letter is particularly suited for more complex or risky projects where Defence wishes to determine which Consultants will have the capacity to undertake large scale or long term work.
Note: The Expression of Interest letter simply requests the Panel Consultant to confirm that it will submit a proposal for the Project. The Panel Consultant's response is not evaluated for the Panel Consultant's capacity to submit a proposal. It is simply an informational exercise to confirm whether the Panel Consultant intends to submit a proposal. The response to this letter also does not constitute a binding agreement.
Activity - Project Officer develops the Simple or Complex Request for Proposal (RFP)
Project Officer should then prepare the Simple / Complex RFP Template for each Panel Consultant identified in the procurement strategy.
The RFP Template comprises the following:
- RFP Form;
- Brief (comprising Part 1 - The Project, Part 2 - Scope of Services, and Part 3 - Project Specific Special Conditions) in Annexure A;
- Project DCAP response format in Annexure B;
- Fee Schedule response format in Annexure C;
- Contract Particulars in Annexure D; and
- Alternative Proposals response format in Annexure E.
The Request for Proposal must include:
- a description of the relevant project and objective;
- evaluation criteria (not including weightings);
- details of the information required from tenderers;
- minimum form and content requirements;
- a Brief (informed by the Scope of Services);
- preferred tenderer procedures;
- contract particulars; and
- any project-specific special conditions.
For each Request for Proposal, the Commonwealth should complete the Annexures to the greatest extent possible. Certain details for each Annexure will need to be completed by the Panel Consultant as part of its proposal and submitted to the Commonwealth for evaluation and consideration. eg Annexure B - 'Detailed Consultants Activity Proposal'
- Request for Proposal (RFP) developed.
Activity - Project Officer issues the Request for Proposal (RFP) to Panel Consultants
The Project Officer is to issue the RFP to the Panel Consultants, as listed on the "Who to Engage" page, via email applying the following
- The email should be sent to the email address provided on DEQMS for the relevant Panellist.
- In the subject line of the email, include the following (as applicable): “DIP Request for Proposal – (Your project number and title)”. AZ or Activity Numbers are no longer required for DIP engagements that are received via email. Your project number and title is sufficient as an identifier for Panel engagements.
- Within the body of the email you must ask the respondent to acknowledge receipt of the email within 24 hours. If this receipt is not provided, the project officer must follow this up.
- Respondents will need to format their Proposals in a way that is compatible with Defence’s network requirements, so you will need to specify this and state the consequences, such as exclusion, if the Proposal is sent in a non-conforming format that Defence cannot access.
- You may also request that Respondent limit the file sizeof their Proposal to ensure that it makes it through the Defence Firewall. Generally files 5MB and under are suitable for receipt via email.
Note: The Project Officer must follow the Electronic Tender Guidance for the Defence Infrastructure Panel (DIP) and the Defence Environment and Heritage Panel (DEHP)
- Request for Proposal issued to Panel Consultant(s).
Activity - Panel Consultants provide a response for evaluation or notification declining the opportunity
The Panel Consultants invited will then:
- provide a response for evaluation that accords with the process in the RFP (including the minimum form and content requirements); or
- provide notification declining the opportunity to submit a proposal on this occasion.
- Panel Consultants provide proposal or written response to decline.
Activity - Project Officer receives the Proposals
The Project Officer, at a reasonable time (2 to 4 days) before the Closing Time and Date, check that there are no scheduled Defence network outages planned that will preclude Respondents from submitting their Proposals on the closing date. If there are planned outages, immediately notify Respondents of an extended closing time.
- When the Proposals are lodged electronically, you must acknowledge receipt of the Proposal and confirm if it was received on time, via return email to the Respondent. This must then be written into the Evaluation Board Report for the procurement. When acknowledging receipt of Proposals, the following wording is suggested:
- ‘The Commonwealth acknowledges that (Company Name) Proposal for (project number and title) has been received at (time and date)’
- There are no rules or limitations on who can be nominated to receive the Proposals. The receiver may be a member of the Evaluation Board. However you should carefully consider which email address you nominate to receive Proposals as the receiver will need to be available to confirm the receipt. If you do not have a team member available to receive the tenders you may request the ID Tender Coordinator to receive the tenders on your behalf but you must liaise with that role prior.
- If Proposals are submitted early, they are not to be promulgated to Board members until after the nominated close date and time. You are however permitted to open the emails to acknowledge receipt of the Proposal.
Activity - Evaluation Board Evaluates Tenders
Risk & Compliance elements Finance / Procurement
The evaluation of the proposal must be conducted in accordance with the approved Evaluation Plan and must follow the:
Activity - Evaluation Board develops Tender Evaluation Board Report (TEBR)
Risk & Compliance elements Finance / Procurement
The evaluation of the proposal will be followed up with the development of the TEBR.
Activity - Negotiations / Alternative Proposals (if required)
Following approval of the evaluation through an approved Tender Evaluation Board Report, the following, if required, should occur:
- Alternative Proposals
Note: The Panel Consultant may be informed (without the Commonwealth accepting, or being taken to have accepted, the proposal) that the Commonwealth will negotiate certain or all aspects of the Panel Consultant's proposal.
Activity - Project Officer produces PGPA Section 23 Approval
Project Officer will produce PGPA Section 23 Approval (internal only) in accordance with approved TEBR and contract negotiation outcomes.
Activity - Project Officer prepares Official Order or Letter of Non-Acceptance
Project Officer will prepare either an Official Order or a Letter of Non Acceptance.
- If the original or revised proposal is accepted, then the Project Officer will issue an Official Order.
- Official Order (included in the RFP);
The Official Order (include in the RFP) is formal notification from the Commonwealth to the Panel Consultant giving notice of acceptance of the Panel Consultant's proposal. This will form a contract between the Commonwealth and the Panel Consultant on:
- the terms of the Official Order (including all the documents listed in the Official Order and clause 2.4 of the Panel Conditions);
- the Terms of Engagement set out in Section 5 of the Panel Agreement; and
- the Award Date (as stated in the Contract Particulars).
Activity - Project Officer will offer the opportunity for a Debrief
Risk & Compliance elements Finance / Procurement
All Consultants, successful and unsuccessful, must be offered the opportunity for a debrief following.