The Federal Government has announced it has begun to trial an electronic tendering system to allow potential suppliers to browse and search a directory of advertised Government tenders, download tender documentation and submit bids for supply contracts in a secure environment.
The tendering system, named the Commonwealth Electronic Tender System (CETS), is part of the Federal Government's commitment to providing all appropriate Government services online by 2001. CETS will be the first application where Gatekeeper accredited digital certificates will be used for procurement services.
The five Government agencies trialling CETS are the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts; the Department of Veteran's Affairs; Centrelink; the Australian Tax Office and the Department of Finance and Administration. The National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE) will oversee the project.
"Suppliers have immediate 24-hour access to tender documentation and all the information they need to submit a bid and, because CETS uses Gatekeeper technology, suppliers can be confident their tenders are being securely dealt with by agencies," said Senator Campbell, parliamentary secretary to the DCITA.
"This is great news for suppliers who could save up to a week in preparing and submitting tender responses," he said.
A spokesperson for the DCITA said the trial will continue indefinitely until any "chinks are ironed out", and there is an expectation CETS will be rolled out at full scale across all Government departments by early 2001.
CETS can be viewed at www.tenders.gov.au