Industry Briefs are a common part of the government tendering process, and as government departments attempt to increase their industry consultation, these briefs are also increasing. Traditionally, a large or somewhat complex RFT would be issued, and within two weeks of RFT release, an Industry Brief would be held. This brief would serve to elaborate on the requirement and clarify the intent as well as offer an opportunity for asking questions. These types of Industry Briefs are still common, they are held at a large venue, sometimes even webcast, and are optional. All content presented at these briefs, including any questions answered, is then made available on Austender shortly thereafter. Variations on this type of Industry Brief are those held for construction/building projects which are typically held on the associated site, and are either highly recommended or at times compulsory.
More recently, in an attempt to widen the exposure of an RFT, an Industry Brief is held ahead of the RFT release. This allows government to socialise the requirement with industry in advance and also allows them to seek feedback on the requirement’s feasibility. At times a department may present draft specifications for review and comment, they may release an options paper or could simply be providing advance notice. Several such examples of this are in this weeks notices on Austender. Finance has issued a position paper on a whole of government digital strategy and will be seeking industry input. This will then be further detailed in an Industry Brief on 4 Sep. Similarly, Defence will be holding an Industry Brief on the 15 Sep to discuss their Air Force Operating Concept. While security requirements preclude the release of any documentation, those with appropriate security clearances will have the opportunity to provide input and be exposed to further details on the day. These briefs, while an opportunity for government to gain input from industry, they are also an opportunity for a company to make it self known to the department as a potential provider, even when the actual procurement opportunity is in the distant future.
With the complexity that surrounds many government procurements, it is recommended that industry take advantage of these briefings knowing that a message is never as clear as when it’s heard face to face.
If you are after specific advice on this topic or any other opportunity listed below, feel free to contact us.