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NSW Government Procurement


Expression of
Interest for
Projects – Open

June 2012

Version 1
Revision date 27 June 2012
Phone 1800 679 289
Expression of Interest for Construction Projects
Version 1

This Practice Guide is prepared by the Department of

Finance, Services and Innovation for the NSW
Government. This practice guide is an element of the
Procurement Policy Framework of the NSW Government.
It is available from the NSW Government Procurement

The document shall be updated on an ongoing basis by the

Department of Finance and Services to reflect changes to
government tendering policy and procedures. To ensure
accurate and up to date information, agencies are advised
to access the latest version directly from the website.

For further information on these guidelines contact NSW

Procurement help desk by phone 1800 679289 or email

Issue log

Version number Release date Details

1 27 June 2012 Initial issue of
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Expression of Interest for Construction Projects
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Table of Contents
1 Introduction ................................................................................. 4

2 Background .................................................................................. 4

2.1 Context in NSW Government Procurement Policy Framework ... 4

2.2 Purpose and Scope of the Guidelines ........................................... 4

2.3 Overview .......................................................................................... 5

3 Expression of Interest.............................................................. 5

3.1 Appropriateness of an EOI ............................................................. 5

3.2 EOI process ..................................................................................... 6

Reference Documents: .......................................................................... 13

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1 Introduction
This Procurement Practice Guide describes the elements of
preparing an Expression of Interest (EOI) for construction projects
on an open tendering basis. This document may also be used when
preparing EOIs for construction projects on a selective basis.

It has been written following feedback from NSW government

agencies for guidance about the EOI process together with
documentation that may assist agencies when calling and
evaluating EOIs.

Standard form documents for the preparation of a Request for

Expression of Interest for construction projects on an open
tendering basis are available from the Procurement System for
Construction documentation at

2 Background
2.1 Context in NSW Government
Procurement Policy Framework
This Practice Guide has been prepared to support the tendering
activities carried out by NSW government agencies when
delivering construction projects. It is consistent with NSW
Government Procurement Policy and the NSW Government Code
of Practice for Procurement. This Practice Guide forms part of the
NSW Government Procurement Framework.

2.2 Purpose and Scope of the Guidelines

This Practice Guide is designed to provide NSW government
agencies and project managers engaged by agencies, a structured
approach to preparing a call for an Expression of Interest (EOI) for
construction projects on an open tendering basis.

The scope extends from determining when an EOI may be

appropriate, preparing the documentation, evaluating and
selecting a shortlist of service providers to proceed to the next
stage of a multi-stage tendering process.

The Practice Guide primarily focuses on EOIs for selecting pre-

registered service providers to be invited to tender in the second
stage for a specific construction contract.

Complementing the Practice Guide are the following Standard

Form documents that can be modified to meet users’ specific

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 Request for EOI (Open Tenders) 

 Request for EOI – Returnable Schedules (Open tenders) 

 Request for EOI (Selective Tenders) 

 EOI Evaluation (for use with both open and selective EOI call
documents) 

2.4 Overview
Agencies should aim for an optimal arrangement that fully involves
the market, achieves reasonable and effective competition, and
limits the amount of unnecessary effort required in providing and
evaluating the tenders.

Expressions of Interest provide a mechanism that limits tendering

costs for industry as a whole in that only those service providers
pre-registered after an EOI process are invited to tender. The
associated costs to agencies are also lower through the reduced
number of tenders to evaluate, compared with open tenders.

The use of an open EOI process is considered to be a suitable

option for consideration by agencies.

Pricing is not sought at the EOI stage of the procurement process

nor is a contract formed.

3 Expression of Interest
3.1 Appropriateness of an EOI
An Expression of Interest may be summarised as a process of
seeking an indication of the interest of potential service providers,
capable of undertaking specific work.

An EOI is usually the first stage of a multi-stage tender process

and may be used to:
 establish potential service providers for a single contract; 

 establish a panel of service providers for several contracts in
an ongoing work program; 

 identify applicants with the best proposals, usually for more
complex or unusual procurements. 

EOIs enable the capabilities of applicants to be assessed in relation

to a range of non-price evaluation criteria. An Evaluation
Committee evaluates the suitability of each applicant and
recommends a short-list of the most suitable applicants to be
invited to provide priced tenders or detailed proposals in the next

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3.2 EOI process

General Requirements
The Project Manager (or in the absence of a Project Manager, the
Client Agency representative responsible for initiating the Request
for EOI) identifies and formulates the general requirements. Key
points to consider are:
ensure consistency of project objectives with
NSWGovernment policies.

prepare a commercial strategy to achieve the

projectobjective in accordance with legal and probity

Risk Management
It is essential to identify risks at the commencement of the EOI
process. Successful risk management planning in procurement is
about identifying, then planning, appropriate and effective action
to avoid or control these risks. For additional information on risk
management refer to the NSW Department of Finance, Services
and Innovation Tendering Manual, Appendix 3A Risk Management
in a Tender Process.
Some key steps that may assist in the risk management planning
stage include:
 develop a plan of action to manage the EOI process; 

 appoint key personnel as necessary and define responsibilities
eg Project Manager. 

 develop a risk management plan for the EOI process. 

EOI Call document

The Project Manager is to ensure that the Request for EOI
documents the Client Agency’s requirements fully and to ensure
that the tendering process achieves the best results.
The Request for EOI documentation consists of:

Request for Expressions of Interest - Conditions

forApplication. This document includes the details, scope and
indicative timetable for the project, further steps proposed
beyond the EOI Stage, the terms conditions and processes
governing the tender process for the EOI, the evaluation

 Returnable Schedules – Schedules that are to be completed by

applicants and form the basis on which applicants are to be
assessed against the evaluation criteria. 

A Standard Form Request for EOI, comprising the above

documentation, is available from the Procurement System for
Construction at

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RFT Number
A Request for Tender (RFT) number is required to identify the
project in NSW eTendering. The RFT number becomes the
identifying “contract number” when the contract is awarded. For
the EOI stage, the RFT number is generally followed by “EOI”, e.g
1200000 EOI.

Advertise the Request for EOI (including

mandatory and project specific criteria)
ensure method of requesting and receiving applications
issuitable for the EOI and in accordance with the NSW
Government Code of Practice for Procurement;

 ensure the advertisement clearly outlines the purpose of the

EOI, the scope of project and capability/experience required
to undertake the work, the mandatory and project specific
evaluation criteria; 

 encourage applicants to provide relevant information in their
response so that the evaluation panel is fully informed about
the proposal; 

 stress to applicants not to assume that the Client Agency and
Evaluation Committee have any previous knowledge about an
applicant’s skills, abilities or past performance. 

EOI Evaluation criteria

Pricing is not included in the evaluation criteria as pricing is not
sought at the EOI stage.
The Project Manager, key stakeholders and the Evaluation
Committee, as appropriate, are to be involved in determining the
evaluation criteria.

In formulating the evaluation criteria, consideration must be given

to mandatory criteria to be included. Such criteria are not weighted
or scored, either a “pass or fail” applies. More information on
mandatory criteria is included below.
It is essential to select appropriate project specific criteria that
provide for applicants to demonstrate skills, capacity and capability
to undertake the category of work involved

Ensure that the evaluation criteria based on management systems

for the construction contractor comply with the respective NSW
Government management systems guidelines for the construction
industry which are available at NSW Government Procurement
System for Construction.

The evaluation criteria must be specified in the conditions for

application and the information requested in the returnable
schedules and otherwise is to match the evaluation criteria. This
provides the basis for the proper assessment of applications as set
out in the EOI Evaluation Plan.
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Mandatory criteria
There are certain mandatory criteria that applicants must meet to
be considered acceptable and the requirements to demonstrate
compliance must be stated in the conditions of the Request for EOI.
Mandatory criteria include:

Legal entity
Financial capacity
Work Health and Safety management
Environmental management
Quality management
Industrial Relations.

Aboriginal Participation may be included as a mandatory criterion,

subject to consideration by the Client Agency that it is required.
For more information, refer to Aboriginal Participation in
Construction Guidelines.

Project specific criteria

In determining the project specific criteria, select those criteria
that will best assist in differentiating between applications. To
achieve this, the criteria could reflect:
the nature of the services;
factors critical to the success of the
engagement; associated risks.

Select at least three and preferably no more than five criteria.

Each criterion should have its main elements listed to assist in the
evaluation. The elements will form the basis of scoring. The
inclusion of response schedules clearly identifying the specific
information required facilitates both the applicants in responding
as well as the Evaluation Committee in assessing and scoring.

Examples of project specific criteria

Organisation’s experience, capability and achievements
evidence of the applicant’s experience and performance on
projects of a similar size, nature and complexity in Australia
over a nominated number of years, e.g. five (5) years
proven capacity, ability and experience in working and
delivering projects in an occupied/operational/Heritage
building/ environment (delete / modify as required)
evidence of external performance recognition such as
Contractor Performance Reports, client reference letters,
nominated referees who can confirm successful performance
on completed projects.

Experience, capability and availability of key personnel

the composition of the applicant’s construction delivery team,

including the key personnel and major sub-
contractors/consultants proposed (including relevant
qualifications and experience).
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Understanding of the engagement – task appreciation and


understanding and appreciation of the Client Agency’s

requirements in the delivery of the project;

the applicant’s commitment to and capability in meeting the

indicative proposed delivery program;

the experience of the applicant with the conditions of

contract named in the EOI call documentation;

demonstrated knowledge of public sector operations, policies

and legislation relevant to the services;

demonstrated understanding of, and an ability to comply with,

relevant requirements of the NSW Government Procurement
System for Construction.

Briefing Sessions
There may be instances when it is considered necessary to hold
meetings prior to the close of the Request for EOI to assist
potential applicants’ understanding of the project requirements.

Attendance at the briefing sessions may be mandatory or optional

depending of the nature of the meeting. Briefing sessions must be
carefully planned and managed to ensure that no applicant is given
any advantage over any other applicant because of the meeting.

Information on any briefing session including date, time, location,

optional and/or mandatory attendance is to be included in the
advertisement or invitation document. In addition, when
mandatory attendance is required, include a statement that
applications submitted by applicants who fail to attend will be
passed over.

EOI Evaluation Plan

Develop an EOI Evaluation Plan (EP) to manage the evaluation
process. The EP must:

be consistent with and address the requirements stated in

the Request for EOI Conditions for Application;

describe how an applicant’s response to each evaluation

criterion will be dealt with;

include a guide to scoring project-specific criteria and

calculating final scores;

 provide for the scores to be reached by consensus; 

 include the weighting to apply to each criterion based on their
relative importance and likely impact on the outcomes of the
project; 

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 include the minimum and maximum number of applicants to

be short listed. The NSW Government Procurement Guidelines
- Tendering Guidelines include guidance on the number of
tenders required 

In determining the number of applicants to be short listed, it is

recommended that an additional number, for example two (2), be
considered as reserves to allow for possible withdrawal of selected
The EP, including the scoring and weightings to apply to the
assessment, is to be completed prior to issuing the Request for EOI
and be approved prior to the date the EOI closes.
An EOI Evaluation Plan template is available from the
Procurement System for Construction documentation.

Evaluation Committee
The Evaluation Committee is to comprise members who are
familiar with the requirements of the Request for EOI and have
relevant skills, experience and expertise in the nature of the
The Evaluation Committee is to:
ensure that the approved EP is followed and that all
applications are assessed in accordance with the EP;

use its professional skills and experience to identify the

applicants that best satisfy the evaluation criteria;

produce an evaluation report including a recommendation for

those applicants to be pre-registered and to be given an
opportunity to tender for the next stage of the project.

The Principal will determine which of the applicants will be pre-

registered. Only applicants that are pre-registered through this
EOI process will be eligible to submit tenders at the next stage.
Scoring project specific criteria
Document the procedure to be used for scoring adopting the
following procedure.

Score each criterion out of 100 based on the following scaling

and include comments that support the rating;

Rating Score
No response provided 0
Acceptable 1 - 33
Good to very good 34 - 66
Superior 67 - 100
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To assist in scoring each criterion and its elements, the

evaluation committee is to identify and document the
attributes of applicants’ responses that will determine the
rating / score to be allocated within the scale. For example, if
a response is considered to be a ‘good to very good’ rating,
specify the factors that will determine if the score to be
allocated is 34, 66 or a score in between.

Ensure that there is consistency in the scores allocated and

supporting comments across criteria and individual application

The evaluation committee should use a collaborative,

consensus-reaching approach in determining the scores. Each
evaluation committee member should first score the criteria
independently and record comments supporting the rating.
Then the evaluation committee as a whole should compare the
individual scores, discuss any differences and reach consensus
on the final score for each criterion together with supporting

Calculate weighted scores for each criterion by multiplying the

consensus score for each criterion by its assigned weighting.

Add the weighted scores to determine the total score for

each applicant.

 Rank the applicants based on the total scores from highest to

lowest; 

 In the event of equal scoring for any applications, the final
ranking will take account of contractor performance data from
the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation
Contractor & Consultant Management System (CCMS), Client
Agency’s own performance management system and/or
formal performance reports from the applicants’ clients. The
applicant with the higher level of performance will receive the
higher ranking. 

Short list appropriate applicants

 Submit a short list of applicants for approval; 

 Recommend and obtain approval to proceed with tendering
process with the approved pre-registered applicants; 

 Ensure that the proposed tender documents are suitable for
the procurement activity; 

 Ensure that the EOI evaluation criteria are consistently
reflected in the proposed tender documents. 

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Notify successful and unsuccessful applicants of the EOI
outcome in accordance with the Code of Practice for

Provide unsuccessful applicants with a debriefing in

accordance with the Code of Practice for Procurement;

 Details of the Request for EOI and the outcome of the EOI
process must be disclosed in accordance with the Government
Information (Public Access) Act (NSW) and the 
Premier’s Memorandum 2007-01.
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Reference Documents:
NSW Government Procurement Policy

NSW Government Code of Practice for Procurement

NSW Government Procurement Guidelines – Tendering Guidelines

NSW Government Procurement System for Construction

Risk Management in a Tender Process (Appendix 3A of NSW

DFS Tendering Manual)

NSW Government Construction Industry Guidelines

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