On this page
- About this approach
- Before you start
- Create your opportunity to ask the market
- While your opportunity is open
- Evaluate responses from sellers
- Notifying sellers
About this approach
Ask the market lets government buyers invite expressions of interest (EOI) or requests for information (RFI) from sellers on the Digital Marketplace. Ask the market is designed to allow buyers to tap into and leverage innovation and ideas from industry.
Ask the market is suitable when your requirements are not clear or well defined, but you have a general understanding of the problem you want to solve.
Buyers can use this approach to:
- learn about potential innovative solutions
- find suitable sellers
- trial new ideas and technology through a prototype or proof of concept
- seek an answer or a solution to a complex problem
- create a seller shortlist prior to seeking proposals and quotes.
View ask the market opportunities published by government buyers.
If you have well-defined business and technical requirements, with a clear understanding of what you need and who can provide it, we recommend you seek proposals and quotes instead.
Who can view and respond to opportunities?
The Digital Marketplace has over 1000 sellers who cover a broad range of digital services and expertise. Buyers can invite responses from:
- any seller approved on the Digital Marketplace Panel (SON3413842) or
- any seller approved in a panel category.
If an interested seller is not currently on the panel, they must become a seller on the panel before they can respond. All sellers on the Digital Marketplace have passed a value for money assessment and are approved to sell on the panel.
How long can opportunities stay open?
You can keep an opportunity open for as little as five days. When considering how long to keep an opportunity open:
- give sellers sufficient time to provide their response
- check the complexity of your requirements and response format.
How do sellers respond?
Sellers may submit up to 500 words for each response criteria you list on your opportunity. Buyers can additionally request:
- case studies
- presentation (may be organised once the opportunity closes)
- prototype (may be organised once the opportunity closes)
Seller responses are available as a spreadsheet to download after the opportunity has closed.
Before you start
We recommend you:
- define your problem statement and set your objectives
- talk to your internal procurement team about your agency's procurement rules and legal requirements
- discuss your technical requirements with your agency's service delivery team
- download the questions template (DOC 73KB) to draft your opportunity and prepare offline before publishing.
Keep your procurement team and delegate/authorising official updated on the progress and seek their advice as necessary.
Create your opportunity to ask the market
To get started:
- Log in to your dashboard and select 'Create new request'.
- Select 'Outcome'.
- Choose 'Ask the market'.
- Complete the steps to publish the opportunity. Your work is saved as you progress.
While your opportunity is live
Answer seller questions
You will be notified by email if a seller submits a question. Follow the link in the email or go to your dashboard and select the opportunity title to respond. Once published, questions and answers will be publicly visible on the opportunity.
Questions for team opportunities
From the ‘Team opportunities’ tab on your dashboard, you can answer questions for opportunities published by another user in your team.
Read more about working with internal teams in your organisation.
Edit your opportunity
Before your opportunity closes, you can:
- add or remove documents
- edit the title and summary
- extend the closing date
You can make edits through the live opportunity or from your dashboard.
To edit your opportunity from the dashboard:
- Select the opportunity title.
- From the overview, select 'Edit live opportunity'.
For edited opportunities, we recommend extending the closing date to allow sellers enough time if they need to update their response.
Withdraw your opportunity
To withdraw your opportunity before the closing date:
- Go to your dashboard and select the opportunity.
- Select 'Withdraw opportunity'.
- Enter your reason for withdrawal.
- Confirm your authority to withdraw the opportunity, then select 'Submit'.
The opportunity page will display your reason for withdrawal. Once you withdraw an opportunity, you will not be able to reopen it again.
Evaluate responses from sellers
Once your opportunity closes, you can download and start evaluating responses from sellers.
To download seller responses:
- Log in to your dashboard and select your closed opportunity.
- On the overview page select 'Download responses'.
- You will receive 500-word responses to your criteria in a spreadsheet, plus (if requested):
- case studies
If you requested a presentation or prototype, you must contact the seller directly.
Buyers are responsible for informing sellers of the outcome of their opportunity.
Federal agencies must offer the option of a debriefing to sellers who responded. This is a requirement of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules. If a seller requests a debrief, you must organise this outside the Digital Marketplace.
Seeking proposals or quotes
Once you have reviewed responses and shortlisted sellers, you can seek proposals or quotes from sellers that meet your needs.
Contact us to seek sourcing advice related to Ask the market. You may also request a demo for your organisation.