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Selling to the Singapore Government

A guide for business

Acknowledgements
We would like to acknowledge the invaluable assistance from the following Singapore government departments in preparing this publication: Ministry of Finance Spring Singapore International Enterprise Singapore GeBiz Building Construction Authority Austrade would also like to acknowledge the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Department of Finance and Administration for their assistance in preparing this publication.

Foreword
 am very pleased to introduce this new guide, directed at Australian companies likely to benefit from procurement opportunities from the Singapore Government provided by the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA). Singapore is a very important trading partner for Australia. ts significance is underlined by our bilateral Free Trade Agreement which, for the past four years, has delivered growing commercial benefits to our two countries. Singapore is Australias fifth-largest trading partner internationally and our largest trade and investment partner in South-East Asia. n 2006, our merchandise exports to Singapore were worth A$4.6 billion and service exports were A$2.8 billion. Two-way trade topped A$22 billion. With a population of 4.4 million and a GDP of US$132 billion, Singapore is a competitive, dynamic and efficient market. Since SAFTA came into effect on 28 July 2003, considerable new trade and investment opportunities have opened up for companies from both countries. Significant gains have been made in the services sectors and in the arena of government procurement. n order to encourage Australian business in the Singapore Government procurement market, Austrade employs a government procurement specialist in Singapore. This specialist networks with Singapore Government agencies to further SAFTArelated business opportunities for Australian companies. Austrade also holds an annual series of seminars across Australia to assist Australian companies seeking to tap into Singapores government procurement market. This free guide will help Australian companies make the most of the myriad opportunities for Australian companies wanting to sell to the Singapore Government.  hope that you will use this guide to build your knowledge of, and prepare for, the Singapore Government procurement opportunities that continue to arise from SAFTA.  wish you well in your commercial endeavours in the Singapore market.

Sincerely,

Warren Truss Minister for Trade

 | Selling to the Singapore Government: A guide for business



About Austrade
The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) is the Australian trade promotion government agency that helps Australian companies win overseas business for their products and services by reducing the time, cost and risk involved in selecting, entering and developing international markets. Austrade is represented in more than 140 overseas locations in over 60 countries and in Australia. Austrade offers practical advice, market intelligence and ongoing support (including financial) to Australian businesses looking to develop international markets. Austrade also provides advice and guidance on overseas investment and joint venture opportunities, and helps put Australian businesses in contact with potential overseas investors. Austrades services to Australian companies include: practical export information and advice identification of overseas opportunities on-the-ground exporting support overseas and in Australia a comprehensive trade exhibition program services to identify potential overseas business partners and to research and access high-potential markets for Australian companies strategic export planning and network formation services. General information is provided at no charge either through www.austrade.gov.au or by speaking with an Austrade export adviser on 13 28 78 (Australia only). Specific tailored advice is provided to thousands of Australian companies each year based on a quote in advance. Our fees are based on an hourly rate and our service levels are guaranteed. Austrade also provides financial assistance to Australian exporters through the Export Market Development Grants scheme. Under the scheme, eligible Australian businesses are reimbursed for part of the export marketing costs they incur.

Contents
Acknowledgements II

Foreword

III

About Austrade

IV

1. Doing Business in Singapore

2. The Singapore - Australia Free Trade Agreement Benefits to Australian Businesses

3. A Step-by-Step Guide to Government Procurement Step 1: Understand the Process Step 2: Spot the Opportunities Step 3: Register as a GeBZ Trading Partner Step 3a: Register as a Government Supplier Step 3b: Register as a BCA Supplier for Construction Related Tenders Step 3c: Register as a Public Sector Panel of Consultants for consultancy services for public sector building and construction projects Step 4: Submit Your Bid

16 20 22 23 25 27 28 29

4. Useful Contacts

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V | Selling to the Singapore Government: A guide for business

Doing Business in Singapore


PSA Port Singapore

With a population of 4.4 million and a GDP of $US132 billion Singapore boasts the fifth highest per capita GDP in the world. This highly developed economy shows continued growth potential, with real GDP growth of 7.9 per cent in 2006.
By harnessing its key strengths adaptive human resources and a strategic geographical position Singapore has managed to overcome its limitations as a small country with no natural resources. t is the worlds busiest port for shipping tonnage, handling a quarter of the worlds total transhipment volume. Of the more than 7,000 multinational corporations doing business in Singapore, half have their regional headquarters there. More than 1,300 Australian companies are registered in Singapore. Businesses find Singapore attractive because of a combination of many factors, including: minimal red tape a clean, efficient and stable government

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Doing business in Singapore

one
1 | Selling to the Singapore Government: A guide for business

a transparent and consistent business framework a cost-competitive and skilled labour force excellent industrial relations a well-established and efficient legal system strong protection of intellectual property rights stable prices good cooperation between government and private sector organisations. All of these qualities provide investors with peace of mind and a conducive environment in which to operate. Consequently, Singapore has consistently topped numerous international rankings for ease of doing business.
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How Singapore Measures Up


Top in ease of doing business in the world (World Bank Report, Doing Business 2007: How to Reform). Fifth in most competitive Asian Economy (Global Competitiveness ndex, 2005/06). Most cost-competitive business location among nine industrialised countries (KPMG Competitive Alternatives Study, 2006). Worlds top 20 most globalised nations (A.T. Kearney/Foreign Policy magazine Globalisation ndex 2006). n the Worlds Most Network Ready Country (Global nformation Technology Report 2005/06, World Economic Forum). Best labour force (BERs 2005 Labour Force Ranking).
Singapore City

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Doing business in Singapore

Third in worlds overall competitiveness (MD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2006). Least bureaucratic place for doing business in Asia (Political and Economic Risk Consultancy, June 2006). Many Australian companies have already experienced the benefits of doing business in or with Singapore. Singapore is Australias eighth largest export market, and our fourth largest partner in terms of two-way trade. n 2006, Australian merchandise exports to Singapore were A$4.6 billion, while Australian imports from Singapore were worth A$10.8 billion. Australia also exported A$2.8 billion worth of services to Singapore and imported A$4.1 billion of services from Singapore that year. Australian businesses are in a particularly good position to capitalise on Singapores advantages, for the following reasons: English is the language of administration and business in Singapore The legal systems of the two countries are similar in many respects Australia is building a track record in providing high-quality and innovative goods and services to buyers in Singapore A comprehensive Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation between Australia and Singapore means that businesses enjoy greater certainty without incurring tax twice on the same income.
The Singapore - Australia Free Trade Agreement creates even more reasons for Australian businesses to explore opportunities in Singapore. The time is ripe for businesses to strengthen their foothold in the Singapore market, and Government Procurement is an additional avenue for doing business in Singapore.

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Doing business in Singapore

3 | Selling to the Singapore Government: A guide for business

Business Etiquette
Although Singapore is a very westernised country, it is still Asian at heart. About 76 per cent of the population are of Chinese ethnicity, 14 per cent Malay, 8 per cent ndian, and 2 per cent of other ethnic origins. There are subtle cultural differences that you will need to be sensitive to when doing business with Singaporeans.
Business cards are often referred to as name cards in Singapore. Your business card should always include your title as it reflects your position and importance within your organisation. When presenting your business card, it is polite to use both hands. Treat the other partys business card with respect never write on it or put it in your back pocket.

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Doing business in Singapore

When addressing a person, use his/her salutation followed by the family or personal name. Most Chinese place their family names first, followed by their personal names for example; for Mr Tan Keng Swee, Tan is the family name and the given name is Keng Swee. Malays and many ndians use their first name instead of a family name. For example, Malay names are constructed with a given name followed by bin (for men) or binti (for women) before a fathers given name (the bin and binti component is often omitted). For example, in the following Malay name Mr Abdul Rahman bin Mohamad Sidek the persons given name is Abdul Rahman. ndian names are usually similar to those of Westerners where given name comes first, followed by a family name: for example, Mr Manessh Mathur. When arranging to meet a potential customer or partner, the appointment should be made at least one week in advance and confirmed a day before. A formal setting is recommended, especially for the first time. When meeting a customer, it is best to suggest meeting at their premises and allow them to book a meeting room in advance. f, however, your schedule is tight, you may suggest meeting in a conference room at the hotel where you are staying. Coffee shop and caf meetings should be avoided unless the customer suggests it or a relationship has already been established. Business hours are similar to Australia. Official business hours are Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Although it is common for many people to work past 5pm, meetings should not be set later than 4.30pm. Smart business wear is expected for ladies. Men should wear a tie and long sleeves when meeting customers. Despite the tropical climate, short sleeves are generally not acceptable business attire. Jackets may be worn to formal events. When setting a price for your product, expect there may be a degree of bargaining. Always deliver your products within the agreed timeframe. The Australian casual way of doing business and easy sense of humour could be misunderstood. Doing business in Asia can be more formal than what Australians are used to. Although English is the official business language in Singapore, a local based English language (Singlish) is commonly used and may be confusing for foreigners.
5 | Selling to the Singapore Government: A guide for business

The Singapore - Australia Free Trade Agreement Benefits to Australian Businesses

The Singapore - Australia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) came into effect on 28 July 2003. t is Australias first bilateral free trade agreement since the 1983 Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement with New Zealand.
A comprehensive agreement, SAFTA is fully consistent with World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. t also secures outcomes for Australia that go deeper and further than the WTO in relation to trade in services, intellectual property, investment and competition policy.

Key Gains from SAFTA

Tariffs

Elimination of all tariffs, including Australian beer and stout. Goods may now enter Singapore tariff-free provided they meet the Rules of Origin outlined in SAFTA. Comprehensive and transparent negative listing of services commitments, open market access and national treatment for a range of service sectors. Restrictions on the number of wholesale banking licences were removed on 1 January 2007. Banks allowed to transfer information, including electronic data, to Australia. National treatment and market access commitments for Australian education providers. Singapore government overseas scholarships tenable at Australian universities. ndustry conditions eased on establishment of joint ventures involving Australian law firms. Number of Australian law degrees recognised in Singapore increased from eight to ten, following the First Ministerial Review. Removal/easing of residency requirements for Australian professionals. Short-term entry for Australian business people extended from one month to three months and long-term business entry of up to 14 years in total. Rights to work for spouses of business people. Transparency of investment restrictions in Singapores government-linked companies. nvestors protected against, and compensated for, expropriation. Telecom interconnection on non-discriminatory, timely, cost-oriented terms. Australian firms get national treatment in procurement by 47 Singapore agencies. Protection of intellectual property supplied in government tender processes. Cooperation on eliminating trade in goods infringing intellectual property rights.

Services

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The Singapore - Australia Free Trade Agreement Benefits to Australian Businesses

SAFTA offers greater opportunities in goods and services to a wide range of Australian exporters and further strengthens trade and investment links. t eliminates Singapores tariffs and provides cheaper inputs for Australian businesses on a range of products. t also guarantees liberal access conditions for many services suppliers. Australian legal, financial and educational service exporters, for example, will benefit from outcomes on services that are more advanced than those of the WTO. SAFTA provides a more open and predictable business environment across a range of areas, including: Trade in goods Trade in services nvestment Telecommunication services Financial services Movement of business people Government procurement ntellectual property rights Competition policy E-commerce Education cooperation.

Financial Sector

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The Singapore - Australia Free Trade Agreement Benefits to Australian Businesses

Education

Legal Industry

Business Travel

Investment

Telecommunications

Government Procurement

Intellectual Property

To ensure its continued relevance for Australian and Singapore businesses, SAFTA is reviewed on a regular basis, ensuring its status as a comprehensive living document that may be added to and updated as bilateral trade and investment evolves over time.

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SAFTA and Government Procurement


One of the express aims of SAFTA is to expand the scope for promotion of trade through government procurement. This is consistent with the spirit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), to which both Australia and Singapore are parties. APEC is based on non-binding principles of non-discrimination, national treatment and transparency in government procurement.

TAFE + SAFTA = SUCCESS


David Riordan believes that SAFTA has made working in Singapore markedly easier.
David is the Chief Executive Officer of the nternational Business Office (BO), the NSW Department of Education and Trainings new international unit. As well as taking over the activities of TAFE Global, the BO also manages the nternational Students Centre, which is responsible for the recruitment of international students for government schools and TAFE nstitutes, the enrolment of temporary residents into government schools, and school based study tours. The BO also manages all international delegations and vocational education study tours. The BO is currently active in over 37 countries with a strong focus on South East Asia, China, ndia and the Middle East. The most recent project in Singapore was the development of a comprehensive training framework for the retail industry. This project was completed on behalf of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA). The retail sector in Singapore is extremely important notes Mr Riordan. We were asked to develop a training blueprint for the industry including the development of a qualifications framework and multiple curriculum documents. This was the first program we worked on with the WDA, so together we were testing which strategies would get us the results we wanted. According to Mr Riordan, the first training program has been completed and has worked out extremely well. The WDA has implemented the program and now has full responsibility and ownership. The collaborative approach which was supported and enhanced by SAFTA has really smoothed the way forward for many other Australian companies, especially those in the education and training sector. The work and role of SAFTA gives us added confidence in pursuing other opportunities in the region.

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The Singapore - Australia Free Trade Agreement Benefits to Australian Businesses

SAFTA ensures that Australian firms will have more secure access to Singapores government procurement market. Although Australia is not a party to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), Singapore will match Australia in its commitments under the GPA, guaranteeing non-discriminatory national treatment for Australian firms in tendering for Singapore Government business. SAFTA guarantees this access without the limits on thresholds and product coverage that are included in the GPA. To allow ease of access, the Singapore Government is committed to providing opportunities in government procurement through electronic means, or e-procurement. Accordingly, any intellectual property and confidential information provided by potential suppliers during the tender process will be protected.

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The Singapore Australia Free Doing business-in Singapore Trade Agreement Benefits to Australian Businesses

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The following Singapore ministries, agencies and statutory authorities are bound by SAFTA provisions:
Agency for Science, Technology and Research Attorney-Generals Chambers Auditor-Generals Office Board of Architects Building and Construction Authority Cabinet Office

Ministry of Manpower Ministry of National Development Ministry of Trade and ndustry Ministry of Transport Monetary Authority of Singapore National Parks Board Parliament of Singapore Prime Ministers Office Preservation of Monuments Board Professional Engineers Board Public Transport Council Public Service Commisvsion Sentosa Development Corporation Singapore Tourism Promotion Board Standards, Productivity and nnovation Board Urban Redevelopment Authority.

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The Singapore Australia Free Doing business-in Singapore Trade Agreement Benefits to Australian Businesses

Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore Economic Development Board Housing and Development Board nfocomm Development Authority of Singapore nland Revenue Authority of Singapore nternational Enterprise Singapore stana Judicature Jurong Town Corporation Land Transport Authority of Singapore Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Ministry of Community Development and Sports Ministry of Defence Ministry of Education Ministry of the Environment Ministry of Finance Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ministry of Health Ministry of Home Affairs Ministry of nformation, Communications and the Arts Ministry of Law

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The Singapore Australia Free Doing business-in Singapore Trade Agreement Benefits to Australian Businesses

The web addresses and other contact details of all government departments and agencies are listed in the Singapore Government Directory at www.sgdi.gov.sg The Singapore Governments pre-procurement plan lists potential procurements worth more than S$200,000 that the public sector is likely to conduct in the coming six months. This can be viewed at www.gebiz.gov.sg Note that the financial year for the Singapore Government is 1st April to 31st March of the following year.

More information on SAFTA is available at www.fta.gov.au

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The following Singapore ministries, agencies and statutory authorities are to be reviewed under SAFTA provisions:
Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) Central Provident Fund Board (CPF) Civil Service College (CSC) Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA)

Singapore Land Authority (SLA) Singapore Medical Council (SMC) Singapore Nursing Board (SNB) Singapore Polytechnic (SP) Singapore Sports Council (SSC) Singapore Totalisator Board (SNGTOTE) Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) TCM Practitioners Board (TCMB) Temasek Polytechnic (TP). Although the above government agencies are being reviewed, Australian companies are still winning business from these agencies.

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The Singapore Australia Free Doing business-in Singapore Trade Agreement Benefits to Australian Businesses

Economic Development Board (EDB) Energy Market Authority (EMA) Health Promotion Board (HPB) Health Sciences Authority (HSA) nstitute Of Technical Education (TE) nstitute of Southeast Asian Studies (SEAS) ntellectual Property Office Of Singapore (POS) Media Development Authority (MDA) Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) National Arts Council (NAC) National Council of Social Service (NCSS) National Environment Agency (NEA) National Heritage Board (NHB) National Library Board (NLB) Peoples Association (PA) Public Utilities Board (PUB) Republic Polytechnic (RP) Science Centre Board (SCB) Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE) Singapore Dental Council (SDC) Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB)

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Government Procurement


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The Singapore - Australia Free Trade Agreement Benefits to Australian Businesses

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Doing business in Singapore

Austrade as an effective go-between


Austrade is constantly in contact with Singapore Government agencies to update them on Australian supply. For example, in 2006, Austrade organised a session with 19 agencies and presented them with information on how Austrade is able to help meet their needs. Singapores National Library Board (NLB) subsequently called for a tender to provide specialised training for a team of cataloguers and indexers. CAVAL, an Australian not-for-profit company co-owned by ten universities, was successful in winning the contract. Austrade provided critical post-tender assistance to CAVAL, particularly in relation to advice on withholding tax. Following CAVAL success, NLB has contacted Austrade Singapore about another project a serial subscription system to be published on the Singapore tender system. As a result, Austrade alerted Australian library service providers of this tender. With constant communication and a well-established rapport with Singapore Government agencies, Austrade is in a position to continue alerting Australian businesses on relevant upcoming Singapore government tenders.
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Designed for Success


Architectural and design firm Woodhead is an example of an Australian business that has successfully supplied its services to the Singapore Government. With Austrades initial help, Woodhead (Wilson) was invited to submit a design proposal for the interiors of Singapores Changi Airport Terminal 3, a project worth an estimated S$1.4 billion. Woodheads proposal for a modern and user-friendly airport terminal requiring minimal maintenance ultimately led to its win against stiff competition from three other world-renowned architectural firms.

National Library, Singapore

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A Step-by-Step in Singapore Doing business Guide to Government Procurement

The process of bidding was very open, transparent and fair, with the Singapore clients seeking the best worldwide designs and benchmarking, says David Holm, Woodheads design principal. Woodheads win was particularly significant, as it opened the doors to other major projects, including the contract to design the interiors of Singapores National Library (worth about S$230 million), as well as the refurbishment of Changi Terminal 1. With SAFTA, Woodhead has been able to use Singapore as a gateway to the rest of South East Asia. Besides Singapore, Woodhead has established operations in China, Thailand, ndia, Vietnam and Europe.

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Principles of Singapore Government Procurement


As a party to the 1994 Agreement on Government Procurement under the WTO, Singapore is committed to the following principles for government procurement:

Step 1: Understand the Process


What the Singapore Government buys
All purchases by the Singapore Government are classified into goods, services and construction services.
Goods include materials, manufactured items, consumables and non-consumables. Examples are computer hardware/software, food & beverage, and office equipment. Services encompass cleaning, maintenance and repair of goods, consultancy, advice and dissemination of information. This category excludes construction services. Construction services cover construction and construction-related engineering projects, renovation and maintenance works on buildings and other permanent structures. This category also includes the installation and maintenance of electrical and mechanical facilities in buildings and other permanent structures.

Openness & Fairness


The procuring agency will not discriminate in favour of or against any supplier. All suppliers are treated fairly and provided with the same information to prepare their bids.

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A Step-by-Step in Singapore Doing business Guide to Government Procurement

Transparency
The procurement procedures and policies for supplying to the Singapore Government are clear and made known to suppliers. The procuring agencies aim to provide all necessary information; for example, purchase requirements and bid evaluation criteria.

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A Step-by-Step in Singapore Doing business Guide to Government Procurement

Value for Money


n order to achieve value for money, the procuring agency evaluates all offers it receives. The evaluation is based not only on price, but also the potential suppliers compliance with all of the specified requirements, the quality of their goods and services, as well as their timeliness in delivery, reliability and after-sales service.
It is worth noting that Singapore takes a strong stance against corruption. Singapore Government employees are prohibited from accepting gifts or other favours from potential suppliers. As a potential supplier, you should not approach any agency in any way that could be perceived as an attempt to improperly influence the procurement process. Australian individuals and companies can also be prosecuted in Australia for bribing foreign officials when overseas.

How the Singapore Government buys


Individual agency procurement ndividual ministries, departments and statutory boards may buy goods and services for their own use. Centralised procurement Goods and services that are commonly procured by the public sector are sourced centrally by a particular agency.

Under the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), suppliers from both Australia and Singapore are treated equally. This step-by-step guide to government procurement is intended to help you bid for projects by the Singapore Government.
Australian suppliers can participate in Singapore Government projects in the same way as Singaporean suppliers, regardless of the value of the projects.

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Regardless of whether procurement is for an individual government body or for the entire public sector, goods and services are purchased using one of the three procedures below:
Value of purchase Procedure

Step 2: Spot the Opportunities


GeBZ (www.gebiz.gov.sg) is the Singapore Governments one-stop business centre, where suppliers can transact electronically with all public sector agencies. The GeBZ website displays all opportunities for quotations, open tenders and selective tenders.

Up to S$3,000

Direct Purchase or off-the-shelf.

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S$3,001 S$70,000 Quotation posted openly on the Government e-Business (GeBZ) website. A Step-by-Step in Singapore Doing business Guide to Government Procurement

n addition, GeBZ shows the Governments pre-procurement plan, which is a listing of potential procurements worth S$200,000 and above that the public sector is likely to conduct in the next six months. Although the pre-procurement plan is merely indicative, it can serve as a useful aid for potential suppliers. Specifically, it gives you lead-time to source for your own supplies and to prepare your proposals. Because the contact details of the officer responsible for procurement in each case are provided, you may also wish to contact him/her to seek clarification in advance.
Viewing business opportunities on GeBIZ is free of charge, and you need not be a registered user to view. However, you will need to be registered as a GeBIZ Trading Partner before responding to any of the tender opportunities.

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A Step-by-Step in Singapore Doing business Guide to Government Procurement

Tender One of three types of tender may be called: Open tender A tender notice is posted on GeBZ inviting any supplier to bid. Selective tender Used for purchases with sophisticated requirements, this is a two-stage procedure: A pre-qualification exercise is conducted to shortlist applicants based on their capabilities. Shortlisted applicants are then invited to submit their tenders. Limited tender Such tenders are used when the project involves national security, or when open tenders are impractical (for instance, for works of art). Limited tenders are by invitation only.

Above S$70,000

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Step 3: Register as a GeBIZ Trading Partner


To supply goods and services to the Singapore Government, you need to register as a GeBZ Trading Partner. Registration is free for the first account, while each additional account costs S$280 per year as at 1 April 2007. Online registration is straightforward and may be done at www.gebiz.gov.sg

The benefits of registering as a GeBZ Trading Partner are shown in the table below:
Function Not registered as a GeBIZ Trading Partner Registered GeBIZ Trading Partner

View government pre-procurement plan View tender notices, schedules and awards View qualification notices and schedules View auction notices View requests for information View related corrigenda View quotation notices and brief descriptions of quotation awards

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

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A Step-by-Step in Singapore Doing business Guide to Government Procurement

The advantages of registering as a GeBZ Trading Partner include: unlimited access to S$10 billion worth of business opportunities each year ability to receive purchase orders and submit invoices electronically access to information on your competitors goods and pricing ability to advertise your capabilities on GeBZ Mall, an electronic catalogue that is browsed by approximately 12,500 users daily.
As a GeBIZ Trading Partner, you will be able to enjoy free listing for the first 10 items. The listing of your products and services can then be viewed by government buyers.

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A Step-by-Step in Singapore Doing business Guide to Government Procurement

Download tender documents View quotation notices and details of awards Submit quotations and tender submissions electronically Access all archived notices, schedules and awards Receive electronic purchase orders Receive email notifications when purchase orders are issued Submit electronic invoice View payment status Use of GeBZ Mall

For certain tenders, it may also be necessary for you to register as a Government Supplier or as a Building & Construction Authoritys Supplier.

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The table below indicates what must be done before tendering for the Singapore Government tender:
Must be a GeBIZ Trading Partner Quotations Tenders for goods and services Tenders for construction services 3 3 Must be a Government Registered Supplier 3 (for most tenders) Must be a BCARegistered Supplier

Registration under each Head of Supply may be for one of the financial grades shown below. The financial grade determines the maximum tender value (Tendering Capacity) that a business is eligible to bid for. n order to qualify for a particular financial grade, your business must satisfy the minimum Net Tangible Assets1 as well as Turnover/Sales/Revenue required for that particular financial grade. These are shown in the table below.

Financial Grade 3 3 S2 S3

Tendering Capacity (S$) 100,000 250,000 500,000 1,000,000 3,000,000 5,000,000 10,000,000 >10,000,000

Required Net Tangible Assets (S$) 5,000 12,500 25,000 50,000 150,000 250,000 500,000 1,500,000

Required Turnover/ Sales/ Revenue (S$) 100,000 250,000 500,000 1,000,000 3,000,000 5,000,000 10,000,000 >10,000,000 Paid-up capital must be at least S$1,500,000 >15,000,000 Paid-up capital must be at least $2,000,000

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A Step-by-Step in Singapore Doing business Guide to Government Procurement

Step 3a: Register as a Government Supplier


Business entities wishing to tender for the supply of goods and/or services to the public sector (i.e. Government Ministries/Departments, nstitutions, Statutory Boards, and other public sector organisations) may be required to have valid Government Supplier registration as one of the evaluation criteria for the tender. f Government Supplier registration is required for any particular tender, it will be stated in the tender notice and documentation. Although Government Supplier registration is not compulsory for bidding of tenders, most tenders may require suppliers to have valid Government Supplier registration in order to qualify. Such requirement is to equip the government agency with information on the suppliers who are being assessed. For example, the Singapore Government will generally ask for financial resources information to ascertain capabilities before awarding the contract. Since 28th October 2005, the Singapore Government has best sourced the provision of Government Supplier services to DP Bureau Pte Ltd. Registration may be done at www.gebiz.gov.sg. You must first register as a GeBZ Trading Partner before registering as a Government Supplier. The Government Supplier registration has different categories of goods and services, each of which is referred to by the term Head of Supply. Depending on the types of goods and services your company provides, your business will come under a particular Head of Supply; for example, Advertising and Graphics Services, Survey Services, or Communication and Navigation Systems.

S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9

S10

>30,000,000

4,500,000

Government Supplier Registration Processing Fees


The processing fee is S$45 for one Head of Supply, and S$90 for two or more Heads of Supply (all fees are inclusive of GST).

Validity Period
Once approved, registration is valid for up to 3 years, depending on your ability to meet the registration criteria.
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For Companies, NTA is the sum of paid-up capital, revenue reserves, preference/ premium shares plus accumulated profit or less accumulated losses.

For Businesses, NTA is the sum of cash in the working capital/partners account that is currently allocated for the applicants business under reference, plus profit or less total liabilities (i.e. accumulated losses or withdrawals). For newly formed Companies/Businesses, NTA is based on the paid-up capital or cash in the working capital/partners account.

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Step 3b: Register as a BCA Supplier for ConstructionRelated Tenders


The Building & Construction Authority (BCA) is a statutory board of the Singapore Government. One of its roles is to register suppliers of construction and engineering services. t is essential for you to register as a BCA Supplier if you wish to participate in construction or construction-related projects for the Singapore Government. For all such projects, suppliers must be BCA-registered unless otherwise specified in the tender.

Step 3c: Register as a Public Sector Panel of Consultants for consultancy services for public sector building and construction projects
The Public Sector Panel of Consultants was set up for public sector procurement of building and construction consultancy services. Registration as a Public Sector Panel of Consultants is under the purview of the Building & Construction Authority (BCA). It is not mandatory to join the Public Sector Panel of Consultants if your company does not participate in public sector building and construction consultancy tenders. Often, government agencies will call for an Expression of nterest (EO) for consultancy tenders from companies listed in the Public Sector Panel of Consultants. The shortlisted companies will then be allowed to proceed to tender. Registration as a GeBZ Trading Partner is not a prerequisite for registration with the BCA. However, note that you will need to be a registered GeBZ Trading Partner in order to submit your quotations or tenders through GeBZ. There are five disciplines (i.e. categories) that may be applied for: Architectural, Civil & Structural, Mechanical & Electrical, Quantity Surveying and Project Management. Each discipline has 4 panels that are classified into various project value banding except for Project Management, which has only 2 panels. The registration of the panels is determined by the companys track record and the number of professionals in the company. Registration requirements, application forms and information on processing fees are available on the website. The processing fees as at March 2007 range from S$30 to S$120, depending on the type of panel applied for. However, the processing fees may be revised from time to time and interested companies are advised to check the BCA website for any updates.

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A Step-by-Step in Singapore Doing business Guide to Government Procurement

Once your business is entered into the BCA Contractors Registry, you will be prequalified for specific categories of works. Other government departments intending to procure services for construction-related projects will also refer to the Contractors Registry. n some cases, they may conduct a further pre-qualification exercise. Registration as a GeBZ Trading Partner is not a prerequisite for registration with the BCA. However, note that you will need to be a registered GeBZ Trading Partner in order to submit your quotations or tenders through GeBZ. There are six major groups of registration heads (i.e. categories) that may be applied for: Construction Workheads, Construction Related Workheads, Mechanical & Electrical Workheads, Supply Workheads, Maintenance Workheads and Regulatory Workheads. Registration requirements, application forms and information on processing fees are available on the website. Processing fees as at December 2006 range from S$540 to S$3,600, depending on the workheads applied for, and registration is valid for a period of 3 years. The processing fees may be revised from time to time and interested companies are advised to check the BCAs website for any updates.

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A Step-by-Step in Singapore Doing business Guide to Government Procurement

Benefits of registering as a Government Supplier, BCA Registered Supplier and Public Sector Panels of Consultants
The Government Registration organisations help to reduce the administrative work for you when you bid for different government projects. nstead of undergoing an evaluation and registration process every time you respond to a tender, you need only submit relevant financial documents once to the relevant Government Registration Authority. Once registered, the Singapore Government maintains a record of your business, thus enabling your business to participate in tenders called by any public sector agency, according to the appropriate financial grade and Head of Supply/Panel (for building & construction consultants).
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Step 4: Submit Your Bid


Once you are registered as a GeBZ Trading Partner, you may respond to quotations and tenders. Note that certain tenders may also require you to be a registered Government Supplier or BCA Supplier or Public Sector Panel of Consultants. Before submitting your bid, it is essential to read carefully all the conditions and requirements of the quotation or tender. While the detailed conditions will differ from contract to contract, certain basic conditions are fairly typical. b. Withholding Tax Foreign companies whose services are performed in Singapore are taxed at approximately 20 per cent. However, the evidence of double taxation agreement between Australia and Singapore means that you will not be taxed twice on the same income. t is always advisable to seek confirmation of your tax obligations. The nland Revenue Authority of Singapore website is www.iras.gov.sg c. GST (Goods and Services Tax) GST has increased to 7 per cent, effective from 1 July 2007. However, it is not applicable to foreign companies. d. Lump Sum Tender Lump sum pricing is often requested in tenders. e. Validity Period Your tender offer will usually be valid for 90 days unless otherwise specified in the tender documents. f. Volume Commitment For procurement of goods, a minimum volume commitment is usually stated.

Typical Conditions of Contract 3 1


A Step-by-Step in Singapore Doing business Guide to Government Procurement

a. Security Deposit As a successful tenderer, you may be required to provide a security deposit. The amount of the security deposit would have been indicated in the tender document. The table below serves as a guide on the amount of security deposit usually required.

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A Step-by-Step in Singapore Doing business Guide to Government Procurement

Goods/Services contracts up to S$500,000 Amount of security deposit Waived

Goods/Services contracts over S$500,000 Generally 0%-5%

Construction contracts

Generally 0%-5%

You can provide the security deposit in the form of: Cheques nsurance performance bonds Bankers guarantees For deposits of up to S$300,000, a guarantee from an approved finance company. You will receive a refund of the security deposit or the balance due to you when the contract expires and all contractual obligations are completed satisfactorily. This will be in accordance with the terms of the contract.

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Important Tips
Read all instructions carefully, noting the detailed requirements. f you have any questions regarding the quotation/tender, contact the person in charge. His/her contact information will be stated in the tender notice. t is useful to be able to demonstrate a good track record of dealing with government agencies or government-linked organisations in Australia or elsewhere. t is advantageous to have a contact or representative in Singapore for any follow-up action.

Overview of the Bidding Process

Visit GeBZ at www.gebiz.gov.sg

View Quotation or Tender Opportunities

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A Step-by-Step in Singapore Doing business Guide to Government Procurement

You have to quote prices in Singapore currency, unless otherwise specified. Submit your bid through GeBZ. You might be allowed to submit hard copies of voluminous catalogues and supporting documents that are too large to be attached electronically. f so, this will be stated in the nstructions to Tenderers. But note that even if you have submitted hardcopy items, you must still submit your bid for the tender through GeBZ. Before submitting, check that your prices are correct. Bids can be prepared and saved in GeBZ. Even after submission, bids can be retrieved and amended, so long as the tender has not yet closed. However, no changes whatsoever are allowed after the tender closes. Submit your offer a day before the tender closes so as to avoid a last-minute rush. Late submissions will not be accepted under any circumstances. (Time is as reflected on GeBZ.) This is to ensure equal treatment of all bidders. Check that you have received a system-generated response number. Keep a printout of this as evidence that you have successfully submitted your bid.

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A Step-by-Step in Singapore Doing business Guide to Government Procurement Exit
No

Bid?

Yes

Already registered as a GeBZ Trading Partner?


Yes

No

Register as a GeBIZ Trading Partner

Already registered as Government Supplier?

Yes

Government Supplier Registration Required?

No

No

BCA Registration Required?

Yes

Already registered as a BCA Supplier?

Yes

No

Register as a Government Supplier

No

Registered as a BCA Supplier

Yes

Submit Bid through GeBIZ

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A Winning Streak
Winning Government tenders in Singapore is not difficult for companies that do their homework and offer value for money. t is also a way for businesses to boost their reputation in the region. Box Hill nstitute (BH) is one of Australias premier Technical and Further Education nstitutes offering a broad range of vocational education and training services. With help from Austrade, BH managed to clinch three major tenders from Singapores Workforce Development Agency (WDA).

How your bid is evaluated


Value for money is a key consideration in evaluating bids. However, note that the project is not necessarily awarded to the lowest bid. For tenders, evaluation follows strictly the criteria set out in the tender document. Such criteria are divided into: Critical criteria, which must be fulfilled in order for you to be eligible for award. Non-critical criteria, which are optional. All tender bids undergo a 2-stage evaluation:
A Step-by-Step Guide to Government Procurement

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A Step-by-Step in Singapore Doing business Guide to Government Procurement

Community & Social Services Project Since October 2005, BH has been developing a national framework for training in the community services sector in Singapore. This project involves BH working with the WDA to establish best practices for the Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) system. The success of this project will ensure a higher level of employability and greater industry commitment at all levels of training for workers in the community services sector. Service Excellence Project BH was also appointed consultant on WDAs Service Excellence Project. BHs role was to develop a Service Excellence Training Approach as part of the WSQ system. The project commenced in February 2006 and has since been completed. t will enable Singapore to upgrade skills and service levels across various service sectors. Process Industries Project BHs latest project for WDA began in March 2007. t involves helping WDA to develop a competency map and, eventually, competency standards as part of the WSQ system for the process cluster in Singapore. The cluster includes the manufacturing and construction industries. These successful tenders have increased Box Hills capacity to deliver projects in other countries as well.

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A Step-by-Step in Singapore Doing business Guide to Government Procurement

A Tender Evaluation Committee (TEC) comprising procurement officers, representatives from the end-user departments, and technical specialists, will evaluate your offer. Besides pricing, the TEC evaluates if your offer complies with all the specifications stipulated in the tender document. A Tender Approving Authority (TAA) then considers the recommendations of the TEC. The TAA comprises at least 3 senior officers. There is no overlap in membership between the TEC and the TAA. The TAA may decide to: Award the tender to one or more tenderers, Not award the tender, or Abort the tender. Once a tender is approved, an award notice is published on GeBZ to inform all tenderers of the outcome. The award notice includes the name of the successful tenderer(s) and the contract sum.

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Cruising through the tender process


Fast patrol boats, rescue craft and high-speed ferries are among the vessels made by Strategic Marine, an innovative company based in Henderson, Western Australia. One of the first in the world to use aluminium for boats, Strategic Marine designs and produces service vessels for a number of industries, including commercial shipping and fishing. The Singapore Coastguard, the Malaysian Police, and the Australian Defence Force number among this companys impressive client list.

Registering your Business in Singapore


Under SAFTA, Australian businesses are treated like Singaporean businesses for the purposes of Government projects. There is thus no requirement for you to register your business in Singapore before bidding for Singapore Government projects. However, for practical reasons such as ease of communicating with your clients, you may find it more effective to establish an operational presence in Singapore. f so, a decision will have to be made as to the type of business entity to establish in Singapore.

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A Step-by-Step in Singapore Doing business Guide to Government Procurement

Strategic Marine has designed and constructed over 100 Fast Patrol Vessels, including 60 exported to Singapore and 15 to Malaysia. These vessels range in size from 11 metres to 50 metres and have speeds of up to 52 knots. Managing Director nternational Business, Ron Anderson, explains that Strategic Marine provides a turnkey service in ship building and repair. Weve developed construction techniques that not only improve the quality of the vessels we construct, but also reduce production costs. Strategic Marine has three shipbuilding facilities: in Australia, Singapore, and a new, wholly owned subsidiary in Vietnam. Over 95 per cent of our production goes to international clients now, notes Mr Anderson, and the company has had strong sales into Singapore recently. Austrade were a great support for us here, particularly in the pre- and post-tender periods. He says that any government project is challenging. Theres a lot to gain if you win a tender, and a lot to lose if you dont. To be successful your product should be homegrown and tested in the domestic market before you go off-shore. He adds that quality is absolutely critical when tendering for government. Mr Anderson says that the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), which came into effect in July 2003, really opened up the government procurement market in Singapore. t is all so much easier now after SAFTA.

Representative Office
A Representative Office (RO) is a temporary business facility for foreign businesses to explore business opportunities in Singapore before investing in a full-fledged business outfit. While ROs enjoy advantages such as minimal reporting requirements and exemption from Singapore income taxes, it should be noted that they are not legal entities and are not permitted to engage in commercial activities. A RO should remain small in size, otherwise it should be upgraded and incorporated as a legal entity.

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A Step-by-Step in Singapore Doing business Guide to Government Procurement

Limited Liability Partnership


A Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) provides owners the affordability and flexibility of operating as a partnership with the limited liability of a private limited company. There are however legal safeguards to protect parties who deal with a LLP, and such safeguards may result in certain conditions to fulfil. A LLP is regarded as a legal person and body corporate with its own separate legal personality. t requires at least two partners and one manager. The partners may be individuals, companies (local or foreign) or other LLPs, while the manager must be above 21 years old and either a Singapore citizen, permanent resident or a holder of an Employment or Dependent Pass.

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Useful Contacts
Company Incorporated in Singapore
A company may be either a Private Company or a Public Company and may be limited by shares or by guarantee. A company has a legal personality and the right to own property. t can sue or be sued. ts shareholders hold limited liability for debts and losses, and its profits are taxed at corporate tax rates. (Singapore tax rates may be viewed at www.iras.gov.sg)

Austrade
Phone: 13 28 78 (Australia only) Email: info@austrade.gov.au Website: www.austrade.gov.au

BCA Supplier/ Public Sector Panels of Consultants enquires


Phone: +65 6221 2242 Fax: + 6324 0346 Email: bca_enquiry@bca.gov.sg Website: www.bca.gov.sg

Singapore Branch 3 1
A Step-by-Step in Singapore Doing business Guide to Government Procurement

A Singapore Branch (SB) of a foreign company is deemed an extension of its overseas Head Office. An SBs liabilities are hence the liabilities of the Head Office. t may be liable for certain taxes such as Corporate Tax and Goods and Services Tax. From the time of registration, the SB must have a minimum of two local agents who are individuals ordinarily resident in Singapore. A foreigner can serve as an agent of an SB if he/she obtains an Employment Pass or Approval-n-Principle letter from the Work Pass Division of Singapores Ministry of Manpower. An agent is answerable for all acts and matters required of the foreign company under Singapore law. He/she is personally liable for any penalties if the foreign company contravenes any such requirements.

Austrade Singapore Office


Phone: +65 6418 8400 Fax: +65 6734 4265 Email: singapore@austrade.gov.au

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Useful Contacts Doing business in Singapore

Government Procurement enquiries


Email: mof_pdg_secy@mof.gov.sg

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade


Phone: +61 2 6261 3746 or +61 2 6261 3406 Fax: +61 2 6261 1304 Website: www.dfat.gov.au

Business Registration enquiries


Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority Phone: +65 6248 6028 Fax: +65 6225 1676 Website: www.acra.gov.sg

Joint Venture
A Joint Venture may take the form of equity investment in a company or a partnership. Joint Ventures are governed by the joint venture agreements and by the laws governing companies or partnerships.

Singapore Government GeBIZ Trading Partner enquires


GeBZ Service Centre Phone: +65 6274 5717 Fax: +65 6274 1321 Email: GeBZ@d-s-t-a.gov.sg Website: www.gebiz.gov.sg

Investing in Singapore
Economic Development Board Phone: +65 6832 6832 Fax: +65 6832 6565 Website: www.edb.gov.sg

Different business entities enjoy different advantages and are subject to different reporting and taxation requirements. For more information on the various business entities, please refer to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (www.acra.gov.sg).

Representative Office Government Supplier Registration enquiries


DP Bureau Pte Ltd Phone: +65 6738 1900 Fax: +65 6738 8982 Email: officer@dpgroup.com.sg nternational Enterprise Singapore Phone: +65 6337 6628 Website: www.iesingapore.com

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fta.gov.au is a one-stop online resource that offers a wealth of practical information to help Australian businesses understand and take advantage of Australias completed FTAs.

39 | Selling to the Singapore Government: A guide for business