Request for Tenders (RFT)

Request for Tenders (RFT) is an opportunity for potential suppliers to submit an offer to supply goods or services against a detailed tender. It is a formal, structured invitation to suppliers to submit a bid to supply products or services. It is a chance for potential suppliers to submit an offer to supply goods or services against a detailed tender. In the public sector, an official fee is needed to fortify and secure the tender bid engagement/win documents, such a process may be required and determined in detail by law to ensure that such competition for the use of public funds is open, fair, and free from bribery and nepotism. An RFT is used to procure the most cost-effective solution based upon evaluation criteria identified in the RFP.

Request for Tenders (RFT) is a formal request from an agency asking for offers from potential suppliers to supply clearly defined goods or services or works. Often there are highly technical requirements and a prescriptive solution. For example, a government may put a building project ‘out to tender’; that is, publish an invitation for other parties to make a proposal for the building’s construction, on the understanding that any competition for the relevant government contract must be conducted in response to the tender, no parties having the unfair advantage of separate, prior, closed-door negotiations for the contract. It is not unusual for a buyer to put out unclear or vague business needs in their RFT. This lack of clarity can make it harder for the supplier to propose a solution. An evaluation team will go through the tenders and decide who will get the contract.


RFTs may be distributed to potential bidders through a tender service, allowing businesses to receive and search live tenders from a range of public and private sources. In the public sector, where RFTs are most common, there are usually various rules dictating how they should be formatted and how responses should be evaluated. These alerts are most commonly sent daily and can be filtered down by geographical area, or by the business sector.

An RFT is procurement’s open invitation for suppliers to respond to a defined need—as opposed to a vague request. The closest equivalent to an RFT in the mainstream private sector is a request for proposal (RFP), which, since public money is not involved, typically has a less rigid structure.

An RFT is usually expected to conform to some legally standardized structure designed to ensure impartiality. It refers to the open invitation that is sent to the suppliers to respond to a defined need and not a request that is sent to potential suppliers. And the tender bid winner is entitled to take responsibility for the contract business supply documentation formalities and settle any tender bid engagement charges for official recording. This is a holistic document that does not only include information about products or/and services, but also the business.