The Ministry of Fisheries Science Team runs a long-established planning process to determine, in conjunction with stakeholders and subject to government policy, the future directions and priorities for fisheries research.
The Ministry has set an overall approach of specifying objectives for fisheries in Fisheries Plans and using these plans to develop associated implementation strategies and required services, including research. Until these Fisheries Plans have been developed, however, the Ministry will continue to need Research Planning Groups, and will evaluate research proposals with reference to strategic and policy documents using Medium Term Research Plans and the Priority Setting Standards.
The Research Planning Groups are open for all stakeholders to participate in formulating and evaluating research proposals. Following the meeting of the various Research Planning Groups, research proposals are forwarded to the Research Co-ordination Committee (RCC). The membership of the RCC consists of Approved Parties (for consultation on the nature and extent of required fisheries research services) and Ministry staff.
Contestability and tendering
Most fisheries research contracted by the Ministry of Fisheries is fully contestable. Contracts are awarded following the competitive tendering of projects. Fisheries projects are usually tendered in one of four predetermined tender rounds.
The evaluation process commences after each tender round closes. Evaluations and negotiations occur after a tender round closes and may overlap with the periods in which tenders are invited. The Ministry’s cost recovery obligations mean that consultation with commercial stakeholders will be required on projects if:
- Objectives are added to or deleted from a project;
- Projects are significantly delayed; or
- Costs are significantly different to estimates.
Any projects proposed to be withdrawn will be consulted with all stakeholders.
Projects will be awarded when consultation and negotiations are complete.
Contracts will be awarded to the tenderer who, in the opinion of the Ministry, is best able to provide the required service. Submission Information & Instructions provides details of the tender evaluation process and the evaluation criteria. Click this link to see "Research opportunities"
Reviewing research outcomes
The Ministry’s Science team runs technical Working Groups as required to review the outcomes of research relevant to fisheries management. These Working Groups provide a peer review process to ensure that the scientific analysis of information used as a basis for fisheries management is robust. The Working Groups determine the status of fish stocks and assess alternative management scenarios, but do not make management recommendations or decisions.
Working Groups are open to all who are prepared to agree to the terms of reference, including protocols for dealing with confidential and draft working papers.
Each Working Group has a forum website
to streamline sharing documents and minutes of meetings produced. These forum websites are accessible to Working Group participants only.