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Competitive Bidding Guidelines

I. PURPOSE

To outline responsibilities and procedures for the solicitation of bids and proposals, and the award of University purchasing contracts commensurate with the needs of the requisitioning individual and consistent with University policy and federal regulations.

II. RESPONSIBILITIES AND PROCEDURES

A.Good business practice and the responsibility for the expenditure of University funds dictate that the University follows a policy of obtaining competitive bids/quotations. In so far as practicable, purchases shall be made on the basis of competitive prices, considering quality, suitability, delivery and service. University policy requires acceptance of the best bid, prices and other factors considered.

B.The following minimum guidelines have been established to promote competitive bidding. Requisitioners should realize that these are minimum requirements and that bids should be solicited, whenever the item(s) can be purchased from several different, responsible suppliers. Upon request Purchasing Services will assist departments in locating potential suppliers and obtaining pricing and product availability information.

Not to Exceed $5,000 No Quotes Required
$5,000.01 - $25,000 Minimum 2 Verbal Quotes
Over $25,000 Minimum 3 Written Quotes

C. To insure objectivity and eliminate unfair competitive advantage, suppliers who participate in the development or drafting of specifications, requirements, request for quotes, or requests for proposals should be excluded from competing for business related to their participation.

To avoid potential conflicts of interest, no employee, officer, or agent of the University should participate in the selection, award, or administration of purchases or contracts where to his or her knowledge the employee, immediate family, or partner has a financial interest in the supplier's organization.

For more information regarding conflicts of interest, see Conflict of Interest, University Purchasing Policy 1.D.

D. Bid Levels

1. No Quotes Required Not To Exceed $5,000

Purchasing may solicit bids when it is determined by the Director of Purchasing Services to be in the best interest of the University.

2. Verbal Quotations $5,000.01 - $25,000

a. All purchases over $5,000.00 but not exceeding $25,000.00 require at least two (2), and preferably three (3) quotations from responsible vendors. The quotations may be in writing, via telephone, or via facsimile. If by telephone, a complete record of the transaction must be maintained, to include, as a minimum, the following for each supplier contacted, including suppliers from whom quotes were solicited, but did not bid or respond:


1. Supplier Name
2. Quoted By (Name)
3. Date of Quotation
4. Quoted Price

b. Requisitioners may directly solicit bids or request that Purchasing Services solicits bids and provides a tabulation of bids for the requisitioner's review and evaluation.

c. If the low bid is found unacceptable because of some factual circumstance, the department head or principal investigator should write a clear, concise, and factual justification for not accepting the lowest bid.

3. Written Quotations Over $25,000

a. All purchases over $25,000.00 require at least three (3) quotations from responsible vendors. The quotations may be in writing or via facsimile.

b. Requisitioners may directly solicit bids substantively following the guidelines in paragraphs 3.c through 3.h below, or request that Purchasing Services solicits bids and provides a summary and copies of quotes for the requisitioner's review and evaluation.

c. Documentation for purchases over $25,000 shall include the following:

1. Copy of the "Request for Bids" or the letter soliciting quotes.
2. Names and contact persons for suppliers solicited.
3. Copy of quotes from all responsive suppliers.
4. Basis for supplier selection and award price.
5.Justification for lack of competition when competitive bids were not obtained (see Sole Source Purchasing, Purchasing Manual 3.C).

d. Solicitations for quotes or proposals shall set forth all requirements that the bidder must fulfill for his or her bid to be evaluated by the University. Solicitations should be based upon a clear and accurate description of the technical requirements.

1.Complete information should be provided including, but not limited to, quantity, description, delivery requirement, special conditions, drawings, specifications, bid due date and time, etc.


2.Specifications or requirements should not unduly restrict competition.


3.Whenever a "brand name or equal" description is used to define performance or other salient requirement, the specific features of the named brand must be clearly specified.

e. When evaluating quotes, consideration may be given, but not necessarily limited to some or all of the following:

1. Price
2. Bidder's previous record of performance and service.
3. Ability of bidder to render satisfactory service in this instance (i.e., training, maintenance and repairs).
4. Availability of bidder's representative to call upon and consult with the end users.
5. Quality and conformance to specifications.
6. Delivery Schedule
7. Life Expectancy
8. Warranty
9. Disposal Value

f. If the low bid is found unacceptable because of some factual circumstance, the cognizant principal investigator or department manager should write a clear, concise and factual justification for selecting other than the low bid.

g. Unsuccessful vendors shall be notified that the bid is closed and awarded. It is not necessary to note the successful bidder.

h. The University reserves the right to reject any bids, waive informalities and award the contract in the best interests of the University.

III. EXCEPTIONS

Exceptions to Bid Guidelines, University Purchasing Policy, 3.B.

IV. RELATED ITEMS

Purchasing Authority (University Purchasing Policy, 1.A)
Conflict of Interest (University Purchasing Policy, 1.D)
Large Purchases - Requisitions (University Purchasing Policy, 2.C)
Exceptions to Bid Guidelines (University Purchasing Policy, 3.B)
Sole Source Purchasing (University Purchasing Policy, 3.C)
University Purchasing Contracts (University Purchasing Policy, 4.C)
OMB Circular A-110 (University Purchasing Policy, 6.C)

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