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Competitive Bidding Requirements
To ensure competitive pricing and cost-effective procurement of goods and services, competitive bids must be obtained on purchases with an anticipated cost of $5,000 or greater. If a Department anticipates spending over $5,000 on a single product or product category within one fiscal year, the entire order should be competitively bid as a whole, regardless of whether the order is received as a whole or in separate pieces over the year.
Price quotations from at least three vendors must be obtained by the requisitioning department or by Purchasing for the purchase of items with an anticipated cost of $5,000 or greater. If the bids are obtained by the requesting department, a purchase requisition should be submitted to initiate the issuance of a purchase order. Copies of the bids, with the requisition number noted thereon, should be forwarded to Purchasing when the requisition is created.
Departments may also request Purchasing's help in obtaining required competitive bids. To initiate the bid process by Purchasing, the requisitioning department should forward complete specifications for the needed goods or services to the Purchasing Agent. The Purchasing Agent, in conjunction with the requisitioning department, will issue a Request for Proposal (RFP), analyze the responses, and award the bid based on compliance with the specifications, expected product quality, delivery price and institutional purchasing objectives. After a vendor has been selected, a purchase requisition must be submitted by the requisitioning department to initiate a purchase order.
Bidding requirements include, but are not limited to:
- Individual capital equipment items including all features and related components which comprise a single functional unit but excluding optional attachments or external peripheral devices.
- Annual service or maintenance contracts covering a single unit or a number of similar units.
- Annual quantity purchases of a specific commodity or supply item (e.g., lab supplies, chemicals, and maintenance supplies).
If a product or service is available only from a single source making it impossible to obtain three competitive bids, a sole source form in lieu of bids must be completed and then approved by the appropriate authority within the department and by Purchasing. The sole source form should be forwarded to Purchasing with the requisition number noted thereon, when the requisition is created to initiate the order.
The requisitioning department is responsible for defining product specifications including model, characteristics, service level, and other details describing the product/service to be purchased.