Major Purchases - $100,000 and Over

Formal competitive bidding is required for purchases $100,000 and over. Some of the most common types of competitive solicitation methods, which will be referred to as “RFx”, include Request for Proposals and Request for Quotes. The Department Sponsor must consult the Procurement Office to initiate the competitive bidding process. The Procurement Manager will help the Department Sponsor determine the best method of procurement and prepare the necessary documentation to issue to potential vendors.

A Request for Information (RFI) is an optional process that occurs before the Request for Proposal (RFP) to gather information when you aren’t entirely sure what the Scope of Work is.┬áThe RFI is not required, however, it may be beneficial as part of the Competitive Bidding Process. Issuing an RFI can help the Department Sponsor narrow down potential vendors and eliminate vendors that will not meet the required specifications of a project. The RFI will also notify vendors about the RFP opportunity.

The Request for Proposal (RFP) process is used when you are seeking a solution to a problem and the Scope of Work isn’t well defined. Issuing an RFP allows vendors to provide unique solutions in an organized manner by standardizing how those solutions are submitted. RFPs are adaptable and can be tailored to specific projects and Department needs. Although the Procurement Manager will facilitate the process, the Department decides the Scope of Work and the criteria in which the vendor responses will be assessed.

If the Procurement Manager and the Department Sponsor select an RFP for the desired procurement method, an “RFP team” will be created that includes the stakeholders most affected by the resulting contract. This RFP team will evaluate and decide which vendor is awarded the contract.

A Request for Quote (RFQ) is used to invite specific vendors to submit a bid. This procurement method is used when the Scope of Work is well defined and the exact specifications are known. Although similar to a Request for Proposal (RFP), the RFQ mainly focuses on pricing. All vendors invited to participate in the RFQ must be qualified.