Financial Affairs


Preferred Vendors

Competitive Bidding

Commodity Types
Training Programs

For any purchases of goods or services over $25,000, a competitive bid must be conducted and the basis for the vendor selection documented. The $25,000 amount encompasses all costs that may occur during the term of the contract (e.g. not a smaller subset of the contract).

A competitive bid can be obtained through one of the following methods:

Obtaining Quotes
Quotes are generally obtained when purchasing a product or service that is fairly straightforward (e.g. furniture orders, common consulting requests, etc). The department may call prospective vendors and ask for a quote or review material in catalogs or online. The RFQ template provides a framework for departments when requesting quotes. In general, at least three quotes should be obtained to ensure that best pricing/service is received.

Conducting an RFP Process
An RFP is generally conducted for large, complex purchases (e.g. selecting a vendor to handle the university's banking services, complex consulting relationship or purchases that impact multiple areas of the university). A typical RFP process includes:

An RFP template is available for department use and Procurement Services has past RFPs available to serve as guides.

Role of Procurement Services
Procurement Services assists departments by being the expert in the selection process, while departments remain the experts in determining their needs and which vendor can best meet them. Specifically, Procurement can:

Purchases made from preferred vendors are exempt from the competitive bid process. Additionally, exceptions may be approved by Procurement Services prior to purchase, in the following situations:

To request an exemption from the bid process, the Competitive Bid Exemption Waiver Memo must be completed and returned to Procurement Services.

Purchases that fall under a master service agreement are also exempt from this process, so long as the master service agreement was bid. A copy of the master service agreement should be on file with Procurement Services.

Common Questions
When conducting a bid ask questions to better understand their products/services. Common question examples include, but are not limited to:

A variety of external resources are available to assist when evaluating a potential company. These include: