Financial Affairs


Described below are bidding processes for purchases or contracts over $25,000. If you have any questions please contact Procurement Services.



Purchases of goods or services (including contracts and master agreements) with an actual or estimated value over $25,000, the department must conduct a competitive bid (e.g. a $30,000 contract with three payments of $10,000 each is subject to the competitive bidding requirement). 

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

Guidelines for All Competitive Bids

When conducting a competitive bid, the following must occur:

Common Questions

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

Formal Processes

A Request for Proposals (RFP) is a formal document that signifies to vendors the university’s intent to enter into a larger or more complex contract.  RFPs may be prepared in conjunction with Procurement and should include:

Evaluation of proposals should be conducted by a small, knowledgeable group such as the functional owners, impacted departments, Procurement, etc.  The use of a grid or checklist that reflects the evaluation criteria included in the RFP is recommended.  Factors such as past performance, capacity and qualifications to perform the work, warranty conditions, and/or maintenance availability may be considered along with price as long as they are included in the RFP.

Templates include:

Procurement Involvement

Procurement can provide support to departments for conducting competitive bids, which may include assistance in researching and drafting documents, determining needs, identifying potential vendors, communicating with vendors throughout the process and negotiating contracts. 

Procurement involvement is recommended for most competitive bids.  Procurement staff have expertise in running bid processes and various industries that can help to ensure the bid is properly conducted and able to stand up to scrutiny.

Documentation of Competitive Bids

For competitive bids that result in a purchase order or master agreement, documentation is required to be shared with Procurement.  This includes:

Competitive Bidding Exemptions

Competitive bidding is not required for the following:

Procurement must agree with the department’s justification of an exemption above in order for it to be considered compliant with this policy. 

In addition to the above exemptions, Procurement may exempt a competitive bid.  In doing so, Procurement will review the department’s request and determine if a bid will not provide value.  In preparing their request, the department should include justification as to why a bid is not necessary (e.g. how does the university know the price is competitive, service levels are high, an analysis of competition, switch out cost vs. benefit, etc.) as well as the projected value of the purchase or contract.

In some cases, Procurement may defer exempting a bid and instead ask an executive office to determine if it should be granted.  Executive officers, or their delegates, may also chose to exempt purchases from competitive bidding.


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