60.11 - Requests for Bids (RFBs)

Last updated November 5, 2007

A. General. The issuance of Requests for Bids (RFB) is a method of soliciting offers from vendors in a sealed process in order to establish pricing, specification or performance standards, and the terms and conditions for the purchase of goods and services. [rev. 11-07]

B. Procedure. For purchases totaling more than $50,000 per order, a RFB must be used. Purchasing Services has the sole responsibility for issuing RFBs. To the extent possible, quotations must be solicited from a minimum of three responsible and responsive vendors in a fair and ethical process. Vendor's responses to RFB's must be made on the University's bid form and must be completed, executed, and submitted in accordance with the instructions of the bid document.

B-1. Solicitation of Bids. Purchasing Services shall ensure adequate RFBs are prepared which clearly define the goods or services needed in order for bidders to properly respond to the request. Such RFBs shall include:

  1. Clearly defined specifications for the purchase of goods or a statement of work to be performed for the purchase of services.
  2. University's General Terms and Conditions [See APM 60.06].
  3. Required delivery or completion schedule.
  4. Any solicitation statements required by state or federal agencies.
  5. Any other provisions, procedures, or statements, as deemed necessary by Purchasing Services.

B-2. Standard Specifications. Specifications contained in the RFB will, where practical, be non-restrictive so as to provide an equal basis for competition and participation by an optimum number of qualified bidders. Unless otherwise stated, reference to any equipment, material or supplies by trade name, make, or catalog number shall be regarded as establishing a standard of quality and shall not be construed as limiting competition. The final decision as to whether an item is an equivalent or a satisfactory alternate shall rest with Purchasing Services [See APM 60.46].

  1. RFB Timing. RFBs shall allow sufficient time (no less than ten (10) calendar days) to permit prospective bidders to prepare and submit bids.

B-3. Addendums to RFBs. If, after the issuance of a RFB, but before the time set for submitting bids, it is necessary to amend any part of the RFB, such information shall be sent to each firm to whom a RFB has been furnished in the form of an addendum with sufficient time to permit all prospective bidders to consider such information in submitting or modifying their bids. In addition, any information given to a prospective bidder concerning a RFB must be furnished promptly to all other prospective bidders, as an addendum to the RFB, if such information is necessary to bidders in submitting bids.

B-4. Late Bids. Bids that do not arrive in time for a bid opening will not be considered and will be returned to the sender, unopened, with a letter explaining that the bid response was received too late for consideration.

B-5. Bid Modification or Withdrawal. Bids may be modified or withdrawn by written notice received in Purchasing Services no later than the exact time set for submittal. Any modification or request for withdrawal of bids received after the stated bid submittal time will not be considered.

B-6. Opening of Bids. At the place, date and time set forth in the RFB, all bids received in accordance with the bid submittal requirements in the RFB shall be publicly opened and read aloud to those persons present by the Buyer.

B-7. Evaluation of Bids. Award should be made to the lowest responsive, responsible vendor whose offering meets the following criteria:

  1. The lowest price.
  2. Conformity to the specifications or minimum acceptable requirements of the RFB.
  3. Agreement to the University's terms and conditions as described within the RFB.
  4. The ability, capacity, and skill of the vendor to perform the contract or provide the service required.
  5. Ability of the vendor to perform contractual obligations within the time specified.
  6. The vendor's compliance with laws relating to the contract for the goods or services.
  7. Such other information as may be secured having a bearing on the decision to award the contract.
  8. Bidders may be requested to furnish to the Purchasing Services' Manager acceptable evidence of their ability to perform, such as firm commitments by subcontractors, equipment, supplies and facilities, and to show their ability to obtain the necessary personnel.

B-8. Rejection of Bids. The UI reserves the right to accept or reject bids on each item separately or as a whole, to reject any or all bids, to waive irregularities or informalities and to contract in the best interest of the University.

B-9.Bid Review Memo. It is the Buyer's responsibility to evaluate all bids received and to determine the apparent successful bidder. A bid review memo shall be completed and sent to the requester as a method of advising them of the status of their request as well as to solicit their concurrence with the Buyer's bid evaluation. In addition, if an additional technical evaluation is required, the bid review memo provides the requester the opportunity to assist in the evaluation of the bids.

B-10. Bid Solicitation Records. For each RFB issued by UI, Purchasing Services shall retain a record which should include a copy of the RFB, a list of all vendors who received the RFB, all vendor responses, and any other information prepared or received during the bid process. This record shall be available for public inspection.

C. Electronic Commerce. The use of electronic solicitation of bids may be used in circumstances that provide an open and fair competitive market. Purchasing Services' Manager may apply the use of such techniques as reverse auction, electronic posting, or electronic advertisement of solicitations as appropriate to the buying situation.[add. 11-07]

D. Award Basis. The contract will be awarded on the basis of the best bid as defined in these Policies, or as Purchasing Services’ Manager may determine to be in the best interests of the University. Award of contracts in excess of $250,000 may require the review and approval of the Executive Director of the Board of Regents or the Board of Regents itself [See APM 60.20]. [ren. 11-07]