60.12 - Requests for Proposals (RFP)

Last updated December 17, 2007

A. General. Request for Proposals(RFP) is a competitive bid process in which consideration is given to various factors, such as: price, quality, capability, terms and conditions, references, experience and/or expertise. Request for Proposals must be issued by Purchasing Services. [rev. 12-07]

B. Procedure. Purchasing Services shall ensure RFPs clearly define the goods and services needed in order for prospective vendors to properly respond to the request. To the extent possible, proposals will be solicited from a minimum of three responsible and responsive vendors in a fair and ethical process. Essential elements of a RFP shall include:[rev. 12-07]

  • A complete statement or description of the technical requirements including the materials, work or services required.
  • Delivery dates.[add. 12-07]
  • The terms and conditions of the contract to be awarded.
  • Instructions to vendors on participation along with a tentative schedule. [add. 12-07]
  • A clear explanation of the criteria which will be employed to evaluate the vendor responses.
  • Any solicitation statements required by state or federal agencies.
  • Any other provisions, procedures, or statements, as deemed necessary by Purchasing Services.

B-1. Proposal Preparation Time. The RFP shall allow sufficient time to permit prospective vendors to prepare and submit proposals.[rev. 12-07]

B-2. Addendums to RFPs. If, after the issuance of a RFP, but before the time set for submitting proposals, it is necessary to amend any part of the RFP, such information shall be sent to each firm to whom a RFP has been furnished in sufficient time to permit all prospective vendors to consider such information in submitting or modifying their proposals.[rev. 12-07]

B-3. Proposal Submittal. The RFP shall clearly state that proposals must be received by University Purchasing Services not later than the exact time and date set forth in the RFP. Any proposals received after such time and date will not be considered.

B-4. Proposal Modification or Withdrawal. Proposals may be modified or withdrawn at any time prior to the time and date set forth in the RFP; proposals may be modified after such time and date only with the approval of Purchasing Services’ Manager and for good cause shown by the vendor.

B-5. Evaluation. All proposals submitted in response to a RFP shall be evaluated numerically rating the evaluation criteria set forth in the RFP. Evaluation factors to be included in the RFP should include, as appropriate, the following factors:

  1. Prices offered.
  2. The quality of the work or items to satisfy minimum project needs.
  3. The proposed method to accomplish the work.
  4. Specialized experience and technical competence of key personnel who will perform the work.
  5. The business capabilities, responsibilities, references, and past performance of the vendors.
  6. The capacity to perform the work within the required time limits.
  7. The familiarity of the vendors with types of problems applicable to the project.
  8. The capability to explore and develop innovative or advanced techniques or designs.
  9. Any other factor identified by Purchasing Services and included in the RFP. [add. 12-07]

B-6. Evaluation Committee. All proposals submitted in response to an RFP shall be uniformly evaluated by a committee of appropriate staff persons to be designated and appointed by the requesting department in cooperation with Purchasing Services. If a member of the Evaluation Committee identifies any potential, actual or apparent conflict due to their membership on the committee, the individual shall recuse himself or herself from the Evaluation Committee.[rev. 12-07]

B-7. Classifying Proposals. For the purpose of conducting discussions, proposals shall initially be classified as: [rev. 12-07]

  1. Potentially acceptable;or[ren. 12-07]
  2. Unacceptable.[ren. 12-07]

B-8. Purpose of Discussion. Discussions with vendors may be held to: [rev. 12-07]

  1. Promote understanding of the University of Idaho's requirements and the vendors' proposals.[ed. 12-07]
  2. Facilitate arriving at the contract most advantageous to the University of Idaho's taking into consideration contract terms, price and other evaluation factors set forth in the RFP.[rev. 12-07]

B-9. Conduct of Discussions. Vendors shall be accorded fair and equal treatment with respect to any opportunity for discussions and revisions of proposals. The committee shall conduct discussions with the top rated vendors unless such discussions are not necessary, inappropriate or impractical and the RFP notified all vendors of the possibility the award may be made without discussion. Purchasing Services’ Manager shall establish procedures and schedules for conducting discussions. If during discussions, there is a need for any substantial clarification or change in the request for proposals, the RFP shall be amended to incorporate such clarification or change. Auction techniques (revealing one vendor’s price to another) and disclosure of any confidential information derived from competing proposals are prohibited. [rev. 12-07]

B-10. Best and Final Offers. Purchasing Services’ Manager shall establish a common date and time for the submission of best and final offers, if required. Best and final offers shall be submitted only once; however, Purchasing Services’ Manager may make a written determination in the University of Idaho's best interest to conduct additional discussion or change the University’s requirements and require another submission of best and final offers. Otherwise, no discussion of or changes in the best and final offers shall be allowed prior to award. Vendors shall also be informed if they do not submit a notice of withdrawal or another best and final offer, their immediate previous offer will be construed as their best and final offer.[ed. 12-07]

B-11. Award of Contract. Upon completion of contract negotiation, Purchasing Services’ Manager shall make a written determination showing the basis on which the award was found to be most advantageous to the University of Idaho based on the factors set forth in the RFP. Awards in excess of $250,000 require approval by the Executive Director of the Board of Regents.  Awards in excess of $500,000 require Board of Regents approval [See APM 60.20]. [rev. 12-07]

B-12. Proposal Solicitation Records. Purchasing Services shall retain a record that includes: a copy of the RFP, copies of any amendments to the RFP, the names and addresses of prospective vendors to whom the RFP was distributed, all vendor responses and correspondence, and any other information relevant to the competitive negotiation process. [rev. 12-07]