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60.46 - Specification Writing


  • Position: Purchasing Services Director
  • Email:

Last updated: August 24, 2005

A. General. A specification is a clear and accurate description of the technical requirements for a material, product or service including the procedure to be used in determining whether the requirements have been met. Requests for Quotations (RFQs) [See APM 60.10]; Request for Bids (RFBs) [See APM 60.11]; and Requests for Proposals (RFPs) [See APM 60.12] shall include specifications appropriate to the project to be performed.

B. Process. The following guidelines shall be followed in the preparation of specifications:

B-1. Nonrestrictive Provisions. Specifications shall not be written in such a manner as to contain proprietary, exclusionary, or discriminatory requirements other than those based on performance, unless such requirements are necessary for interchangeability of parts and equipment or can be justified in writing and approved by Purchasing Services.

B-2. Sole-Source Restrictions. Specifications shall not require the use of materials, equipment or processes which are known to be available only from one source unless Purchasing Services’ Manager determines such specifications have been adequately justified.

B-3. Experience Clause Restrictions. Experience clauses requiring prospective bidders to have a record of satisfactory operation or performance for a specified period of time may only be used if such requirements have been adequately justified in writing and approved by Purchasing Services' Manager.

B-4. Brand Name or Approved Equal Provisions. Specifications that refer to one or more brand name products followed by the words "or equivalent" may be used when it is not feasible to provide an adequate or detailed description. However, "brand name or equivalent" descriptions should set forth the salient physical, functional or other characteristics of the referenced products essential to the needs of the University. The term "brand name" means a commercial product described by brand name and make, by which the product is offered for sale to the public by the particular manufacturer, producer or distributor. When a "brand name or equivalent" description is used, prospective bidders must be given the opportunity to offer products that will meet or exceed the minimum essential specification of the brand name specified.

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