Competitive bidding is the preferred method for selecting suppliers of goods and services. However, alternate methods may be considered if competitive bidding is justified as impractical or not in the best interests of the State. State law provides the following procurement methods:
Competitive Solicitation (Request for Bids, Request for Proposals, Simplified Bidding, Best Judgment)
Sole Source Waiver
Waiver of Bidding Process
Other Procurement Processes (Piggybacking, Collective, Intergovernmental, Cooperative)
Agencies must submit certain procurement actions to SBOP for approval prior to release of solicitations. Submissions must be in the form of a Request for Purchasing Approval/Authority or Procurement Plan. The following actions require SBOP approval:
Requests for proposals over $50,000
Intergovernmental or cooperative procurements over $50,000
Sole source and general waivers over $25,000
Legal services or vehicle purchases, regardless of amount
Collective procurements, regardless of amount
Requests for bids for services over $50,000
Competition among vendors tends to produce lower prices and higher quality goods and services. The type of commodity or service to be purchased and its estimated dollar value determine the method of competitive bidding to be used.
Official sealed solicitations are required for procurements over $50,000. In general, an official sealed solicitation is a formal, legal process managed by a procurement professional. Solicitations are issued in written form and all responses must likewise be submitted in writing. Official sealed solicitations must provide at least seven days for response.
Official sealed solicitations are used for all statewide contracts and large or complex agency contracts. Agencies make solicitations available to the public and vendor community through postings on VendorNet and eSupplier, the State's procurement websites. Official sealed solicitations are typically issued as a Request for Bids or a Request for Proposals.