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
- Emergency Procurement
- 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
Competitive Solicitation. 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, the State's procurement website. Official sealed solicitations are typically issued as a Request for Bids or a Request for Proposals.