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Business Policy and Procedure


55.007:  Purchasing - Competitive Bidding


Status:

Approved on April 18, 2007Signatures and dates
on archival copy

Effective:

when approved 

Initiated by:

Ralph Six
Director of Purchasing
 

Endorsed by:

The Ohio
University
Cabinet

Kathy Krendl
Provost
 

Approved by:

Roderick J. McDavis
President
 


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Purpose

This policy describes the conditions under which a purchase must be competitively bid, and details policies and procedures for same.

The exceptions that apply to this policy (e.g., for library acquisitions, food purchases, and land, space, and building acquisition) are specified in the Plan section of Policy and Procdeure 55.003, "Purchasing Authority: Vendor Selection, Personal Purchases, Land and Building Acquisition, Conflict-of-Interest."


Plan


I.  Bid Limits

Competitive bidding allows the University to seek out the best value for any purchase. The Purchasing and Contracting Office must competitively bid any single purchase of goods that will result in payment of $25,000 or more, to a single vendor, within a given fiscal year. Further, it must similarly competitively bid any single purchase of services or construction that will result in payment of $50,000 or more, to a single vendor, within a given fiscal year. However, the Purchasing and Contracting Office may competitively bid any purchase if, in its judgment, a greater value and benefit to the University would result.


II.  Definitions

The following terms are used in this policy with the meanings indicated:

  1. Goods: Any tangible product. Includes off-the-shelf computer software and utilities.

  2. Services: Any deliverable resulting from labor performed specifically for the University -- whether from the application of physical or intellectual skills. Services include repair work, consulting, maintenance, data processing, custom software design or coding, etc.

  3. Construction: A project that includes all the work needed to produce a complete and usable facility, or to remodel or restore an inadequate or damaged facility; includes excavation, building, installations, landscaping, etc.


III.  Purchases Combining Goods and Services

If a single purchase includes both goods and services, the entire purchase will be treated as being in the category of the greater percentage of the cost; for example:

  1. The purchase of an Audio-Visual suite includes design and installation work by the supplier, however, 90% of the expenditure is for the audio-visual equipment, computer equipment, and software. This purchase, in its entirety, will be considered a purchase of goods.

  2. A consultant is engaged to determine if widgets are needed on campus. The purchase of two sample widgets is part of the expense, but 85% of the expense is for the research, review, and reporting. This purchase, in its entirety, will be considered a purchase of services.

The Director of Procurement Services will decide which category is appropriate in any borderline cases.


Policies and Procedures


I.  Tools For Bidding Procedure

The Purchasing and Contracting Office uses the following procedures to obtain competitive bids on a purchase:


A.  Invitation For Bid (IFB)

A formal IFB is sent to prospective bidders when goods or services desired are well-defined and represent a high dollar purchase. Sealed response is required. This procedure typically takes three to eight weeks.


B.  Request For Proposal (RFP)

A formal, sealed RFP is sent to prospective bidders when the goods or services desired are high dollar, complex, and not wholly defined. Sealed response is required. This procedure typically takes three to eight weeks.


C.  Request For Quotation (RFQ)

In an informal process, a one page form is sent to the vendor. Sealed response is not required. Used for the purchase of lower dollar, well-defined goods or services. This procedure typically takes one to two weeks.


D.  Verbal, Phone, or E-mail Quotes

An informal process for the quick purchase of low dollar, well-defined goods or services. This procedure typically takes one to three days.


II.  Conditions For Bidding

The Purchasing and Contracting Office will bid a proposed purchase if any one of the following conditions is met:

  1. Purchase is over the bid limits, as described in the Plan section, above. The bid requirement may be met by a Purchasing Office competitive bid process run specifically for that purchase, or by reference to an existing contract awarded through a previous bid process by the Purchasing Office, the Inter-University Council of Ohio, the state of Ohio, or selected buying consortia.

    A single purchase may not be divided for the purpose of avoiding bid procedures.

  2. A department or staff member requests a competitive bid. Any department or staff member may make this request, regardless of the dollar amount of the purchase.

  3. It is the judgment of the Purchasing Office that the University will be best served through the competitive bidding process.


III.  Exceptions To Bid Requirement

If the nature of the purchase is such that bidding would be impossible or highly impractical, the department requesting a purchase over the bid limits may request a Waiver from Competitive Bidding. To request a waiver, the department should:

  1. Make a note in the body of the Requisition stating: "Request for Waiver attached"

  2. Attach written confirmation of pricing.

  3. Use the Request for Waiver Form to explain the circumstances and reasoning for the request.

Further detail about bid waivers, and specific information regarding required authorizing signatures and associated dollar limits, can be found online at: http://www.ohio.edu/finance/customercare/faq.cfm.


IV.  Buying Without Formal Bidding

Though a purchase may be under the bid limit or otherwise exempted from formal competitive bid procedures, every attempt should be made to obtain the best value for any purchase by:

  1. Using the Purchasing and Contracting Office's services: Provide information about price and quality needs to the appropriate buyer. Ask the buyer to find the best value by contacting several sources for you.

  2. Comparison shopping on your own: Find sources for an item by doing web-searches, talking to colleagues, using references like the Thomas Register (at the Library or at http://www.thomasregister.com/), or calling the Purchasing and Contracting Office for recommendations. Once you are familiar with several sources, contact sales or customer service reps, or check vendor web sites, to compare price, quality, and availability.


Reviewers

Proposed revisions of this policy should be reviewed by:

  1. President

  2. Provost

  3. Cabinet

  4. Vice President for Finance and Administration

  5. Associate Vice President for Finance

  6. Director of Procurement Services

  7. Policy and Procedure Review Committee


Forms

The following forms are specific to this policy:

  1. The Request for Waiver form is available at http://www.ohio.edu/finance/procuretopay/forms.cfm.


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Dick Piccard revised this file (http://www.ohio.edu/policy/55-007.html) on May 15, 2013.
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