Solicitation of Bids, Proposals and the Award of Procurement Contracts

No. 5-25e     Rev.10-14-03       Date 2-23-83       



I. PURPOSE

To establish policy and procedures for the solicitation of bids and proposals and award of University procurement contracts consistent with the provisions of the Utah Procurement Code.

II. REFERENCES

  • Utah Procurement Code, 1953 Utah Code Annotated, SS63-56-1 et. seq.
  • PPM 3-36, B, 3 and 5, Conflict of Interest
  • PPM 5-25a, University Procurement
  • PPM 5-25c, Small Purchases and Emergency Procurement
  • Appendix I, this section, Architect-Engineer Services, Limits and Process
  • Appentix II, this section, Public Advertising of Bid and Proposal Solicitations

III. POLICY

A. Competitive Bidding

1. Except as otherwise provided in this policy, procurement of items, the amount of which exceeds the publicly advertised dollar limit (see Appendix II), will be awarded only after advertised solicitation of sealed competitive bids or proposals.

2. Bids and proposals shall be invited from the widest practical selection of firms with proven performance, from whom, in the judgement of the Purchasing Department, the procurement needs of the University can be satisfied.

3. Procurement of items, the amount of which qualify it as a "Small Purchase," shall be processed pursuant to PPM 5-25c.

B. Specifications

1. The Purchasing Department is responsible for preparation, issuance, revision, maintenance and monitoring of specifications for supplies, services and construction required by the University. In the preparation of specifications, the director of Purchasing may obtain the advice and assistance of requisitioning departments as needed and, in connection with construction contracts, shall request such advice and assistance from the Assistant VP of Facilities Management.

2. All specifications shall seek to promote overall economy and best use of the purposes intended, shall encourage competition when applicable in satisfying University needs and shall not be unduly restrictive.

3. Subject to the non-restrictive policy stated in paragraph 2, specifications and/or requests for bids or proposals may designate a brand name "or equal" as a means to identify the performance or other specific requirements of a procurement. When so used, the salient features of the named brand that must be met by bidders/offerors shall be clearly specified.

4. An individual who has participated in the preparation of a specification shall not be eligible to participate in or receive a contract award for any University procurement using such specification. Exceptions to this rule may be granted by the vice president for Administrative Services or his/her designee upon recommendation of the director of Purchasing if (a) an exception is justified by the existence of emergency conditions (see Section E, 3 below), (b) there is only one practicable source of supply for the contract requirements (see Section E, 2 below) or © it is not practicable or advantageous to the University to deny an award to the individual or to a bidder/supplier with which that individual is associated. Such exception shall be in writing and shall be attached to the bidding documents.

C. Bidding Procedures

1. The director of Purchasing is responsible for assuring that all bidding procedures are in compliance with the requirements of the Utah Procurement Code and University policies.

2. Public notice of invitations to bid shall be given a reasonable time prior to the date for opening of bids. Such notice shall include publication in a newspaper of general circulation.

3. Bids shall be opened publicly in the presence of one or more witnesses at the time and place designated in the invitation for bids. All bidding documents shall be available for public inspection.

4. Correction or withdrawal of inadvertently erroneous bids prior to the date for opening of bids shall be allowed provided requests for correction or withdrawal shall be received at the Purchasing Department prior to the date and time for opening of bids and provided such requests are in writing and clearly labeled.

5. Correction or withdrawal of inadvertently erroneous bids after the opening of the bids, based on such bid mistakes, cannot be made except by authorization of the vice president for Administrative Services or his/her designee. Requests for such action must be made in writing accompanied by full documentation of the facts leading to the presentation of the erroneous bid. The decision to permit the correction or withdrawal of a bid or to cancel an award or contract based on an alleged bid mistake shall be in writing, with a statement of reasons.

After bid opening, no changes in bid prices or other provisions of bids prejudicial to the interest of the University or fair competition will be permitted.

6. When due to lack of information it is considered impractical to prepare a purchase description or specification to support an award based on price, an invitation for bids may be issued requesting the submission of unpriced offers. This is to be followed by an invitation for bids limited to those bidders whose offers have been qualified under the criteria set forth in the first solicitation.

7. An invitation for bids, a request for proposals or other solicitation may be canceled, or any or all bids or proposals may be rejected, in whole or in part, under the following conditions:

a. When the need for items as requested on the bid, proposal or other solicitation no longer exists

b. When a bid or bids are received after the specified due date and/or time

c. When it is in the best interests of the University whether for budgetary reasons or other good and sufficient reasons to terminate the entire transaction

d. When a bid is not responsive to the requirements of the specification

e. When a bid proposes an unacceptable alternate item

D. Requests for Proposals

1. The use of competitive sealed proposals for a particular procurement contract or for particular types of recurring procurement contracts shall be entered into when advantageous to the University.

2. The director of Purchasing is responsible for the preparation, issuance, giving of notice, opening, registering, evaluating, negotiating and awarding of contracts pursuant to requests for proposals. This is providing that all such proceedings shall be in conformity with the Utah Procurement Code and, in order to assure maximum practicable competition, shall be subject to the applicable time limitations and other procedures specified in Section III, C above relating to competitive bidding.

3. Award shall be made to the responsible offeror whose proposal is determined in writing to be the most advantageous to the University, taking into consideration price and the evaluation factors set forth in the request for proposals. No other factors or criteria shall be used in the evaluation.

E. Exceptions/Procurement Without Competition

1. Small purchases

Small purchases shall be processed in accordance with PPM 5-25c.

2. Sole Source Contracts

A contract may be awarded for a supply, service or construction item without competitive bidding when the director of Purchasing, with the approval of the vice president for Administrative Services or his/her designee, determine in writing that there is only one practicable source for the requisitioned item.

3. Emergency Procurement

When emergency conditions exist that create a threat to public health, welfare or safety, procurement without full competition may be authorized pursuant to PPM 5-25c, IV, B.

F. Pre-Qualification

When determined to be necessary or appropriate by the Purchasing Department, prospective suppliers may be prequalified for particular types of supplies, services and construction. Solicitation mailing lists of potential contractors shall include but shall not be limited to prequalified suppliers.

G. Contractual Terms

1. Any contractual terms permitted by law may be used for University procurement purposes, as the best interests of the University may require, except that the use of a cost-plus-a-percentage of cost contract is prohibited.

2. The director of Purchasing is responsible for assuring compliance with procedural requirements of the Utah Procurement Code applicable to the terms and provisions of procurement contracts including requirements that specified determinations be made as a condition precedent to the inclusion or modification of specified contractual provisions (see Utah Code Annotated SS63-56-32, 63-56-40) or the use of change orders (see Utah Code Annotated SS63-56-41).

3. When the best interests of the University so require, the director of Purchasing may include in University procurement contracts any or all contract clauses, so far as relevant, that are authorized by the Utah Procurement Code (Utah Code Annotated SS63-56-40 to 63-56-41) with respect to adjustments in price, time of performance, scope of contract work, variations between estimated and actual quantities, site conditions, remedies and other contract provisions.

4. The Purchasing Department shall develop, modify and maintain a file of standard contract clauses to be used in University procurement contracts pursuant to paragraph 3 above and such clauses shall be deemed incorporated herein by reference. The director of Purchasing may modify any such clause for inclusion in any particular contract upon written determination that such variation will promote the interest of the University or encourage fair and open competition provided that notice of any such material variation must be given in invitation to bid or request for proposals.

H. Procurement of Construction Work

1. Construction contracts will be entered into with responsible licensed contractors subject to the provisions of the Utah Procurement Code. (See Utah Code Annotated SS63-56-36 to 63-56-39) For the purpose of this provision, the term "construction" has the same meaning as in the Utah Procurement Code, Utah Code Annotated SS65-56-5(4) and includes remodeling, renovation and landscaping.

2. Construction and remodeling contracts, the amount of which qualify them as "Small Purchases," shall be processed pursuant to PPM 5-25c.

3. Bid Security

a. Bid security in amount equal to at least five percent (5%) of the amount of the bid shall be required, unless waived, for competitive sealed bidding for construction contracts the amount of which exceeds that of a "Small Purchase" pursuant to PPM 5-25c. Bid security shall be a bond provided by a surety company authorized to do business in this state, the equivalent in cash or any other form satisfactory to the University and consistent with the Utah Procurement Code.

b. When a bidder fails to comply with the requirement for bid security set forth in the invitation for bids, the bid shall be rejected unless the director of Purchasing determines in writing that the failure to comply with the security requirements is non-substantial.

4. Performance and Payment Bonding

a. When a construction contract is awarded and performance and payment bonding is stipulated in the bid solicitation, performance and payment bonds or other evidence satisfactory to the University must be delivered to the University and shall be binding on the parties upon the execution of the contract subject to the provisions of the Utah Procurement Code. (See Utah Code Annotated SS63-56-39.)

b. The form of the performance and payment bonds shall be substantially the same as provided in rules and regulations applicable to construction contracts awarded by the Utah Department of Facilities, Construction and Management (DFCM).

c. When in the best interest of the University, the director of Purchasing may require performance and payment bonds on small contracts or may waive the requirement for such bonds.

d. When a bidder fails to comply with the requirement of a performance or payment bond, the bid shall be rejected unless the director of Purchasing determines in writing that such bonding is deemed unnecessary for the protection of Weber State University.

I. Architect-Engineering Services

(See Appendix I for limits and process)

1. It is the policy of Weber State University to announce on an annual basis requirements for architect-engineer services and to negotiate contracts for architect-engineering services on the basis of demonstrated competence and qualification for the type of services required at fair and reasonable prices. This paragraph does not affect the authority of and does not apply to procedures undertaken by the University to obtain the services of architects or engineers in the capacity of employees.

2. In the procurement of architect-engineer services, the Assistant VP of Facilities Management shall encourage firms engaged in the lawful practice of their profession to submit annually a statement of qualifications and performance data responsive to published criteria approved by the director. A selection committee for architect-engineer services contracts appointed by the Assistant VP of Facilities Management or his/her designee, shall evaluate current statements of qualifications and performance data on file together with those that may be submitted by other firms in response to the announcement of a proposed contract. The selection committee shall where feasible consider not less than three firms and shall select therefrom, based upon the established criteria, not less than three of the firms deemed to be the most highly qualified to provide the services required.

3. The Purchasing Department shall award a contract to a qualified firm at compensation which the selection committee determines to be fair and reasonable to the University after taking into account the estimated value, scope, complexity and professional nature of the services to be rendered. Should Purchasing be unable to agree to a satisfactory contract with the firm first selected, at a price determined to be fair and reasonable to the University, discussions with that firm shall be formally terminated and discussions shall then be undertaken with a second qualified firm. Failing accord with the second firm, discussion shall be formally terminated and discussions shall then be undertaken with a third qualified firm. Should agreement not be reached or should the University be unable to award a contract at a fair and reasonable price with any of the selected firms, Purchasing, upon recommendation of the committee, shall undertake discussions with additional firms until an agreement is reached.

APPENDIX I

PROCUREMENT OF ARCHITECT-ENGINEER SERVICES, LIMITS AND PROCESS

1. Under the provisions of the State Procurement Code and Purchasing Policy for the State of Utah and the University, advertisement for architect-engineer services should be made once a year to allow for letters of interest to be submitted to the University. The Purchasing Department should be involved in process of soliciting these letters of interest.

2. From those responding to the advertisement, and any others that submit proposals during the year, an architect-engineer will be selected without competition for projects estimated to be under $300,000 and when the fees for the architect-engineer services do not exceed $30,000.

3. For projects exceeding $300,000 and when fees are anticipated to exceed $30,000, three architects-engineers will be chosen and evaluated for any given project after the solicitation of formal written proposals. Those anticipated to exceed $50,000 must also be publicly advertised. The architect-engineers responding to the RFP will be ranked based on predetermined criteria which are selected by an evaluation committee established by Facilities Management.

a. A proposal which includes fees will be requested from the top rated firm.

b. If the prospective architect-engineer can perform the work as requested and the fee is acceptable, a purchase order can be awarded to the architect-engineer. If a reasonable agreement cannot be made with the selected architect-engineer, then a proposal will be requested from the next architect-engineer on the list. The third architect engineer on the list will be asked to provide a proposal if the second's proposal is not acceptable.

c. Facilities Management must send a copy of all documentation involved in the selection of an architect-engineer to the Purchasing Department before a purchase order can be issued. These documents should include: (1) a copy of the RFP; (2) a copy of the architect/consultant's proposal; (3) a copy of the decision matrix used in selecting the three firms; and (4) a conflict of interest form signed by each member of the selection committee stating that they have no connection with the architect/consultant.

 

APPENDIX II
PUBLIC ADVERTISING OF BID AND PROPOSAL SOLICITATIONS

Any solicitations for bids and/or proposals where the expected cost may be $50,000 or more must be publicly advertised.


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