Emerson College Finance

Sourcing/Competitive Bids

COMPETITIVE BID PROCESS

All transactions $10,000 and greater must be competitively bid.  For orders under $25,000 this requirement may be satisfied by attaching three competitive quotes to the requisition. Competitive bidding is the process that allows the College to properly survey the marketplace and secure goods and services at fair and reasonable prices.  It helps ensure that the College receives goods and services of the best value while also satisfying federal, state and College requirements.  For competitive bids over $25,000, Procurement Services is the authorized organization to conduct the competitive bid process.

Goods or services bought from Internal Service Providers are exempt from this requirement since the transactions are internal to the College.  Similarly, because Procurement Services has already completed a competitive analysis for suppliers with College Contracts, it is not necessary to hold another competitive bid process for purchases from those contracts. 

Splitting a transaction into smaller dollar amounts, delaying, staggering purchases, and using multiple staff members to purchase the same or related items to avoid the competitive bid process are serious policy violations.  All transactions found to be in violation of the College’s competitive bid process will be reported to senior management as unauthorized purchases.  Employees responsible for violating transaction(s) may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Although Procurement Services conducts the competitive bid process, College units have responsibilities as well.  Upon request, Procurement Services will assist College units with any of their responsibilities related to the competitive bid process.

SUBMIT SPECIFICATIONS

College units must outline and submit to Procurement Services the detailed specifications, performance standards and/or scope of work of the goods or services needed.  These items should be generic in nature to allow for sufficient competition in meeting them; they should neither reference nor be written specific to a particular brand, model or company.  If a supplier’s assistance is required to develop the bid specifications that supplier cannot submit a bid without approval of the Sr. Director of Procurement Services and all materials gathered or prepared must be shared with all potential bidders.

SOLICIT BIDS

Informed by the specifications that the College unit provides, Procurement Services develops and issues a Request for Information (RFI), Request for Quotation (RFQ) or Request for Proposal (RFP) to solicit bids from suppliers.  Each supplier receives the same directions, information, terms and conditions.  Procurement Services only considers valid those submissions from suppliers that meet the bid requirements and are sent to Procurement Services by the specified deadline.

EVALUATE PROPOSALS

Procurement Services works with the college unit to assess each proposal to determine which represents the best value to the College.

An open and competitive purchasing environment requires that information related to the bidding process be kept confidential; College employees must conduct themselves ethically, as described above, at all times. Suppliers must contact Procurement Services to obtain bid results.

NEGOTIATE THE AGREEMENT AND MAKE THE AWARD

Procurement Services negotiates the final proposals and contracts, however since the College department is the ultimate owner of the relationship, it makes the final determination as to which provider receives the award.

SOLE SOURCE PROCESS

The College is expected to make purchases in an open and competitive environment to ensure that the College receives fair and reasonable pricing.  Because a sole source process doesn’t include a survey of the marketplace nor competition among suppliers, it makes it difficult for the College to meet these expectations.  Despite these drawbacks, there are some situations in which a sole source process is in the best interest of the College.

When submitting a request to deviate from the standard competitive bid process, the College unit must complete the Sole Source Justification Form available on the Procurement Services website.  Completion of this form does not guarantee that Procurement Services will approve the request.  Goods or services available from more than one supplier are subject to the competitive bid process described above.  Procurement Services will help the unit identify suppliers and facilitate a competitive bid process.

Units must not create or attempt to create sole source situations through delay or other manipulation of the procurement process.  Procurement Services will work with units to determine whether a sole source situation exists and, in such cases, reserves the right to negotiate pricing or solicit additional information. 

CONTRACTS

Please visit our contracts page in order to utilize our Master Services Agreements that have been vetted. Please note that this page is only accessible to Emerson Staff and Faculty.

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