Bid Process

Below are the parameters for bidding. Additional detail is available in MBP 270.

Competitive Bids Required

The purchase of equipment, materials, supplies, and/or services is subject to university policy which stipulates an open and competitive bid process resulting in the university obtaining quality products and services at a fair and reasonable price.  In all instances of competition, Purchasing personnel will collaborate with end users and provide guidance to ensure the university’s needs are met at the lowest possible cost under the most advantageous terms and conditions available.

  • A Request for Quotation (RFQ) process is required for purchases that are greater than $10,000 and less than $50,000.
  • A Sealed Bid process is required for all acquisitions that exceed $50,000. Sealed bid openings are conducted as a public bid opening.
  • A Request for Proposal (RFP) process is a best value process where price is one of many considerations. RFPs are conducted for acquisitions with a level of complexity in product and service requirements for which the selection criteria will include, but not be limited to, a combination of product quality, supplier qualifications, service requirements, and price.
  • Personal Service Contracts (PSC) over $15,000 will be reviewed by Purchasing to determine if a competitive bid process should be performed.

Competitive Bid Exemptions

  • Requisitions (REQs) totaling less than $10,000, although, the buyers may choose to obtain additional quotes. (As a good business practice, departments are to obtain supplier quotations for transactions between $5,000 and $10,000). 
  • Personal Services Contracts less than $15,000.
  • Maintenance contracts purchased from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or authorized dealers for the specific equipment.
  • Proprietary software when available only from the licensor.
  • Purchases made under contracts established by Michigan State University, a public agency (State of Michigan) or cooperative buying groups (CIC-PC, E & I Cooperative, HPS, Provista, MACUPA, MLSPC, etc.) on the basis of competitive bidding and/or negotiations.
  • Purchases in case of
    • emergency animal feed
    • protection of university property, human and animal health
    • emergency repairs to equipment
    • care of the dead
  • Purchase of animals and animal-related items at auction.

Sole Source and Single Source Requirements

Requests for exception to the competitive process, such as sole source (only known source or a proprietary source) or single source (only one qualified supplier or acceptable product/service) purchases must be requested in writing from the initiating department. All requests for sole source and single source purchases must include detailed, objective and technical justification outlining the rationale for exception to the competitive bid process. NOTEAll single and sole source requests must be submitted and approved by the Purchasing Department before goods or services are acquired.

Sole source purchase requests will be considered when no alternative exists for the item(s) or service(s) required and the identified source can be documented as the only source available. The determination is based on the unique qualifications or specifications of the purchase such that no other source exists. These are typically instances of true proprietary offerings with no equivalents or alternates to be considered. 'Sole' means 'the one and only'.

Single source purchase requests will be considered in instances where alternate products and sources exist, but only one truly meets the needs of the requesting department and all others are found to be inferior. 'Single' means 'the one among others'.

In instances where product evaluations are performed, early involvement of Purchasing prior to conducting the product evaluation process is highly recommended. Purchasing can assist the department in establishing evaluation criteria to ensure a fair and well documented evaluation process.

The Purchasing Department will evaluate all requests for exception to the competitive bid process and will make the final determination as to whether or not a sole/single source purchase is acceptable. Once a sole source or single source purchase request is approved, a supplier quotation/proposal will be solicited by the Purchasing Department to establish contract pricing with mutually agreeable terms and conditions.