HBP Part 7.5.6. Request for Proposal (RFP) - Purchase Value Greater Than $50,000; Based on Factors in Addition to Price and Delivery

Handbook of Business Procedures

Date published: March 5, 2012
Last revised: May 10, 2018
Issued by: Purchasing


A. Guidelines

When the expected value of the goods or services exceeds $50,000, a formal solicitation process is required. The following guidelines apply to the Request for Proposal (RFP) solicitation method:

  • Request for Proposal (RFP) is the solicitation method used when factors (best value criteria) other than price and delivery are considered in deciding which proposer should be awarded the contract. 
  • When best value criteria are used to score proposals, the criteria and the weighting are clearly identified in the RFP. The evaluation criteria and weighting must be approved by the assistant vice president for procurement, contracts, and payment services before the RFP can be publically posted. Best value criteria can be utilized and may include but are not limited to:
    • installation costs
    • life cycle costs
    • quality and reliability of the goods and services
    • delivery terms
    • indicators of probable supplier performance under the contract, such as past supplier performance, the supplier’s financial resources and ability to perform, the supplier’s experience and demonstrated capability and responsibility, and the supplier’s ability to provide reliable maintenance agreements and support
    • cost of any employee training associated with a purchase
    • effect of a purchase on agency productivity
    • other factors relevant to determining the best value for the university in the context of a particular purchase
  • RFP opportunities are sent to known suppliers who provide the good or service and publically posted on the Formal Bid Opportunities website so that any supplier may submit a response.
  • Terms and conditions that govern the contract are contained within the RFP. Proposers can note exceptions to certain terms and conditions. However, the university may disqualify a proposer for not accepting the posted terms.

B. Procedure

  1. The department submits Request for Proposal Intake Form to the Purchasing Office.
  2. Establishment of evaluation team
    1. The department identifies end users and business experts to serve as evaluation team members, who must be approved by the assistant vice president for procurement, contracts, and payment services before the RFP is publically posted.
    2. The purchasing buyer collects Non-Disclosure/Conflict of Interest Statement agreements for all team members. The designated purchasing buyer will provide the form.
    3. The evaluation team works with the purchasing buyer to develop a detailed scope of work (SOW) and a list of questions for proposers that will assist the evaluation team in the scoring process.
  3. The purchasing buyer prepares an RFP document, which includes:
    1. background information regarding the purpose of the solicitation
    2. a detailed scope of work
    3. a list of questions for proposers to complete
    4. an Execution of Offer
    5. instructions on how to submit proposals
    6. if a HUB Subcontracting Plan (HSP) is required, instructions as to how to complete and submit the HSP are included. For more information, see the Handbook of Business Procedures, 7.5.9. HUB Subcontracting Requirements (HSP).
    7. a schedule, which includes:
      1. date of pre-proposal conference, if applicable
      2. date for submission of written questions from the proposers to the university
      3. proposal submission deadline
    8. name, phone number, and email address of the university contact
    9. terms and conditions
  4. The RFP is posted for a minimum of four weeks. The need for a pre-proposal conference or HSP may increase the length of time the RFP is posted.
  5. Proposals are held by the Purchasing Office until the proposal submission date. If an HSP was required, it will be reviewed by the director of HUB and Small Business Programs. If a required HSP was not submitted or the HSP is deemed to be unacceptable, the proposal will not be opened.
  6. Proposers are permitted to attend bid openings. For information about the time and location of the bid opening, the supplier must contact the solicitation’s designated buyer.
  7. The purchasing buyer removes all pricing components from the proposals prior to distributing proposals to the evaluation team.
  8. Each member of the evaluation team reviews qualified proposals, scores them based upon the RFP criteria, and submits scores to the purchasing buyer. 
  9. The purchasing buyer completes scoring of the price/cost and compiles the total score.
  10. The purchasing buyer reviews the proposal scores with the evaluation team, and the group makes a recommendation for the award.
  11. The purchasing buyer reviews the evaluation team’s recommendation with the assistant vice president for procurement, contracts, and payment services, who will approve or decline the recommendation.
  12. An award letter is sent to the successful proposer and is contingent on the successful negotiation of a contract. Regret letters are sent to the unsuccessful proposers.
  13. The purchasing buyer issues a purchase order to the supplier. In cases where a business contract may be more appropriate than a purchase order, the Purchasing Office will notify the Business Contracts Office, which will work with the department to develop a contract.



Part 7. Purchasing - Table of Contents