University Rule 3-100B: Solicitation of Bids, Proposals, Sole Source and the Award
of Procurement Contracts
Purpose & Scope
To implement Policy 3-100 and outline Rules for the solicitation of bids and proposals,
and award of University procurement contracts, consistent with the provisions of the
Utah Procurement Code. This Rule is binding for all University colleges, departments,
and units, including University Hospitals & Clinics..
Except as otherwise provided in this Rule, procurement of items in excess of the formal
purchase threshold ($50,000) will be awarded only after solicitation of sealed competitive
bids or proposals. (see Rule 3-100D for all procurement thresholds)
Bids and proposals shall be invited from a reasonable selection of firms from whom,
in the judgment of Procurement & Contracting Services (Purchasing Department), the
procurement needs of the University can be satisfied.
Facilities Management is responsible to conduct procurement for construction and architect
and engineering services as delegated by the Vice President for Administrative Services
or his/her designee and the Director of Purchasing and the Utah State Building Board.
Under this delegation, Facilities Management may follow procurement rules adopted
by the Utah State Building Board.
The Purchasing Department is responsible for the approval, issuance, revision, maintenance
and monitoring of specifications for supplies and services required by the University.
Organizational units of the University will prepare specifications for the supplies
or services they require.
Facilities Management is responsible for the approval, issuance, revision, maintenance
and monitoring of construction, architect and engineer specifications, procurement
solicitations and contracts within their delegation. This delegation will be in the
form of a memorandum of understanding entered into by the Director of Purchasing and
University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics Purchasing is responsible for the approval,
issuance, revision, maintenance and monitoring of specifications, procurement solicitations
and contracts for University of Utah Hospital & Clinics. This delegation will be
in the form of a memorandum of understanding entered into by the Director of Purchasing
and University of Utah Hospital & Clinics.
All specifications shall seek to promote overall economy and best use for the purposes
intended, shall encourage competition when applicable in satisfying University needs
and may not be unduly restrictive.
Subject to the nonrestrictive clause stated in paragraph 4, 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 procurement. When so used,
the salient features of the brand name that must be met by bidders/offerors shall
be clearly specified.
A supplier who has participated in the writing of a specification shall not be eligible
to participate in or receive a contract award for any University procurement using
The Director of Purchasing is responsible for assuring that all bidding procedures,
including the invitation to bid, giving of notice, establishment of criteria for bid
evaluation, opening and evaluation of bids received, acceptance of bids and awarding
of contracts are in compliance with the requirements of the Utah Procurement Code
and University Regulations.
Public notice of invitations for bids shall be given a reasonable time, not less than
seven (7) consecutive days, prior to the date for the opening of bids. The Director
of Purchasing may determine in writing that a shorter time is deemed necessary for
a particular procurement.
The amount of each bid, together with the name of each bidder, shall be recorded in
writing or electronically at the time and place of bid opening.
Correction or withdrawal of inadvertently erroneous bids before or after award, and
the cancellation of awards or contracts based on such bid mistakes, may be authorized
by the Director of Purchasing or his/her designee, when requested in writing and accompanied
by full documentation of the facts leading to presentation of the erroneous bid. 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.
The award of a bid shall be made to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder
who meets the objective criteria described in the invitation for bids.
A multiple stage bidding process may be initiated requesting the submission of unpriced
offers 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.
Request for Proposals
A request for proposals process may be used instead of bidding if the Director of
Purchasing determines in writing that the request for proposal process will provide
the best value to the organizational unit, and if criteria in addition to cost must
The Director of Purchasing or designee is responsible for ensuring the integrity of
the request for proposal process in conformance with the Utah Procurement Code.
Public notice of request for proposals shall be given a reasonable time, not less
than seven (7) consecutive days, prior to the date for the opening of proposals.
A longer time period may be required.
The request for proposals process shall include:
a description of the procurement items sought;
a description of the subjective and objective criterion that will be used to evaluate
the standard contractual terms and conditions;
the relative weight that will be given to each criterion including cost;
the formula that will be used to determine the score for cost;
a description of each stage and the criteria and scoring that will be used to screen
offerors at each stage for multi-stage request for proposals;
all other requirements of the Utah Procurement Code.
An evaluation committee shall be appointed consisting of at least three individuals
do not have a conflict of interest;
can fairly evaluate each proposal;
during the time of the procurement, do not contact or communicate with an offeror
for any reason other than conducting the procurement process or University business
not related to the procurement;
unless an exception is made in writing by the Director of Purchasing, shall not know
or have access to any information relating to the cost proposals from suppliers until
after the evaluation committee submits its final recommended scores on all other criteria
meets all other requirements of the Utah Procurement Code.
Award shall be made to the responsive and responsible offerer whose proposal is the
highest scored. If the highest scored offeror is disqualified, the award shall be
made to the next highest scored responsive and responsible offeror or the request
for proposal may be cancelled. The contract file shall contain the basis on which
the award is made.
If the contract is awarded to an offeror other than the lowest cost offeror, and the
difference between the cost of the accepted proposal and the lowest proposal exceeds
the greater of $10,000 or 5% of the lowest cost offer, Purchasing shall obtain from
the organizational unit:
a written cost-benefit analysis that explains in general terms the advantage to the
organizational unit of the higher cost offeror
an estimated added financial value to the organizational unit for each criterion that
justifies the award to the higher cost offeror
to the extent that assigning a financial value to a particular criterion is not practicable,
a written statement why it is not practicable to assign a financial value and the
advantage to the organizational unit, based on the particular criterion, of awarding
the contract to the higher cost offeror
an explanation that the value of the advantage to the organizational unit exceeds
the value of the difference between the cost of the higher and the lower cost offerors
Exceptions: Procurement without Competition
Small purchases up to the single procurement threshold or the professionals, providers
and consultants threshold shall be processed in accordance with University Regulations.
(See Rules R3-100D, E)
The Purchasing Department may utilize contracts authorized by the Utah Procurement
Code without additional competitive processes.
Sole source contracts. A contract exceeding the formal purchase threshold may be awarded
for a supply, service or construction item without competitive bidding when the Director
of Purchasing determines in writing that there is only one source for the requisitioned
item. This may include, but not be limited to, any of the following considerations:
(See Rule R3-100D)
the award is a condition of a donation that will fund the full cost of the supply,
service or construction
compatibility of equipment, technology, software, accessories, replacement parts or
an item is needed for trial use or testing
transitional costs (which include training, conversion, compatibility, system downtime,
disruption of service, installation, or ancillary costs) to change from an existing
supplier or type of item to another is unreasonable or cost prohibitive
procurement of public utility services
delays due to a procurement process and resulting contract that may impact the timely
delivery of goods or services and would cause financial harm to the University
Publication of notice of sole source.
Public notice of a sole source shall be made for a procurement that exceeds the formal
purchase threshold. The notice shall be given a reasonable time, not less than seven
(7) consecutive days, prior to the date when comments are due.
The Director of Purchasing may make a written determination that a shorter time period
A public notice for sole source items or services will allow for additional purchases
of the like items or services for a period of up to five (5) years.
A public notice for a category or categories of sole source items or services will
allow for additional purchases from the category or categories for a period of up
to five (5) years.
An authorized buyer in the Purchasing Department may utilize alternative procurement
methods, such as informal price quotations and direct negotiations to purchase items
that include, but are not limited to, the following when determined to be more practicable
or advantageous to the University:
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 suppliers shall include but shall not be limited
to prequalified suppliers.
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.
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 or the use of change orders.
The Purchasing Department shall develop, modify and maintain a file of standard contract
clauses to be used in University procurement contracts, 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 a written determination
that such variation will promote the interests of the University or encourage fair
and open competition, provided that notice of any such material variation must be
given in the invitation to bid or request for proposals. Facilities Management shall
use standard contract clauses for contracts for construction and architect and engineering
services as required by state law and adopted by the Utah State Building Board.
Protests filed by aggrieved bidders, offerors, or potential bidders or offerors, shall
be handled by the Purchasing Department in consultation with legal counsel and in
accordance with state law. Facilities Management or University of Utah Hospital &
Clinics Purchasing in consultation with legal counsel and in accordance with state
law, shall handle protests on their delegated purchases and shall notify the Director
of Purchasing of all protests.
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