Competitive Bidding

Competitive Bidding

The policies with regard to quotes and bids for Vincennes University are intended to secure timely delivery of goods and services to the University at the most cost effective price; to encourage competition while promoting ethical business practices with all parties.

Competitive quotations and/or bids are to be secured in accordance with the following guidelines:

  1. Orders totaling up to $999.99 - written quotations may or may not be solicited depending on the items.
  2. $1,000.00 to $9,999.99 - Three written quotations should be obtained.
  3. $10,000and up - Three written quotations must be obtained.
  4. $100,000.00 and up – A formal bid process must be followed. This process must be conducted through the Purchasing Department. Formal advertisements, bid openings, and approval from the Board of Trustees may be required. These requirements also apply to construction projects, but are handled through the Facilities and Planning Department rather than the Purchasing Department.

In certain cases, such as sole-source purchases or instances where the low bid is not selected, written justification from the end user of the item is required. These are the requirements that are necessary to protect the University and are required by the governmental body, which audits the University Financial Records.

A written quotation is a legally binding instrument providing such things as pricing, delivery, and shipping terms. Thus, it protects the University budget unit from price increases.

The requisitioning department is encouraged to work with the Purchasing Department early in the requisitioning process. The preferred method of obtaining quotes is for the department to provide Purchasing with a requisition or a memo describing the items needed. If the department knows possible suppliers, these may be suggested. Typically, the Purchasing Department sends prospective suppliers a written description of the goods or services needed on a standard request for quotation form.
This process ensures that all bidders receive the same information. Special instructions and deadlines can also be communicated. Planning ahead for purchases, providing descriptions that are accurate and complete, and indicating any time constraint help this process move smoothly.

Upon receipt of the quotations, the Purchasing Department will evaluate them and forward to the requisitioning department with recommendations. A letter of justification must be submitted to the Purchasing Department if a user specifies that the product or service be purchased from a particular vendor that does not have the lowest price. This letter must have some substance and give rationale behind the selection.

In the event that the requisitioning department has obtained quotations on their own, copies of all the quotes (not just the preferred one) must accompany the requisition. If the department has contacted companies and received the response of "no bid”, this information should also be provided. For the documentation to be complete, the names of the companies contacted and their responses need to be recorded; a list of the bidders alone is not sufficient.