Office of Procurement Services

Procurement Methods

The Office of Procurement Services is responsible for the purchasing of all goods and services. Departments have been delegated authority to perform purchases up to a single transaction value of $10,000. The procurement staff will manage purchasing transactions exceeding $10,000.

Types of Solicitations

A small-purchase procurement is for transactions whose value will not exceed $10,000. A minimum of one DSBSD-certified business should be solicited. The solicitation can be either in writing or orally (by completing a phone log). The quote received must be attached to the purchase requisition in eVA.

Quick Quote / Request for Quote / Unsealed Bidding: When the award of the purchase is exclusively predicated on cost, and clearly defined quantities and specifications are available:

  1. Between $10,000 and $100,000: A Quick Quote, Request for Quote or unsealed Invitation for Bid may be used to solicit a minimum of 3-4 bids or quotes for goods and nonprofessional services from $10,000 up to and including $100,000. The university will solicit DSBSD certified-SWaM business sources, if available. If the quoted price from the certified-SWaM business is fair and reasonable based on market research and does not exceed the quoted price from a non-certified business by more than 5%, the purchase must be made with the DSBSD certified-SWaM business. If the lowest quote from the DSBSD certified-SWaM business does not meet the required specifications or exceeds the lowest responsive and responsible quote by more than 5%, the contract officer will document the procurement record to that effect, including stating the basis for the determination. Posting requirements: Public posting is not required under $100,000.
  2. Between $100,000 and $200,000: An unsealed Invitation for Bid should be used to solicit bids or quotes for goods and nonprofessional services from $100,000 up to and including $200,000. Subcontracting Plan is required for all procurements over $100,000. Availability of DSBSD certified-SWaM businesses shall be documented in the procurement file. Posting Requirements: Public posting in eVA is required for purchases between $100,000 and $200,000.

Unsealed Proposals: When the award of the purchase is based on a variety of criteria, including but not limited to price, and where best overall value to the university may be considered:

    1. Between $10,000 and $100,000: An unsealed Request for Proposal may be used to solicit a minimum of 3-4 proposals for goods and nonprofessional services from $10,000 up to and including $100,000. Evaluation criteria must be documented and used to properly evaluate proposals. The university will solicit DSBSD certified-SWaM business sources, if available. Posting requirements: Public posting is not required under $100,000.
    2. Between $100,000 and $200,000: An unsealed Request for Proposal should be used to solicit proposals for goods and nonprofessional services from $100,000 up to and including $200,000. Evaluation criteria must be documented and used to properly evaluate proposals. Subcontracting Plan is required for all procurements over $100,000. Availability of DSBSD certified-SWaM businesses shall be documented in the procurement file. Posting requirements: Public posting in eVA is required for purchases between $100,000 and $200,000.

Offers may be opened and evaluated upon receipt. All responses must be received at the designated location by the date and hour stated in the solicitation. Submission of offers may be accepted by electronic means or as stated in the solicitation. In lieu of an evaluation committee, the contract officer or end user may solely evaluate, and rank offers. Upon completion of the evaluation, negotiations may be conducted with the offeror(s) selected.

An Invitation For Bid (IFB) is a competitive sealed bid for procurements with a value expected to exceed $200,000. The goods or services to be procured must be capable of being described so that bids submitted by potential contractors can be evaluated against the description in the IFB and an award made to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. These solicitations must be posted on eVA for a minimum of 10 days before they can be closed and evaluated. A site visit or pre-bid meeting will require the IFB to be posted for longer than the minimum 10 days. Should a need arise to issue an addendum to the IFB, the close date may also be extended.

Request for Proposal

A Request For Proposal is a competitive sealed negotiation where factors other than price will be evaluated. Competitive negotiations allow for both the offertory and the university to negotiate terms and conditions, pricing, contract content and any other discrepancies. These solicitations must be posted on eVA for a minimum of 10 days before they can be closed and evaluated. A site visit or pre-proposal conference will require the RFP to be posted for longer than the minimum 10 days. Should a need arise to issue an addendum to the RFP, the close date may also be extended.

A sole-source procurement is authorized when there is only one source practicably available for the goods or services required. Competition is not available in a sole source procurement. Sole source goods or services are provided or manufactured by a specific manufacturer and are only sold directly to the university without distributors. However, a manufacturer may have one designated territorial or authorized distributor set up to sell that manufacturer's goods or services.

When the requesting department believes that only one source exists for a specific item or service, a completed sole-source document (Adobe Acrobat) must be submitted to and approved by the Office of Procurement Services prior to the placement of the order for the sole source goods or services. Sole-source justification based solely on a single vendor's capability to deliver in the least amount of time is not considered a valid basis for determining a sole source procurement. In your statement, you must address the following items:

  • Explain why this is the only product or service that can meet the needs of the purchasing agency
  • Explain why this vendor is the only practicably available source from which to obtain this product or service
  • Explain why the price is considered reasonable
  • Describe the efforts that were made to conduct a non-competitive negotiation to get the best possible price for the taxpayers

The assistant director of procurement services has approval authority for sole-source procurements up to $50,000. The director of procurement services has approval authority for sole-source procurements up to $50,000. Sole-source procurements greater than $50,000 are reviewed by the director of procurement services and, if recommended for approval, are forwarded to the vice president of finance and planning and chief financial officer. All sole-source procurements will be posted on eVA.

An emergency is an occurrence of a serious and urgent nature that demands immediate action. Exigency is a need to avoid, prevent or alleviate serious harm or injury, operational or financial loss, or otherwise. The procurement shall be made with competition as is practical under the circumstances. Emergency (or exigency) procedures may be utilized only to purchase that which is necessary to cover the emergency (or exigency). Subsequent requirements must be obtained using standard purchasing procedures.

The potential loss of funds at the end of a fiscal year is not considered to be an emergency.

The nature of the emergency determines the pre-award action that should be taken: For an emergency purchase required to protect personal safety or property, efforts should be directed to locating a source and authorizing the contractor to proceed. This does not relieve the university from securing a fair and reasonable price and subsequently documenting the procurement action taken.

For types of emergencies not required to protect personal safety or property, competition should be sought to the extent practicable, to include verification of the vendor's:

    • Qualifications
    • Insurance coverage, if applicable
    • Warranty
    • Any other data pertinent to the procurement may be obtained

As soon as practicable, after directing the contractor to proceed, a confirming purchase order should be prepared. Care should be taken to include in detail any agreement, including price, made orally with the contractor.

The requesting department must prepare a written determination to the Office of Procurement Services indicating the nature of the emergency, and the reason for selection of the contractor. The determination may be required to be signed by the applicable department head or vice president. The determination, including the purchase order, will comprise the procurement record. Emergency procurements exceeding $200,000 must be approved by the VP of finance & planning and chief financial officer or designee. Posting requirements: All emergency procurements, greater than $10,000, must be publicly posted on the commonwealth’s eProcurement system, eVA.

If an emergency is declared by the federal government of the United States and/or the commonwealth of Virginia, and Federal Emergency Management Agency, Virginia Department of Emergency Management, or other legislatively available funds may be sought for reimbursement of university purchases of goods or services used to support such an emergency, additional processes will be required to support purchases under such a declaration for any dollar value.

*Any purchases regardless of cost or value, that are intended for reimbursement through federal or other legislatively available emergency fund sources, shall be procured by, or coordinated with, the Office of Procurement Services.

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