Procurement Services 303: Request for Proposal

Purpose

To provide a method of competitive procurement when qualitative factors are a consideration in determining the award.

Reference

University of Alaska Procurement Manual (not available online)

Board of Regents Policy 05.06

State of Alaska Statutes 36.00

Definitions

Request for Proposal: An RFP is a solicitation of written, competitive proposals or offers, to be used as a basis for making an acquisition, or entering into a contract when specification and price will not necessarily be the predominant award criteria.

Policy

Appropriate Use
Requests for Proposals may be the preferred method of procurement when
  • Evaluation factors are qualitative and involve the consideration of the relative abilities of the offerors to perform.
  • The services require a high degree of technical or professional experience or expertise.
  • Evaluation involves the weighing of intellectual, artistic, or aesthetic values.
  • The supplies or equipment are of a nature or use that it is prudent to make a qualitative evaluation.
  • The contract will be other that a fixed-price type.
  • Discussions with the offerors or demonstrations of ability may need to be conducted.
  • The offerors may need to be afforded the opportunity to revise their offers.
Requirements
The RFP process is commonly used for the purchase of services although it may be used for the purchase of commodities with a value of more than $50,000 in total dollar value. Full and open competition is required on RFP’s by statute and university regulations; however, the price will not necessarily be the predominant award criteria. The process permits discussions with the offerors and may allow changes in their offers, including price, after the proposals are opened. It also allows comparative and qualitative evaluations, negotiation, and best and final offers to be made in the award of the contract.

A Request for Proposal may be used when the procurement officer determines that it is practicable and in the university’s interest to do so. Because this procurement is based on specific rules including a weighted scoring of the commodity or service, a solicitation must be done by a delegated UAA procurement officer.

The request for proposal process, due to statutory and regulatory requirements, may take up to 45 days or longer to complete. The timeline requirements for an RFP, exclusive of the time required to formulate the evaluation criteria and prepare the RFP document, are as follows:
  • 21 day mandatory solicitation period
  • 3 to 10 day evaluation period according to complexity (allow longer for extreme complexity)
  • 10 day mandatory protest period before a contract can be awarded
Advanced procurement planning by the department is encouraged to accommodate the RFP purchasing process.

A Request for Proposal is initiated by the entering a requisition in the Banner system. Departments may need to submit additional documentation to fully describe the specifications and evaluation criteria. Such documentation should be submitted concurrently with the requisition entry to facilitate the prompt placement of the order.

Informal Requests for Proposals
An informal RFP process may be used, typically for service purchases, but sometimes commodity purchases, with a total dollar value of $5,001 to $50,000. At least two informal proposals are required. As with the formal process, additional evaluations may be necessary, but the process may be less rigorous. Nevertheless, this is a negotiated procurement based on weighted scoring and other specific terms, so the solicitation must be done by a delegated UAA procurement officer.

Effective: 10/25/2005