Click here for a printable version of the Competitive Bidding Policy and Procedure.

Whenever practical and feasible, the Purchasing Office will request competitive bids from vendors selling the same or similar product or service.  For every purchase over $5,000, competitive bidding is required.  The requestor, or Purchasing Office, should solicit a minimum of three (3) bids from vendors.  Bids may be oral or written.  It is recommended that a Vendor Selection Form be utilized in the bidding and selection process.

In order to provide maximum open and free competition, the College’s purchasing procedures will not restrict or eliminate competition and, whenever appropriate, will not be brand name specific.  When soliciting bids for products and/or services, the College’s agent should:

  • Provide a clear and accurate description of the technical requirements for the product or service.
  • Provide any and all requirements that must be fulfilled by the bidder and/or College as well as criteria that will be used during the evaluation of the bids or proposals.
  • When applicable, provide a description of performance requirements including the range of acceptable characteristics and minimum standards.
    Provide any specific features of “brand name or equal” that must be met by the bidders.
  • Accept, when applicable and feasible, products or services dimensioned in the metric system of measurement.
  • Accept, when applicable and feasible, products or services that conserve resources, protect the environment, and/or are energy efficient.

Bid Analysis

Upon receipt of the competitive bids, a comparison of products and costs will be performed.  Documentation verifying prices of the products and services are fair and reasonable will be maintained in the Central Purchasing files.  Documentation includes, but is not limited to, advertisements, past purchases and quotes, and current list prices.

Sole Source Purchases

At times, a requestor either is unable to or chooses not to competitively bid for products and/or services.  These are special circumstances involving either selected or sole source vendors. 

Selected source: While other vendors exist in the marketplace, the requestor chooses a particular vendor based on technical requirements or past performance by other vendors.

Sole source: Purchases in the amount of $5,000 or more where no other vendor is capable of providing the service or product required. 

Examples:  Specialized research equipment or supply purchases; maintenance agreements; site licenses.

When a purchase involves either selected source or sole source vendor, a written justification (i.e. a Bid Waiver memo) needs to accompany the purchase request.  The following components should be included within the justification:

  • Reason the purchase is thought to be a selected or sole source selection.
  • Reason why the vendor was selected.
  • Description of the selection process.
  • Explanation of how the price was determined to be “reasonable”.

Awarding of Bids

Ursinus College will only make contracts with responsible contractors who possess the potential ability to perform successfully under the terms and conditions of the proposed procurement.  When reviewing bids and offers, consideration will be given to contractor integrity, record of past performance, financial and technical resources or accessibility to other necessary resources.

The bidder or offeror whose bid meets the criteria set forth in the solicitation and who presents the most advantageous offer relating to price, quality, and ability to provide the goods and/or services, will be awarded the contract.  The College may refuse or reject bids and offers that do meet the solicitation criteria and/or those submitted by certain parties restricted by agencies implementation of E.O.s 12549 and 12689. 

In accordance with OMB A-110, the College, upon request, will make available for the Federal awarding agency, pre-award review and procurement documents, including request for proposals and independent cost estimates, etc., when any of the following conditions apply.

  • The procurement of goods or services is expected to exceed the small purchase threshold of $25,000, and is awarded without competition or only one bid or offer is received in response to a solicitation.
  • The procurement, which is expected to exceed the small purchase threshold, specifies a "brand name" product.
  • The proposed award over the small purchase threshold is to be awarded to other than the apparent low bidder under sealed bid procurement.
  • A proposed contract modification changes the scope of a contract or increases the contract amount by more than the amount of the small purchase threshold.

For questions relating to Competitive Bidding policies or procedures, please contact the Associate Controller, Grants & Contracts via email or by phone at extension 3110.