The Brown University policy on competitive bids and quotes provides guidance to ensure that all procurement activity meets applicable regulatory requirements and that the University maintains a competitive sourcing environment.
The Brown University policy on competitive bids and quotes provides guidance to ensure that all procurement activity meets applicable regulatory requirements and that the University maintains a competitive sourcing environment. Competitive procurement requirements are dependent on the size of the purchase, as well as the source of funds used to make the purchase. The appropriate requirements must be adhered to in all instances.
When it is not possible to obtain competitive bids or quotes, a sole source justification that meets the acceptable criteria is required. For sponsored projects, the acceptable justifications are limited to those permitted by the Uniform Guidance Procurement Standards. Whenever a sole source is the procurement method used, a price analysis is required.
Effective July 1, 2018:
The OMB (Office of Management and Budget) Uniform Guidance Procurement Standards go into effect for Brown on July 1, 2018 and will apply to awards or funding increments issued on or after that date. Purchases funded by federal grant funds must adhere to regulations found in Uniform Guidance as a condition of receiving funds and to meet annual audit compliance.
In order to keep policies for managing sponsored projects consistent, Brown University implemented the Uniform Guidance Procurement Standards for all sponsored projects as of July 1, 2018.
Bids and quotes submitted to the University must be held in strictest confidence and under no circumstances should suppliers be given information about bids or quotes or pricing obtained from competing sources.
Bid and Quote Requirements for Goods and Services (University Funding)
Purchases from Strategic Suppliers do not require competitive bidding when the product or service being purchased is included in the Strategic Supplier's contract with Brown. The list of the University's Strategic Suppliers is available on the Strategic Sourcing Website, as well as through Workday.
|Bid Threshold||Documentation Requirements|
|Up to $25,000||One written quote|
|$25,000 and above||Three quotes are required or, when it is not possible to obtain competitive pricing, one quote with the completed sole source justification form that conforms to the acceptable reasons for a non-competitive purchase.
Exceptions to the requirement for a competitive bid that do not meet the criteria of a sole source justification, may be approved, under limited circumstances, by the Senior Director, Strategic Purchasing, Contracts & Insurance or the Director of Strategic Sourcing who will consult with a senior officer.
|$250,000 and above||For Construction/Renovation work : three formal, sealed bids that are signed and dated and submitted to Facilities Management for evaluation and tracking the receipt of the bids.
*All work related to construction and renovation must be coordinated through Facilities Management. If purchases in this category involve sponsored funding, the more stringent rules for competitive bidding using sponsored funding will apply.
Bid/Quote Requirements for Goods and Services (Sponsored Funding)
|Bid Threshold||Documentation Requirement|
|Up to $25,000
|One written quote|
|$25,000 to $250,000
|Three quotes are required or, when it is not possible to obtain competitive pricing, one quote with the completed sole source justification form that conforms to the acceptable reasons for a non-competitive purchase.
Every sole source purchase requires a price analysis.
|$250,000 and above
(Competitive Proposal or Sealed Bid required)
|Sealed bids: More than $250,000
This policy responds to all applicable government procurement regulations as contained in the Federal Acquisition Register (FAR); Office of Management and Budget’s uniform administrative requirements as codified under the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) at 2 C.F.R. Part 200 (Uniform Guidance), as well as any additional regulations or procedural formalities required by the contracting agency, as specified in the Notice of Award.
For additional information, please refer to Uniform Guidance 200.320 Methods of procurement to be followed.
Sole source: A “sole source” procurement can be defined as any contract entered into without a competitive process, based on a justification that only one known source exists or that only one single supplier can fulfill the requirements.
To be considered a sole source, one of the conditions specified on the Sole Source Form must be met. For Sponsored Projects’ spending, the acceptable criteria for a sole source justification are limited to the Uniform Guidance rules listed below.
Uniform Guidance acceptable sole source justifications (applicable to sponsored project funded purchases):
Sole source: Procurement by non-competitive proposals - must meet one of the following four requirements:
The item is available only from a single source;
The public exigency or emergency for the requirement will not permit a delay resulting from competitive solicitation;
The Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity expressly authorizes noncompetitive proposals in response to a written request from the non-Federal entity(OSP/BMRA should route such a request to the federal agency and will manage as an Agency “prior approval” request); or
After solicitation of a number of sources, competition is determined inadequate.
For University funded purchases, two additional criteria will also be accepted (these do not apply for Sponsored Projects):
Continuity of existing research/work Critically important features (briefly explain the features and your research of comparable items) Repairs, replacement parts, or technical service available only from manufacturer or authorized distributor
Compatibility with existing equipment
If there is a possibility that an expense will eventually be transferred to a Sponsored Project, the more stringent competitive bid process for goods and services purchased with sponsored funding needs to be followed.
Individuals involved in purchasing goods or services on behalf of the University are responsible for following the procedures for obtaining bids/quotes or providing the appropriate sole source justification, including the source and price documentation.
Departments/schools must consider annual or total multi-year spend for products or services needed on a regular or repetitive basis to determine whether a bid needs to be performed.
Strategic Purchasing, Contracts & Insurance is available to assist in identifying suppliers to use in the competitive bid process at any spending level and to assist with bid processes.
All bids and/or quotes received must be attached to the purchase requisition as an essential part of the purchasing transaction record. When competition in the supplier selection process is not possible, acceptable sole source justification documentation must be provided, including price/cost analysis. For Strategic Suppliers, this documentation is maintained by Strategic Purchasing, Contracts & Insurance.