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CWUR 3-10-610 Competitive Procurement Requirements

(1) General

Where practicable, the Purchasing Department will secure competitive bids on goods or services. Bids may be solicited verbally, in writing or by electronic/web-based means, depending upon the dollar amount of the transactions (RCW 39.26.120). Delegated authority has been granted in accordance with RCW 28B.10.029.

(2) Informal Competition

Requisitions having a value of $10,000 or more require an informal competitive process. A minimum of three written bids will be solicited from suppliers. Informal bid requests will be posted on the State of Washington’s online vendor registration system (WEBS) whenever practicable.

(3) Formal Competition

Requisitions having a value of $100,000 or more require a formal bid process to be performed by the Purchasing Office. All formal bid processes shall be posted on WEBS.

(4) Exceptions to Competitive Procurement Requirements

(A) Exceptions to the bidding processes outlined above are made in those situations where no apparent benefit would result to the University (RCW 39.26.125). Such exceptions include:

1. Sole Source - no other vendor supplies the products, such as replacement parts or patented products, utilities, etc. (a written sole source justification must be submitted with the purchase requisition), and CWU must comply with the provisions of RCW 39.26.140 (see CWU’s Sole Source Procurement Procedure);

2. Emergency contracts as defined in RCW 39.26.130;

3. Direct buy purchases (under $10,000);

4. Purchases from master contracts established by Department of Enterprise Services or other agencies of the State of Washington;

5. Purchases made utilizing contracts negotiated or entered into by, for, or through group purchasing organizations (GPO);

6. Client services contracts;

7. Purchases involving special facilities, services, or market conditions, in which instances direct negotiation is in the best interest of the state;

8. Other specific contracts or classes or groups of contracts exempted from the competitive process when the director of department of enterprise services determines that a competitive solicitation process is not appropriate or cost-effective;

9. Contracts awarded to companies that furnish a service where the tariff is established by the utilities and transportation commission or other public entity;

10. Intergovernmental agreements with any governmental entity, whether federal, state, or local and any department, division, or subdivision thereof;

11. Contracts for goods or services that are necessary to the conduct of collaborative research and;

12. Contracts for goods or services that are necessary to the conduct of educational curriculum.

13. Contracts for goods or services for resale.

14. Contracts for used equipment where fair market value can be determined by the Purchasing Office.

 (5) Bid Specifications

Central Washington University and the Federal Government both require fair and open competition based on generic specifications.

(A) Bids not meeting CWU’s requirements can be rejected if the original specifications were objective and based on the necessary function and performance of the items or services desired.

(B) Specifications for goods should be based on the functional or technical performance of the products. Specifications for services should be based on CWU’s needs with a detailed outline of how CWU expects the services to be performed, with specific timelines and performance benchmarks clearly defined for each time period.

(C) As a public institution, CWU must avoid making specifications too restrictive and, thus, preventing competition. Specifications should conclude with a brief statement of the expected performance of the products.

(D) When preparing the requirements for a request for proposals, the required performance must be clearly defined. Vendors are free to propose alternate products or services that will meet required performance standards.

(E) Multiple award criteria also may be specified. The basic criteria used at CWU include such considerations as ability to meet functional specifications, cost, references, warranty, and delivery. Additional criteria can be added to meet specific needs and help in the selection of compliant products.

(F) Federal funding for items greater than $3,499 requires CWU to obtain three quotes or utilize existing competitively bid contracts. Documentation must be maintained to prove that this determination was completed.

(G) Bids $10,000 and above generally are left open for a minimum of 7 to 10 days. Formal bids (complex projects or price only criteria) generally are left open for at least 30 days. Bid solicitations may be left open for longer than the period indicated, should the situation warrant.

(6) Diverse Business Inclusion Requirements

Washington State and Central Washington University encourage participation from minority and women owned businesses.

All informal competitive processes require that at a minimum one certified minority and one certified woman owned business are invited to participate.


[Responsibility: BFA; Authority: BAC; Reviewed/Endorsed by: Cabinet/UPAC; Review/Effective Date: 02/21/2018; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]

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