Developing Requests for Proposals, Requests for Quotations and Solicitation Bids

A Request for Proposal (RFP) is issued by the University for the purpose of soliciting and negotiating a specific price and terms and conditions from multiple vendors for a scope service of a specific project which may include the potential to purchase specific goods and services). A Request for Quotation (RFQ) is issued by the University for the purpose of soliciting the price and terms and conditions of sale for very specific equipment or goods. RFPs and RFQs are methods used by the University to ensure an open and fair bidding process for goods and/or services contracted by the University.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

RFPs are usually required for any capital or special project with a projected total cost of $10,000 or greater. While potential equipment acquisitions are usually addressed through requests for quotations (RFQs addressed below), an RFP may be required if the equipment specifications or terms and conditions for its use, maintenance and service are extensive and complex or are associated with a capital project. University requires that at least three proposals be solicited, received and reviewed.

Request for exemption from the requirement for a minimum of three proposals should be directed to the Director of Materials Management and Chief Procurement Officer. Documentation of the reasons for not obtaining at least three proposals (e.g., Sole Source Justification, Preferred Vendor) must be submitted with the requisition through Oracle iProcurement.

The RFP should detail the scope of work to be completed by or partnered with the vendor (the feasibility study or gap analysis), the responsibilities of both the vendor and the University (the Statement of Work), the time line of the project (project milestones), the projected total cost of the project to the University (including all mutually agreed payment terms based as percentages to be paid upon successful completion of project milestones), and explanation and estimates for any out of scope amendments (scope creep) to the project. The RFP must clearly define all technical specifications (must also specify all potential uses of RU Resources as well). The RFP must include the deadline for submission to qualify for consideration by the University.

RFPs will be reviewed by the specific department managing the project to confirm that the technical requirements have been addressed. RFPs will be reviewed by the Purchasing Department and the Finance Office to ensure that procurement and financial requirements are satisfied. RFPs are also subject to review by the Office of General Counsel to ensure legal compliance.

An RFP must include at least the following:

In awarding a contract/job to a vendor, the University will consider variables such as the size and longevity of the vendor, vendor resources, past performance of vendors at the University or as described by referenced clients, quality and timeliness of the submission of the proposal in response to the RFP, as well as the technical information provided in the proposal itself.

Request for Quotation (RFQ)

A Request for Quotation (RFQ) provides potential vendors with information on desired equipment or commodities, including description and quantity. The University requires the use of RFQs for equipment and certain commodity acquisitions. An RFQ form is available on line and is shown in Attachment A of this policy; the University will accept vendor formatted quotations as long as they contain at least the same information shown on the University RFQ form.

RFQs should be used to solicit quotes for

As stated above, RFPs may be more appropriate and required for equipment or commodity purchases that are technically complex, that are accompanied by nonstandard terms and conditions, or are part of a capital project. If you are uncertain whether an RFP or RFQ is appropriate, consult with the Director of Materials Management and Chief Procurement Officer.

A minimum of three quotations is required for equipment or commodity purchases of $10,000 or more. Exceptions to this requirement may be made for purchases of equipment or commodities that are available from sole or limited sources (See Attachment B - Sole Source Justification Form) or for reasons of preferred vendor status or business continuity. Requests for exemption for the requirement for three quotations should be directed to the Director of Materials Management and Chief Procurement Officer. Documentation of the reasons for not obtaining at least three quotations must be submitted with the requisition.