Original Issuance Date: October 15, 2019
Last Revision Date: October 15, 2019
Effective Date: December 1, 2019

1. Purpose of Procedure

This procedure is to define how University of Wisconsin (UW) System institutions shall conduct requests for proposals (RFP) when using Board of Regents (BOR) procurement authority.

2. Responsible UW System Officer

UW System Director of Procurement

3. Definitions

Procurement Lead: A Purchasing Staff member who is trained and has experience in conducting sealed bids and competitive proposals.

4. Procedure

UW institutions have the responsibility to promote maximum competition in awarding contracts in order to obtain the best contract value for the university.  The RFP is a tool that can be used when requirements are not well defined and both requirements and costs need to be considered in making an award.

A. Issuance of the RFP

A RFP shall include:

  1. A statement of services, items or equipment needed;
  2. The date, time and place for receipt of proposals and a statement if electronic proposals were accepted;
  3. The evaluation factors and the weighting of factors;
  4. Identify mandatory and technical requirements. Mandatory requirements are a pass/fail factor.  Technical requirements should describe the services, equipment or outcome needed and how they are scored;
  5. All required contract terms and conditions, found in the standard Terms and Conditions certifications, and securities shall be included; and
  6. Dispute language shall be included in service contracts.

B. Advertisement and Release of the RFP

  1. The Procurement Lead shall ensure that sufficient time is given to potential proposers to prepare responses. RFPs valued over $150,000 must be formally advertised.
  2. Amendments or addenda may be issued by the procurement lead. Extending the due date should be considered if substantial changes are made to the RFP via an amendment.

C. Mistakes, Errors, and Withdrawals of Proposals

  1. The Procurement Lead may give a proposer an opportunity to cure a technicality or minor error in their proposal.
  2. A proposer may correct mistakes discovered before the time and date set for the opening or the proposals by withdrawal or modification of the proposal.
  3. A proposer may withdraw a proposal.

D. Late Proposals, Late Modifications, and Late Withdrawals

Any proposal, request for withdrawal or modification of a proposal that is not received at the designated location, time and date set in the RFP will be considered late and will not be considered. Delivery of the Proposal to the specified location is the sole responsibility of the proposer.

E. The Role of the Procurement Lead

  1. RFPs shall be conducted by a procurement lead who is trained and has experience in conducting RFPs. The procurement lead is not an evaluator.
  2. Provides training, guidance and facilitates the development of evaluation criteria and scoring with the evaluation team.
  3. Is responsible for the evaluation team members signing the confidentiality and conflict of interest forms.
  4. Be the sole contact for suppliers during the RFP process.
  5. Keep records of all meetings, presentations, evaluation and decisions.
  6. At the conclusion of the evaluation, the procurement lead shall document the RFP process by
    1. Creating an abstract reflecting the technical and cost scores and providing a
    summary of the outcome of the evaluation process of the committee.
    2. Documenting the award. The award shall be made to the responsible firm
    whose proposal is most advantageous to the university, with price and
    other factors considered. The university may make multiple awards if that is
    stated in the RFP.
  7. Maintain the official procurement file.

F. The Role of the Evaluation Team

  1. The RFP evaluation team shall have a minimum of three members.
  2. Per the Governor’s Executive Order 137 evaluation teams shall exclude appointees which includes employees of the Office of the Governor, any unclassified agency head, deputy, etc. For the UW System Administration and campuses, appointees are defined as the UW System President, Vice Presidents, Chancellor, Vice Chancellors and Provosts.
  3. Evaluation team members shall be trained

G. Negotiation

  1. At the sole discretion of the Procurement Lead, negotiations may be held.
  2. The University will select the responsible firms deemed likely to be awarded a contract, for negotiations. If only one proposer is qualified, a contract may be negotiated and awarded to that proposer.
  3. Proposers shall be treated fairly in negotiations. The Procurement Lead shall establish the procedures and schedule for conducting any negotiations.
  4. During Negotiations, the Procurement lead and negotiating team shall not disclose any information from a competing proposal or advise a proposer of its standing relative to another proposer.

H. Best and Final Offers (BAFO)

  1. Proposers may be requested to revise their proposals by submitting a BAFO, as determined by the procurement lead. The request can be based on one or multiple elements of the RFP.
  2. The procurement lead shall establish the due date of the BAFO.
  3. A proposer’s previous offer shall be deemed final unless a new best and final offer is submitted as requested.

I. Notice of Intent to Award and Dispute Process

For service contracts, once the high scoring proposer is identified a Notice of Intent to Award letter shall be sent to all proposers identifying the winning proposal.  Proposers shall follow the dispute process found in UW System Administrative Policy 534, Procurement: Disputes, if they want to dispute the award on service contracts.

After the Notice of Intent to Award has been issued, proposers may request a copy of the Abstract.

J. Final Contract

The final contract shall not materially differ from the scope of the RFP.

5. Related Documents

Uniform Guidance  2 CFR 200.318

Executive Order 131

UW System Administrative Policy 521, Authority to Sign Procurement Contracts in the UW System

UW System Administrative Policy 521.A, Procurement: Simplified and Sealed Bidding

UW System Administrative Policy 534, Procurement: Disputes

 6. Policy History

First approved: October 15, 2019