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

1. Policy Purpose

To establish procedures regarding public availability of procurement records issued under Board of Regents Authority. This procedure pertains only to goods and services that fall under the Board of Regents (BOR) procurement authority. Wisconsin State Statutes and Administrative Code establish Public Records regulations. This procedure establishes how UW institutions are to proceed so as to be in compliance with the regulations.

2. Responsible UW System Officer

UW System Associate Vice President for Administrative Services

3. Definitions

Record: Any material on which written, drawn, printed, spoken, visual, or electromagnetic information or electronically generated or stored data is recorded or preserved, regardless of physical form or characteristics which has been created or is being kept by an agency. Record does not include drafts, notes, preliminary computations and like materials prepared for the originator’s personal use or prepared in the name of the person for whom the originator is working; materials which are purely the personal property of the custodian and have no relation to his or her office; materials to which access is limited by copyright, patent, or bequest; and published materials in the possession of an authority other than a public library which are available for sale, or which are available for inspection at a public library.

Requester: Any person who requests inspection or copies of a record.

Confidential information or trade secrets: Information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique or process to which all of the following apply:

  1. The information derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use; and
  2. The information is the subject of efforts to maintain its secrecy that are reasonable under the circumstances

4. Procedures

In accordance with State Public Records Laws, the University shall maintain an open and public procurement contracting process.

Bidder’s Lists

At the university’s discretion, a lists of bidder’s to whom a Request for Proposal (RFP) has been sent may be kept closed until the notice of intent to award is issued. The university may choose to divulge the lists before the bid/proposal due date to increase competition and/or encourage partnerships among vendors. For Simplified Bids under $150,000, Bidders lists may be kept closed until the contract award has been made.

RFB Openings

Opening bids from a Request for Bid (RFB) process is open to the public. At the opening, the Bidder’s name and price shall be read. When bids are too long to read, it is permissible to just read the bidder’s name. Bids do not need to be evaluated nor do awards need to be announced at the bid opening. If requested, after the bid opening, a summary of the bidder information shall be disclosed.

RFB Records

RFB records may not be available for public inspection before the notice of intent to award is issued for services.

Records for RFBs for commodities or Simplified Bids under $150,000, should not be released before the contract is awarded.

The public may inspect RFB records and may copy them after the notice of intent to award is issued or, in the case of RFBs for commodities and for RFBs $150,000 or less, after the contract is awarded.

RFP Records

Request for proposal (RFP) proposer names shall not be released prior to notice of intent to award is released.

Materials submitted by proposers and related to the RFP process may not be available for public inspection before the notice of intent to award is issued or, in the case of RFPs for commodities and for RFPs $150,000 or less, before the contract is awarded.

All materials submitted for the RFP process are available for public inspection after the notice of intent to award is issued or, in the case of RFPs for commodities and for RFPs $150,000 or less, after the contract is awarded except as noted below.

Supplier’s Confidential Information

Any record or portion of a record that contains confidential information or a trade secret may be withheld. Such information must be identified as confidential or a trade secret by the Bidder/proposer at the time the bid or proposal is submitted.

General Records

The university will make available for inspection and copying any record produced or collected by a vendor under a contract to the same extent as if the record were maintained by the agency.

5. Related Documents

Section 16.75(1)(a), Wis. Stats., Purchasing, Buy on Low Bid, Exceptions

Sections 19.31 19.32, 19.33, 19.34, 19.35, 19.36, 19.37, 19.39, Public Records and Property

Section 19.85(1)(e), Open Meetings of Governmental Bodies, Exemptions

Section 134.90(1)(c), Wis. Stats., Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Section 943.205(2)(e), Wis. Stats., Theft of Trade Secrets

6Policy History

First approved: October 15, 2019