Office of Purchasing and Contracts Procurement Outreach Training Level III Procurements $50,000 and Above
NYS Procurement Policy It is the policy of the University at Albany, SUNY that utilization of preferred sources occur whenever possible. In accordance with State Finance Law and Corrections Law, the University is required to make purchases of commodities and services from preferred sources. Preferred sources must be considered whenever purchases of commodities or services are required. Additionally, it is the policy of the University at Albany, SUNY to take affirmative action to ensure that minority and women owned business enterprises are given the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to provide the University with commodities, services and printing at competitive prices.
State Procurement Levels DOLLAR THRESHOLD POLICY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK $0.00 - $10,000 Requires certification by the Purchasing Associate of reasonableness of price and notification to Agency Bidder’s List. $10,000.01 - $50,000 Requires certification by the Purchasing Associate of reasonableness of price and quarterly NYS Contract Reporter publication and Notification to Agency Bidder’s List $50,000.01 - $125,000 Requires 3 quotes or proposals and Individual NYS Contract Reporter publication (15 business days advance notice) $125,000.01 - $250,000 * Requires 5 sealed bids or proposals and Individual NYS Contract Reporter publication (15 business days advance notice) * For Services: No external agency prior approval is needed for contracts and purchase orders up to $250,000 EXCEPT if any one condition exists: a) bid protest; b) low bid or best value not used; c) award not made in accordance with provisions of bid; d) single or sole source procurement. If any single condition exists the approval limit is reduced to $125,000. * For Services: No external agency prior approval is needed for contracts and purchase orders EXCEPT if the procurement is a single or sole source. If so, the exemption approval limit is $50,000 but no external approval is required at any limit. $250,000.01 – Above 5 SEALED BIDS OR PROPOSALS and INDIVIDUAL CONTRACT REPORTER NOTICE (15 BUSINESS DAYS ADVANCE NOTICE) with approval of Attorney General (when appropriate) and State Comptroller THE PURCHASING STAFF RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK COMPETITION AT ANY LEVEL.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance Workers' compensation provides medical treatment, wage replacement and permanent disability compensation to employees who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses, and death benefits to dependents of workers who have died as a result of their employment. Prior to any permit being issued or any contract being entered into for work in which employees of a business will be engaged in hazardous employment the University must obtain acceptable proof that a business has secured workers’ compensation insurance. Please contact the Office of Purchasing and Contracts for additional information.
Disability Insurance Disability insurance replaces a workers income should a sickness or illness prevent the worker from earning an income. Prior to any permit being issued or any contract being entered into for work in which employees of a business will be engaged in hazardous employment the University must obtain acceptable proof that a business has secured disability insurance. Please contact the Office of Purchasing and Contracts for additional information.
The use of Requests for Information Should a Request for Information (“RFI”) be done? An RFI allows for the information on the latest available products on the market place to be obtained. The RFI does not lead to an award but is a way to gather information that may be used to draft a Request for Proposal (RFP)/Invitation for Bid (IFB). The RFI process allows for the gathering of information from all possible bidders and to drafting a more successful Request for Proposal /Information for Bid. An RFI must be advertised in the NYS Contract Reporter.
Bidding Components – Information Required to Complete an Invitation for Bid Requisition to encumber the necessary funds. Detailed technical specifications. Clear method of award criteria. Contract Reporter guidelines compliance (State only). Bidders list. Thorough review of all proposals. Recommendation for award. Execution of final contract. Final approval from appropriate authority.
Drafting Bid Specifications Technical specifications should be developed independently based on the end user needs. A consultant may be utilized to assist in the drafting and response review. Vendors who assist in bid drafting are not allowed to bid on the procurement. Referencing a make and model is permitted but allowance for equivalent offerings is required.
Drafting Bid Specifications (Cont’d) Specifications need to include mandatory requirements but cannot unreasonably restrict the number of bidders. Inclusion of expected warranty requirements, detailed delivery requirements and/or custom brokerage charges are important components to include in the bid documents. Prequalifications limiting the pool of bidders to those meeting specific requirements may be used with appropriate justification. Prequalification criteria may include the requirement that bidders are authorized Agents of the manufacturer or are certified by the manufacturer to perform a certain service.
Drafting Bid Specifications (Cont’d) The requirement of mandatory items in a bid should be limited to necessary items. If mandatory specifications are not met by a bidder, the entire bid must be rejected. Specifications involving installation require a certificate of insurance and a wage rate schedule from the Department of Labor with the bid. All bidders must disclose the use of subcontractors. The primary contractor must ensure that subcontractors comply with all requirements of the award.
Drafting Bid Specifications (Cont’d) Terms directly related to what is being purchased are to be included in the bid. Important terms include: Right to reject any and all bids; Right to accept best and final offers; Right to issue amendments to correct errors; Extension of bid opening date; and Request clarification. MWBE goals will be noted in the bid and advertised in the NYS Contract Reporter. Allowance for written Q&A’s help to ensure that bidders understand the nature and scope of the bid and may identify possible problems with bid. Inclusion of the date written questions are due and the date answers will be sent out are part of the bid document.
Drafting Bid Specifications (Cont’d) Walkthroughs for technical bids or those requiring installation allows potential bidders to review the project. Walkthroughs must be noted in the document with the date, time, location and contact person stated. Mandatory walkthroughs require a sign in sheet which is to be submitted to the Purchasing Office upon the conclusion of the walkthroughs. Bid rejection for missing a mandatory walkthrough must be stated in the bid document. Answers to questions raised at walkthroughs must be shared with all potential bidders.
Drafting Bid Specifications (Cont’d) Special bidding regulations include but are not limited to: Printing; NYS Printing Law. Textiles; Fair Labor Standards Recycling content specifications; EO4 Bidders will be required to submit documentation stating that they can meet the requirements. Debriefing language is to be included in all bid documents.
Submittal Review Bids received by the opening time are publicly read by the Purchasing Office. After recording, the bids are forwarded to the technical team for review. The technical team makes a written determination of award and forwards it to the Purchasing Associate (“PA”). The PA will review the math and technical scoring. Bid rejection for non-conformance must be for significant issues and must be outlined in the bid.
Submittal Review (Cont’d) Bids rejected due to specifications not being met need to be noted along with supporting documentation as to why that specification was necessary. The winning bid must be reviewed to ensure all specifications are met. All bidders will be notified by the Purchasing Office of the results. Copies of the bid tabulation can be provided upon request and are available in the New York State Contract Reporter.
Request for Proposal - Best Value Generally RFP’s are created for large dollar technical purchases, services and consultants. Consideration in addition to costs are evaluated and may include references, years of experience, similar experience and or project history. Require detailed specifications and a pre-established evaluation matrix to be scored by an evaluation team. Evaluation teams may include end users and financial personnel.
Drafting an RFP Drafting RFP’s Develop the scoring matrix with the RFP Mandatory items Scoring criteria Bidder qualifications Licenses Regulatory scoring Equipment list Experience The RFP document usually includes Information on the University and Department’s mission. A brief description of the project. A list of mandatory requirements for all vendor’s to meet. Technical scoring criteria and informational response section
Drafting RFP’s (Cont’d) The matrix and RFP are drafted together to ensure that the answers scored in the matrix appear as questions in the RFP. Mandatory requirements are evaluated on a pass/fail basis but are not included in the scoring criteria. Proposals meeting mandatory requirements are scored against the matrix. Cost should be at least 20% of the total scoring criteria depending on the value to be placed on the technical portion. Software purchases may have lower weighted cost (i.e., 25%) while services may have a higher weighted cost (i.e., 60%).
Drafting RFP’s (Cont’d) Objective questions include the following: Years of experience Number of similar projects performed Number of qualified staff assigned to the project Subjective questions should be avoided because the responses are subject to interpretation. Benchmarks/standards should be used to compare bidder responses. References should be reviewed via a questionnaire. Questions should prompt responses from the reference such as yes or no or good, fair, poor.
RFP-Evaluation Process Forming and Instructing the Review Team All members of the RFP evaluation team must participate in the scoring of all the proposals. Multiple levels of scoring Mandatory items Technical Specifications References Oral Presentations Additional Points or Rescoring Financial Statements; may require assistance from an individual with the ability and expertise to evaluate the document. Cost
RFP-Evaluation Process (Cont’d) Most cost awards are based on a formula. For example, the lowest bidder receives the highest rating and the next lowest bidders get a portion of the points awarded. The base score as outlined in the RFP can be set to limit the number of bidders receiving invitations for oral interviews/presentations. The scoring used for the oral interviews must be outlined in the RFP. The scoring process may allow for the review team to ask for written clarification. Written clarification required from a bidder must have a due date and time.
RFP-Evaluation Process (Cont’d) Multiple awards can be made from one RFP: The awarding of work must be outlined clearly in the RFP. There is no guarantee of the amount of work to be assigned, but the contract is to be for the actual amount of work assigned during the term. Cost is the critical factor in the review by OSC and must be clear to the auditor. For a new type of RFP or Bid, the Purchasing Office will often seek out information from other SUNY’s, Agencies or pass a draft of the procurement to OSC for comment before it goes out to the vendor community. Vendors must be notified in writing of rejected proposals and be given an opportunity for debriefing.
Time Line Based on Final Draft RFP & Scoring Matrix Contract Reporter Advertisement 3 Week Min. Scoring of RFP’s Approximately 2-3 Weeks Contract Development and Signature 3 Weeks NYS Attorney General Approval 2 Weeks NYS Comptroller Approval 4-6 Week Min.