Issue Date: October 23, 2019
Updated: December 15, 2021
Bidding is the Appropriate Procurement Process When Cost is the Major Factor
The District may award a contract for a procurement by the bidding process, in accordance with this policy, the rules of the Procurement Policy Board, and the Utah Procurement Code. Awarding contracts by bidding is the appropriate procurement process to follow when cost is the major factor in determining the award of a procurement.
The Bidding Process
Invitation for bids
Procurement by bidding begins when the District issues an invitation for bids. The invitation for bids shall (1) state the period of time during which bids will be accepted, (2) describe the manner in which a bid shall be submitted, (3) state the place where a bid shall be submitted, (4) include, or incorporate by reference, to the extent practicable a full description of the procurement items sought and the full scope of work, (5) include, or incorporate by reference, the objective criteria that will be used to evaluate the bids; and (6) include, or incorporate by reference, the required contractual terms and conditions. The invitation for bids includes all documents, including documents that are attached or incorporated by reference, used for soliciting bids to provide a procurement item to a procurement unit. The invitation for bids shall contain a “Bid Form” or other forms providing lines for the bid price, acknowledgment of receipt of any addenda, identification of other applicable submissions, and the bidder’s signature. Bidders may also be required to submit descriptive literature and/or product samples so that the District may evaluate whether a procurement item meets the specifications and other requirements set out in the invitation for bids. The invitation for bids shall be published according to the notice requirements in Policy CBA.
A “specification” means any description of the physical or functional characteristics, or nature of a procurement item included in an invitation for bids or otherwise specified or agreed to by the District, including a description of a requirement for inspecting or testing a procurement item or preparing a procurement item for delivery. All specifications shall seek to promote the overall economy and best use for the purposes intended and encourage competition in satisfying the needs of the District and may not be unduly restrictive. This applies to all specifications used by the District, including those prepared by architects, engineers, designers, and draftsmen. (See “Specifications” in Policy CBA.)
Cancellation of invitation for bids
As provided for by statute, the District may cancel an invitation for bids if the Procurement Official determines that doing so is in the best interests of the District. When an invitation for bids is canceled in this way, the Procurement Official shall explain in writing the reasons for the cancellation and the District shall make that explanation available to the public for one year after the cancellation.
As provided in the Procurement Policy Board regulations, an invitation for bids may be canceled by the District prior to the deadline for submission of bids when the District determines it is in its best interest. If the District cancels an invitation for bids, the reasons for the cancellation shall be made part of the procurement file and shall be available for public inspection. The District shall then either re-solicit bids (using the same or revised specifications) or withdraw the requisition for the procurement item or items.
If there is no initial response to an initial invitation for bids, the Procurement Official may:
- contact the known supplier community to determine why there were no responses to the invitation;
- research the potential vendor community; and,
- modify the invitation for bids based upon the information gathered.
If the District has modified the invitation for bids and re-issued it and still receives no bids or there is insufficient competition, the Procurement Officer or Board of Education or its designee shall require the District to further modify the procurement documents or cancel the requisition for the procurement item(s). (If the requirements set forth in Policy CBA for making an award based on a single response to a solicitation are met, the Board may make an award based on a single bid.)
Bid opening and acceptance
A “bidder” is a person who responds to an invitation for bids. A “responsible” bidder is one who is capable, in all respects, of meeting all the requirements of the invitation for bids and fully performing all the requirements of the resulting contract, including being financially solvent with sufficient financial resources to perform the contract. A “responsive” bid is one that conforms in all material respects to the invitation for bids.
The District shall accept bids as provided in the invitation for bids and may not open a bid until after the deadline for submitting bids. A person who submits a bid may not, after the submission deadline, make a change to the bid if the change is prejudicial to either the interest of the District or to fair competition. The District may not accept a bid after the submission deadline except when the District determines that an error on the part of the District or its employee resulted in the bid not being received by the due date and time.
Correction or clarification of bids
The Board of Education or its designee may allow a vendor to correct an immaterial error in a bid, as provided in Policy CBA and may also request a vendor to clarify information contained in a bid, as provided in Policy CBA
Cancellation before award
When the District determines before award but after opening that the specifications, scope of work or other requirements contained in the invitation for bid documents were not met by any bidder or offeror the invitation for bids shall be cancelled.
In addition, the District may cancel an invitation for bids before award but after opening all bids or offers when the District determines in writing that an infraction of code, rule, or policy has occurred or that there is other good cause, including:
- inadequate, erroneous, or ambiguous specifications or requirements were cited in the invitation for bids;
- the bid specifications have been or must be revised;
- the procurement item(s) being solicited are no longer required;
- the invitation for bids did not provide for consideration of all factors of cost to the District, such as cost of transportation, warranties, service and maintenance;
- the bids received indicate that the District’s needs can be satisfied by a less expensive procurement item differing from that in the invitation for bids;
- except as provided below regarding bids which exceed available funds, all otherwise acceptable bids or offers received are at unreasonable prices, or only one bid or offer is received and the Procurement Official or Board of Education or its designee cannot determine the reasonableness of the bid price;
- the responses to the invitation for bids were not independently arrived at in open competition, were collusive, or were submitted in bad faith; or,
- no responsive bid has been received from a responsible bidder.
If the District has an existing contract for a procurement item that the invitation for bids is to obtain and the bidding process is delayed due to an unintentional error, the District may permit the extension of the existing contract.
Evaluation of bids and awarding of contract
The District shall evaluate bids using the objective criteria described in the invitation for bids, and to achieve the greatest long-term value to the District. Criteria not described in the invitation for bids may not be used to evaluate a bid.
Any bid that is determined to be nonresponsive shall be rejected. Any bid that is submitted by a bidder that is determined to be not responsible shall be rejected.
The originals of all bids rejected as nonresponsive or because the bidder was determined to be not responsible and all written findings with respect to such rejections shall be made part of the procurement file and made available for public inspection.
Multiple or alternate bids will not be accepted, unless otherwise specifically required or allowed in the invitation for bids. If a bidder submits multiple or alternate bids that are not requested in the invitation for bids, the Procurement Officer or Board of Education or its designee will only accept the bidder's first bid and will not accept any other bids constituting multiple or alternate bids.
After evaluating the bids, the District shall:
- award the contract as soon as practicable to the responsible bidder who submits the lowest responsive bid and publish the name and bid amount of the bidder to whom the contract is awarded or
- cancel the invitation for bids without awarding a contract and publish a notice of the cancellation that includes an explanation of the reasons for cancelling the invitation for bids.
Re-solicitation of a bid may occur only if the Procurement Official or Board of Education or its designee determines that:
- A material change in the scope of work or specifications has occurred;
- procedures outlined in the Utah Procurement Code were not followed;
- additional public notice is desired;
- there was a lack of adequate competition; or
- other reasons exist such that it is in the best interest of the District.
Re-solicitation may not be used to avoid awarding a contract to a qualified vendor in an attempt to steer the award of a contract to a favored vendor.
A “tie bid” means that the lowest responsive bids of responsible bidders are identical in price. In the event of tie bids, the District shall resolve the tie in a fair manner, as determined in writing by the Procurement Official.
The District shall, on the day on which the award of a contract is announced, make available to each bidder and to the public a notice that includes: (1) the name of the bidder to which the contract is awarded and the price(s) of the procurement item(s); and (2) the names and the prices of each bidder to which the contract is not awarded.