Bidding and Quoting Regulations

 

Revised September 2011

Definitions

A quotation is a vendor's price in writing, to a College employee. For orders totaling between $5,000 and $9,999, the Procurement Department requires three (3) e-quotes through the NC E-Procurement system.

A bid is a vendor's formal, written, sealed response–to be opened at a specific time–to a written invitation to furnish bids on goods or services. The Procurement Department solicits bids, through the State of NC Interactive Purchase and Contract website, for purchases over $9,999. Notice: ONLY PROCUREMENT BUYERS ARE ALLOWED TO CONTACT OR DISCUSS BIDS WITH POTENTIAL VENDORS OR STATE PURCHASING; DURING THE COMPLETE BID PROCESS,ALL COMMUNICATIONS MUST BE CONDUCTED THROUGH YOUR BUYER IN ORDER TO AVOID CANCELLATION OF THE BID. THIS IS STRICTLY ENFORCED.
*Please Note:
In writing your bid specs, these are terms/definitions to remember.  The correct usage will insure you get more of what you want from your bid.
RFP/RFQ/IFP/IFB/BID TERMS AND DEFINITIONS:
MAY:  Indicates something that is not mandatory but permissible/desirable.
MUST, WILL:  Indicates mandatory requirement.  Failure to meet these mandatory requirements may result in rejection of your proposal as non-responsive.  CPCC may, but is not required to, reserve the right to request additional information.
SHOULD:  Indicates something that is recommended but not mandatory.  If the Proposer fails to provide recommended information, CPCC may, at its sole option, ask the Proposer to provide the information or evaluate the proposal without the information.
RFP:  Request for Proposal
RFQ:  Request for Quotes
IFP:  Invitation for Proposal
IFB:  Invitation for Bid
 

Authority

The Procurement Department has sole authority to determine if use of state contracts, bids, or quotations meets all specifications of the user, furnishes the lowest price available, with acceptable delivery terms.


State rules

North Carolina General Statues require solicitation of bids to be issued by the Division of Purchase and Contract when the total not on State Contract purchase amount exceeds $50,000.

The Procurement Department alone maintains the responsibility of obtaining bids and quotations on purchases of less than $50,000 and for certain other goods and services. Quotes obtained by end user may be allowed if all purchasing requirements are met. Notice: ONLY PROCUREMENT BUYERS ARE ALLOWED TO CONTACT OR DISCUSS BIDS WITH POTENTIAL VENDORS OR STATE PURCHASING; DURING THE COMPLETE BID PROCESS, ALL COMMUNICATIONS MUST BE CONDUCTED THROUGH YOUR BUYER IN ORDER TO AVOID CANCELLATION OF THE BID. THIS IS STRICTLY ENFORCED.
State regulations specify that three competitive quotations be obtained for  purchases between $5,000.00-$9,999.00, according to agency guidelines and delegations.

State contract v. local vendor

All items on state contract must be purchased from the specified vendors at the listed prices. Items on state contract require no additional bidding regardless of the quantity or dollar amount.

NOTE: Exceptions to buying from state contracts will be handled on an individual basis after a thorough review and approval by the Procurement Department.
 

Bid guidelines
  

The following regulations govern quotation solicitation and purchasing at the College:

    • If an item is not on state contract, the following applies (the dollar amounts are inclusive of freight and taxes.):
    • State ITS maintains a $25,000 limit.  State ITS purchases $25,000 and up are via formal bid package approved by State ITS.   

    P & C BID GUIDELINES

    0 to $5,000

    $5,001 to $9,999.99

    $10,000 to $49,999.99

    $50,000 and up

    The CPCC Procurement Department may purchase merchandise, services or equipment from a requisition’s suggested vendor without soliciting any quotes after determining that state contract merchandise or equipment is not available. (lead-time maximum of 10 days)

    The CPCC Procurement Department, or requisitioning department, must solicit e-quotes from at least three vendors through the NC E-Procurement system after determining that state contract merchandise or equipment is not available. For printing services, one informal written quote must be solicited from the CPCC Print Shop. (Lead-time 1-20 days)

    The CPCC Procurement Department must solicit formal written (can not accept faxes) bids through the State of N.C. Interactive Purchasing System  for 10 days. (lead-time 10 -20 days) Notice: ONLY PROCUREMENT BUYERS ARE ALLOWED TO CONTACT OR DISCUSS BIDS WITH POTENTIAL VENDORS OR STATE PURCHASING; DURING THE COMPLETE BID PROCESS, ALL COMMUNICATIONS MUST BE CONDUCTED THROUGH YOUR BUYER IN ORDER TO AVOID CANCELLATION OF THE BID. THIS IS STRICTLY ENFORCED.

    A formal requisition package must be sent to the Purchase and Contract Division in Raleigh for bid solicitation after determining that state contract merchandise or equipment is not available. (lead-time 20-60 days, maybe longer depending on P&C) Notice: ONLY PROCUREMENT BUYERS ARE ALLOWED TO CONTACT OR DISCUSS BIDS WITH POTENTIAL VENDORS OR STATE PURCHASING; DURING THE COMPLETE BID PROCESS, ALL COMMUNICATIONS MUST BE CONDUCTED THROUGH YOUR BUYER IN ORDER TO AVOID CANCELLATION OF THE BID. THIS IS STRICTLY ENFORCED.

      • Bid and quotation requirements are determined by the total amount of the requisition and not on the price of a single item.
      • Per statute, a requisition cannot be split or divided in order to prevent it from being bid or quoted.
      • Single source items require a letter of justification from the originator citing specific reasons why the item is available from only one particular source (see Designating a Sole Source Vendor). Further substantiation may be required by Buyers to document Purchasing file.

       

      NOTE:  Requisitions must be created from a quote or an e-quote and not an invoice.  Requisitions that do not follow this procedure will be denied by the Procurement Department until the CPCC Unauthorized Purchase process has been completed.  Click the Unauthorized Purchases tab to the left to view the CPCC Unauthorized Purchase procedures.

       


      Purchase order process

      The Procurement Department uses the bid or quotation information in preparing the official purchase order to be issued to the vendor, giving the vendor all information needed for accepting orders from the College, specifying delivery, invoicing and payment terms.


      Exceptions

      Any exceptions to the printed terms and conditions shown in the purchase order must have prior approval by the Buyer before the order is placed. Any other recommendation by the user concerning a purchase must be fully justified and approved in writing by the Buyer for any consideration in accepting a bid or quotation which is not the lowest bid.


      Waiver of competitive bidding

      When circumstances allow and approval is made by Procurement Department, direct bidding or quotations may be waived if determined in the public interest.


      Examples of waivers

      Here are some examples of situations where competitive bidding may be waived:

        • Competition may not be available for a particular product or service (see Designating a Sole Source Vendor").
        • No satisfactory bids are received.
        • Compatibility or standardization is justified.
        • Specific and/or personal services are required.
        • Specialized service and maintenance services are required.
        • Purchase of previously leased equipment for which lease payments are complete.
        • Previous bid prices and terms are still in effect and would be reflected in current rebidding of the same product.
        • An emergency purchase is justified and the materials in stock are subject to prior sale by the vendor.
        • Documented and approved case of "pressing need"
      In any case, all such determinations will be made by the Buyer and the Executive Director of Procurement.

      Resolving issues with vendors

      Informal contact with vendors to resolve minor problems in shipment, pricing, or other customer service issues may be handled directly by the end user, or your Buyer, as desired. For disputes concerning contract and bid awards, bid or quotation pricing or terms and conditions errors, please contact your Buyer for handling. Please call the Procurement Department if you have concerns that require information or further assistance. (704)330-4466