Finance Division

Competitive Sealed Bids

The procurement must be initiated by submitting an approved purchase requisition to Procurement Services through buyWays. The Purchasing Gatekeeper (or designee) in buyWays, will assign a Procurement Specialist the requisition to complete the appropriate source selection method outlined below. On occasion, Procurement may initiate a bid without a requisition, however, those will be limited to University-wide contracts that do not carry any obligation on the University to utilize, and thus do not require a specific purchase order to be issued. The Bid Specialist or Procurement Specialist prepares the form and faxes or E-mails it to the Materials Management Office to advertise the solicitation in South Carolina Business Opportunities.

The Bid Specialist, or Procurement Specialist, completes the bid package and verifies for accuracy. Written determinations are completed for multi-year contracts. The bid is logged in the bid book and the conference room is reserved if required. The bid is then loaded to the Procurement Services website, and/or the buyWays online bidding portal. Through the portal, bidders lists are created, and registered vendors are electronically notified of the bid opportunity.  The Bid Specialist, or Procurement Specialist, is also responsible for preparing any additional documents required, such as sign-in sheets for pre-bid conferences, etc. A hard copy of the bid is filed in a tickler file on the date it is to be opened. All bid documents are also filed electronically by bid number on the Procurement network drive.

If offerors submit hardcopy bids, those incoming bids are stamped with the arrival date and time on the envelope and given to the bid specialist for filing and safeguarding.  If offerors submit electronic/on-line bids, those bids are date/time stamped and kept sealed and secure by buyWays until bid opening. The bid specialist is responsible for assembling all bids/proposals/samples received for bid openings.

Bids/proposals are opened at the assigned date and time in compliance with Code Section 11-35-1520(6) and Regulations 19-445.2050. Hardcopy bids are opened and stamped with the date and time, and electronic bids are revealed on-line. Offeror's names and bids are read aloud. When all responses have been opened and keyed, the Bid Specialist, or Procurement Specialist, then enters any hardcopy bids into buyWays to create an electronic copy of the bid. Bids are then entered on an evaluation spreadsheet and returned to the buyer for evaluation.

The Procurement Specialist reviews the bids and bid analysis sheet to determine the award is in compliance with the Code. The Bid Specialist, or Procurement Specialist, then contacts the user department with award recommendation. When the department approved the award as recommended, the award is finalized. If it is not approved, then the Procurement Specialist handles each situation in accordance with remedies outlined in the Code and Regulations. The Bid Specialist, or Procurement Specialist, then completes, obtains signatures, and posts a statement of award to the Procurement website and notifies all bidders of the award via email.

The Procurement Specialist then completes the purchase requisition in buyWays, and a PO is distributed to the awarded vendor. If the order exceeds $100,000, an Intent to Award is posted and the requisition is not completed until the intent period has passed. The Procurement Director or Strategic Sourcing Manager will sign all award documents. If the solicitation results in an ongoing contract, the Procurement Specialist compiles a complete procurement file and separate contract file, and notified the Contract Administrator that the contract is ready to be entered into buyWays. In any bid, the complete procurement file is scanned and attached to the purchase requisition in buyWays – no hard copy is to be maintained.