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Procurement Methods

Introduction to Procurement Methods

When you are trying to obtain goods, services or information technology that are not on an existing state or agency contract, are not considered a sole source procurement, and are not listed on the DPV Exemptions List, a competitive procurement method is in order. Procurement Services will work alongside of our customers to determine the best method of competitive procurement corresponding to the customer’s needs; however, it is the desire of Procurement Services to familiarize our customers with these methods in order to streamline our process and to provide an expectation of our services. After review of the methods below, Procurement recommends starting the process by submitting a purchase requisition in buyWays and completing and attaching a detailed Scope of Work to the requisition. When the purchase requisition reaches Procurement Services and is assigned to a buyer, the buyer will work directly with the customer through the competitive procurement process. There are five (5) types of competitive procurement methods that are utilized in Procurement Services based on the S.C. Consolidated Procurement Code as indicated below.

Types of Procurement Methods

  • Invitation for Bid (IFB)

    Estimated Timetable: 10-14 days*

    Conditions for Use: >$10,000 but <$50,000 

    Advertised in SC Business Opportunities (SCBO): Yes

    Award: Made to lowest responsive and responsible bidder through Statement of Award

    Issued by: Procurement Services through our online bidding system.

    Protestable: No

    Summary: An Invitation for Bid is used for procurements requiring competitive bidding where the dollar limitation is greater than $10,000 but less than $50,000. This competitive method of procurement is used for specific supplies, services, or information technology that can be specified through a Scope of Work document. This method of procurement is used for a variety of goods, services and information technology such as printing services, equipment, hardware, software, supplies, etc. This method of procurement is normally used for items that are not complex in nature but more standard with the customer having no problems specifying a description and quantity of the items and/or services needed. The award is made to the lowest bidder that meets all requirements identified in the Scope of Work document.

    *Please note that this timetable is an estimate. Actual time may vary dependent on details surrounding specific procurement.

  • Sealed Bid (SB)

    Estimated Timetable: 14 days if under $100,000; 26 days if over $100,000 *

    Conditions for Use: >$50,000

    Advertised in SC Business Opportunities (SCBO): Yes

    Award: If less than $100,000, award is made to lowest responsive and responsible bidder through Statement of Award. If award is greater than $100,000, award is made to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder through an Intent-to-Award. This Intent-to-Award allows for a 10-calendar day window for any protest(s) to be filed.

    Issued by: Procurement Services through our online bidding system.

    Protestable: Yes

    Summary: A Sealed Bid is used for procurements requiring competitive bidding where the dollar limitation is greater than $50,000. This competitive method of procurement is used for specific supplies, services, or information technology that can be specified through a Scope of Work document. This method of procurement is used for a variety of goods, services and information technology such as printing services, equipment, hardware, software, supplies, etc. This method of procurement is normally used for items that are not extremely complex in nature with the customer having no problems specifying a description and quantity of the items and/or services needed. The award is made to the lowest bidder that meets all requirements identified in the Scope of Work document.

     *Please note that this timetable is an estimate. Actual time may vary dependent on details surrounding specific procurement.

  • Best Value Bid (BVB)

    Estimated Timetable: 30 days*

    Conditions for Use: > $10,000

    The purpose of best value bidding is to allow factors other than price to be considered in the determination of award for specific supplies, services, or information technology based on pre-determined criteria identified by Clemson University.

    Advertised in SC Business Opportunities (SCBO): Yes

    Award: Award will be made to the highest ranked, responsive and responsible Offeror whose offer is determined to be the most advantageous to the University. If less than $100,000 award will be made through Statement of Award. If greater than $100,000, award will be made through Intent-to-Award. This Intent-to-Award allows for a 10-calendar day window for any protest(s) to be filed.

    Issued by: Procurement Services through our online bidding system.

    Protestable: Yes (if over $50,000)

    Summary: A Best Value Bid is used for procurements requiring competitive bidding where factors other than price are to be considered in the determination of award for specific supplies, services, or information technology. These factors are based on pre-determined criteria that are identified by Clemson University in the Scope of Work document under the “Evaluation Criteria” Section. The best value bid must state the factors to be used in determination of award and the numerical weighting for each factor. Cost must be a factor in determination of award and cannot be weighted at less than 60% or 60 points. The award is made to the highest ranked, responsive and responsible bidder whose bid is determined, in writing, to be most advantageous to Clemson University, taking into consideration all evaluation factors set forth in the best value bid.

    *Please note that this timetable is an estimate. Actual time may vary dependent on details surrounding specific procurement.

  • Fixed Price Bid (FPB)

    Estimated Timetable: 14 days if under $100,000; 26 days if over $100,000*

    Conditions for Use: >$10,000

    The purpose of fixed price bidding is to provide multiple sources of supply for specific services, supplies, or information technology based on a preset maximum price which Clemson University will pay for such services, supplies, or information technology.

    Advertised in SC Business Opportunities (SCBO): Yes

    Award: Award must be made to all responsive and responsible bidders to Clemson University’s request for competitive fixed price bidding. If less than $100,000, award is made to all responsive and responsible bidders through a Statement of Award. If award is greater than $100,000, award is made to all responsive and responsible bidders through an Intent-to-Award. This Intent-to-Award allows for a 10-calendar day window for any protest(s) to be filed.

    Issued by: Procurement Services through our online bidding system.

    Protestable: Yes (if over $50,000)

    Summary: A Fixed Price Bid is used for procurements in which multiple sources of supply would like to be provided for specific services, supplies, or information technology. Clemson University would define the items and/or services along with a maximum price that the University would pay for each item and/or service. All bidders would be required to meet the specifications/requirements defined in the Scope of Work document along with meeting the maximum price per item and/or service. Bidders may bid lower than the maximum price; however, all bidders that meet the requirements identified in the Scope of Work document and meet the maximum price or less will be subject for award.

    *Please note that this timetable is an estimate. Actual time may vary dependent on details surrounding specific procurement.

  • Request for Proposal (RFP)

    Estimated Timetable: 30 days*

    Conditions for Use: > $10,000

    The purpose of a Request for Proposal is to allow factors other than price to be considered in the determination of award for specific supplies, services, or information technology based on pre-determined criteria identified by Clemson University.

    Advertised in SC Business Opportunities (SCBO): Yes

    Award: Award will be made to the highest ranked, responsive and responsible Offeror whose offer is determined to be the most advantageous to the University.   If less than $100,000 award will be made through Statement of Award. If greater than $100,000, award will be made through Intent-to-Award. This Intent-to-Award allows for a 10-calendar day window for any protest(s) to be filed.

    Issued by: Procurement Services through our online bidding system.

    Protestable: Yes (if over $50,000)

    Summary: A Request for Proposal is used for procurements requiring competitive bidding where factors other than price are to be considered in the determination of award for specific supplies, services, or information technology. These factors are based on pre-determined criteria that are identified by Clemson University in the Scope of Work document under the “Evaluation Criteria” Section.   The request for proposal must state the relative importance of the factors to be considered in evaluating proposals but may not require a numerical weighting for each factor.  Although cost may, but need not, be an evaluation factor, Procurement Services recommends including cost in the evaluation criteria with a weight of no less than 25% or 25 points.

    Proposals must be evaluated using only the criteria stated in the request for proposals and there must be adherence to weightings that have been assigned previously. Once evaluation is complete, all responsive offerors must be ranked from most advantageous to least advantageous to Clemson University, considering only the evaluation factors stated in the request for proposals.

    *Please note that this timetable is an estimate. Actual time may vary dependent on details surrounding specific procurement.

Sample Solicitations

Scope of Work

Common Terminology

  • Intent-to-Award

    An Intent-to-Award is required for any competitive solicitations with a total or potential value in excess of $100,000.  Notice of an intended award of a contract must be given by posting the Intent-to-Award in Clemson University’s online bidding system, buyWays, for 10 days before entering into a contract and must be sent to all bidders responding to the solicitation on the same day that the notice is posted.  The posting date shall appear on the face of the Intent-to-Award. Before the posting of the award, Clemson University may negotiate with the potential successful offeror to lower his offer within the scope of the solicitation. The Intent-to-Award must contain a statement of a bidder’s right to protest pursuant to Section 11-35-4210(1) of the S.C. Consolidated Procurement Code. When only one response is received, the notice of Intent-to-Award and the delay of award may be waived.

  • S.C. Business Opportunities (SCBO)

    SCBO is an acronym for S.C. Business Opportunities. SCBO is a daily publication that lists proposed procurements involving goods, services, information technology and construction. According to the S.C. Consolidated Procurement Code, solicitations by S.C. State Government Agencies that are greater than or equal to $10,000 in estimated or actual value must appear in SCBO. Other governmental entities, such as cities, counties and school districts can voluntarily advertise in SCBO.

    SCBO is posted daily at close of business (5:00 PM ET). Clemson University Procurement Services is required to email any request for advertisements to SCBO prior to 12:00 PM ET for the close of business publication the same day (5:00 PM ET).

    SCBO is a free service that offers online access to their publications. SCBO is not a running list but rather a newsletter that advertises solicitations new since the last issue.

  • Statement of Award

    A Statement of Award is required for any competitive solicitations with a total or potential value in excess of $10,000. Notice of the award of a contract must be given by posting the Statement of Award in Clemson University’s online bidding system, buyWays, and must be sent to all bidders responding to the solicitation on the same day that the notice is posted. he posting date shall appear on the face of  the Statement of Award. Before the posting of the award, Clemson University may negotiate with the potential successful offeror to lower his offer within the scope of the solicitation. If the total or potential value of the competitive solicitation is in excess of $50,000, the Statement of Award must contain a statement of a bidder’s right to protest pursuant to Section 11-35-4210(1) of the S.C. Consolidated Procurement Code