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1.5.3 Request for Proposal (RFP)

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A. Guidelines

When the expected value of the goods or services exceeds $50,000, a formal solicitation process is required. The following guidelines apply to the Request for Proposal (RFP) solicitation method:

  • Request for Proposal (RFP) is a formal solicitation method that requires evaluation of proposals based upon best value criteria established in Texas Education Code 51.9335(b). 
  • The best value criteria that will be used to score proposals are weighted and must be approved by the Director of Contracts and Procurement before the RFP can be publically posted.  The evaluation criteria and weights are clearly identified in the RFP.  Best value criteria may include, but are not limited to:
    • installation costs
    • life cycle costs
    • quality and reliability of the goods and services
    • delivery terms
    • indicators of probable supplier performance under the contract, such as past supplier performance, the supplier's financial resources and ability to perform, the supplier's experience and demonstrated capability and responsibility, and the supplier's ability to provide reliable maintenance agreements and support
    • cost of any employee training associated with the purchase
    • effect of a purchase on the university's productivity
    • other factors relevant to determining the best value for the university in the context of a particular purchase
    • any other factor that a that a private business entity would consider in selecting a supplier
  • RFP opportunities are sent to known suppliers who provide the goods or services.  An RFP opportunity is also publically posted on the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Electronic State Business Daily (ESBD) website so that any supplier may submit a response.
  • Terms and conditions that will govern a resulting contract are contained within the RFP.  Proposers can note exceptions to certain terms and conditions, however, UT System may disqualify a proposer for not accepting posted terms.

B. Procedure

  1. The department submits a request to the Office of Contracts and Procurement (CNP) in order to initiate the RFP process.
  2. Establishment of an evaluation team:
    1. The department identifies end users and business experts to serve as evaluation team members. The composition of the evaluation team must be approved by the Director of Contracts and Procurement before the RFP is publically posted.
    2. CNP will collect Non-Disclosure / Conflict of Interest Statement agreements from all evaluation team members.  Evaluation team members will need to comply with UTS180 and have completed entry of any required disclosures in the Conflicts of Interest/Commitment Electronic Reporting System.
    3. The evaluation team members work with CNP staff to develop a detailed scope of work (SOW) and a list of questions that will assist the evaluation team in the proposal scoring process.
  3. CNP staff prepares and RFP document based upon the current approved OGC template, which includes:
    1. background information regarding the purpose of the solicitation
    2. a detailed scope of work
    3. a list of questions for proposers to complete
    4. an Execution of Offer
    5. instructions on how to submit proposals
    6. if a HUB Subcontracting Plan (HSP) is required, instructions as to how to complete and submit the HSP are included
    7. a schedule which includes:
      1. date of pre-proposal conference, if applicable
      2. date for submission of written questions from the proposers to the university
      3. proposal submission deadline
    8. name, phone number and email address of the CNP contact
    9. terms and conditions
  4. The RFP is posted for a minimum of four (4) weeks. The need for a pre-proposal conference or HSP may increase the length of time the RFP is posted.
  5. Proposals are held in the CNP office until the proposal submission date. If an HSP was required, it will be reviewed by the HUB and Small Business Programs Office. If a required HSP was not submitted or the HSP is deemed to be unacceptable, the proposal will not be opened.
  6. Proposers are permitted to attend bid openings. For information about the time and location of the bid opening, the supplier must contact the solicitation's designated buyer.
  7. CNP staff removes all pricing components from the proposal prior to distributing proposals to the evaluation team.  Cost and pricing is scored by CNP staff.
  8. Each member of the evaluation team reviews qualified proposals, scores them based upon the RFP criteria, and submits scores to the buyer.
  9. The buyer completes scoring for cost / price and compiles the total score.
  10. The buyer reviews the proposal scores with the evaluation team and they make a recommendation for award.
  11. The buyer reviews the scoring and recommendation for award with the Director of Contracts and Procurement, who will approve or decline the recommendation.
  12. An award letter is sent to the successful proposer and is contingent upon successful negotiation of a contract.  Regret letters are sent to the unsuccessful proposers.
  13. The award results are publically posted on the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Electronic State Business Daily (ESBD) website.
  14. CNP staff determines whether a purchase order or contract will be required and issues either a purchase order or initiates the contracting process.