Integrated CSU Administrative Manual



Section 5000 Policies

Policy Number:  5402.0

Policy Title: Formal Solicitation for Services

Policy Effective Date:  April 28, 2008

Last Revision Date:  
(see revision history)


To establish system wide contracting and procurement policy as required by Education Code 89036.


Other requirements notwithstanding, formal procurement for services shall comply with these regulations:
  1. Public notice of the intent to formally request services from the open market shall be advertised in the California Contracts Register and posted in a location easily accessible to any firm that may wish to participate. Complete copies of the solicitation documents must also be maintained in the campus procurement office and made available to any interested party upon request. The solicitation notice may also include an announcement in an appropriate newspaper or trade journal, including a brief description of the work to be performed, the closing date and time for bids or proposals to be received, and the location where complete copies of the solicitation document may be obtained.
  2. To promote fair and open competition each formal solicitation for services must attempt to secure at least three competitive bids or proposals. Three competitive bids or proposals are not required in these instances:
    • In cases of emergency where a contract is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public health, welfare, or safety, or protection of state property.
    • When the campus awarding the contract has advertised the contract in the California State Contracts Register and has solicited all known potential contractors, but has received less than three bids or proposals.
    • The contract is with another state agency, a local governmental entity, or an auxiliary organization of the CSU.  These contracts, however, may not be used to circumvent the competitive bidding requirements of this article.
    • The contract meets the conditions prescribed in Policy Section 206, Limits on Competition.
  3. Any solicitation that has received less than three bids or proposals shall document, in a manner prescribed by the procedures of the campus, the firms or individuals it solicited for bids or proposals.
  4. Contracts for services may be awarded under a procedure which makes use of a Request for Proposal or Invitation for Bid.
  5. The bid or proposal evaluation process and selection criteria shall be stated within the solicitation documents.  Deviations may be waived if, in the opinion of the campus, such deviations from requirements do not materially impact the cost, quantity, or quality of the item or service to be provided or do not directly affect the outcome of the bid award.
    All bids or proposals may be rejected in any case where the campus determines that the bids or proposals received are not in the best interests of the CSU.
    Allow for public opening of bids or proposals - Bids or proposals must be opened publicly at the time stated in the solicitation document (if it so requires or if requested by any of the bidders). 
    A public opening must be conducted for bids, which will be awarded to the lowest priced responsive and responsible bidder.  The total dollar amount of each bid and the name of the bidder must be read.  Bids documents are public upon opening and shall be available for public inspection within a reasonable time.
    A public opening must be conducted for proposals, which will be evaluated and awarded to the proposer that represents the best value to the CSU, only if requested by the proposing firms or members of the public. Only the names of the proposing firms need to be read at the time of opening.  All proposals shall be held in the strictest confidence and shall be made public and available immediately after the Notice of Intent to Award has been issued.
    No bids or proposals that have been received after the closing date and time for bids or proposals shall be considered.
    Public inspection shall not include the disclosure of documents designated by the CSU to be confidential.
  6. The solicitation document must contain provisions for resolution of protests and disputes.
  7. Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality
    Prior to participating in the proposal evaluation process, all CSU employees involved in the proposal evaluation process must complete a Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Statement, CRL057.  The completed statements should be retained as part of the contract file.
    A Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Statement (CRL057) is available at the CS&P Contract Resource Library website. 






Useful Guidelines:


Related Principles:


Sound Business Practices:


Laws, State Codes, Regulations and Mandates:



CO Manager:

Tom Roberts
Director, Contract Services & Procurement
CSU Office of the Chancellor

Subject Expert:

Tom Roberts
Director, Contract Services & Procurement
CSU Office of the Chancellor

Affinity Group:

Procurement and Support Services Officers