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Integrated CSU Administrative Manual



Section 5000 Policies

Policy Number:  5502.0

Policy Title: Formal Solicitations for ITR Goods and 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 ITR goods and services shall comply with the following:

  1. Public notice of the intent to formally acquire ITR goods and services from the open market shall be posted in a location easily accessible to any firm that may wish to participate and shall be advertised in the California State Contracts Register (CSCR). Complete copies of the bid or proposal solicitation document 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 ITR goods and services must attempt to secure competitive bids or proposals. The requirement for fair and open competition shall have been met or is not required in the following instances:
    1. 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.
    2. When the campus awarding the contract has advertised the contract in the California State Contracts Register and has solicited all known potential contractors.
    3. 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.
    4. 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 shall be awarded based on the proposal or bid that provides the most value-effective solution to the CSU’s requirements. Request for Proposal or Invitation for Bid solicitation methodologies may be used in determining contract award.
  5. The bid or proposal evaluation process and selection criteria shall be stated within the solicitation documents. Bids or proposals shall be evaluated to determine which bids or proposals meet, and which do not meet, the requirements as specified in the solicitation document. Deviations, in the opinion of the campus, from requirements which 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 contract award may be waived.  Proposals shall be evaluated based on quantified evaluation criteria.

    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.

    Evaluation of Bids or Proposals for Electronic & Information Technology (E&IT) Goods

    1. Best Value Solicitations
      If the Section 508 accessibility standards are applicable to the E&IT goods being procured and the solicitation is based on best value criteria, then compliance with Section 508 accessibility standards must also be included into the best value evaluation using the relative weightings specified in the RFP document. Contracts shall be awarded based on the proposal that provides the most value-effective solution to the CSU’s requirements, including, unless exempted, Section 508 accessibility standards requirements.

    2. Invitation for Bids
      For solicitations where award is based on lowest priced responsive bid and Section 508 accessibility standards are applicable to the E&IT goods being procured then the bid’s compliance to these standards must also be evaluated. Award must be made to the firm that submitted the lowest priced responsive bid that also meets or exceeds the acceptable level of Section 508 compliance as defined by campus authority for Section 508 compliance.

      In the event that more than one bid is evaluated to be the lowest priced responsive bid then award must be made to the firm submitting the bid that best meets Section 508 accessibility standards.

      In the event that none of the bids submitted meet Section 508 accessibility standards, the market research efforts to procure an accessible product must be documented and award may be made to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder.

  6. 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.            

    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 date and closing time for bids or proposals shall be considered.

    Public inspection shall not include the disclosure of documents designated by the CSU to be confidential.

  7. The solicitation document must contain provisions for resolution of protests and disputes.

  8. 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:

Reference: Government Code 11135, CSU Executive Order 926, CSU Coded Memo AA-2007-04, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 and following), Sections 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Section 508)


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