Integrated CSU Administrative Manual



Section 5000 Policies

Policy Number:  5505.0

Policy Title: Competitive Solicitation

Policy Effective Date:  July 06, 2001

Last Revision Date:  
(see revision history)


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


It is the policy of the CSU that all transactions made under the CSU procurement authority be designed to encourage active competition among those who wish to become the suppliers of goods and services required by the campuses of the CSU There is no single competitive procurement methodology universally suited to all categories of ITR acquisition. The CSU also recognizes that the same competitive processes used for obtaining non-ITR goods and services such as the Invitation for Bid, and the Request for Proposal, are effective for ITR acquisitions. There are, however, other techniques that may be tailored to support the unique characteristics of an ITR acquisition.

Contract awards for all large-scale systems integration projects shall be based on the proposal that provides the most value-effective solution to CSU's requirements. However, hardware purchased independent of a large-scale system integration project may be made on the basis of lowest cost meeting all other specifications. When an acquisition is based upon cost alone, an award shall be made to the lowest responsible bidder meeting the specifications. [Ref. 12102(b,c)]


100  Best Value (Value-Effective) Acquisitions

The best value methodology for ITR acquisitions of goods and services shall be used to the maximum extent practical. Any solicitation which employs best value selection criteria shall be awarded to the respondent that provides the most value-effective based on life-cycle costing solution to the CSU's requirements. There is no specific formula or methodology for conducting a best value determination, but it is important that the award is consistent with the terms of the solicitation and that any price premium is justified by specific technical or value-added enhancements.

The solicitation document may provide for the evaluation and award of the contract based on factors other than acquisition cost. These factors may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Operational costs
  2. Quality or technical competency of the bidder's product or service.
  3. Delivery and implementation timetables including incentives for early delivery.
  4. Warranties, guarantees, and return policies.
  5. Costs associated with financing provisions or alternatives.
  6. Vendor's financial stability.   
  7. Consistency of proposed product or service with the planned application.
  8. Quality and effectiveness of the proposed product or service.
  9. Vendor's industry or program experience.
  10. Vendor's past performance record with similar installations.
  11. Risk assessment.
  12. Value added services or options.
  13. Innovative use of current technologies and quality results.
  14. Proven development methodologies and tools.
  15. Maximum facilitation of data exchange and systems integration.

Solicitations for best value acquisitions may provide that costs be submitted under separate sealed cover for evaluation purposes.


200  Deleted (Rev. 04/02/07)







Useful Guidelines:


Related Principles:


Sound Business Practices:


Laws, State Codes, Regulations and Mandates:

Reference: Public Contract Code 12100 et. seq.

Reference: Public Contract Code 12102(b); 12100.7.


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