The University of Texas at Austin is committed to providing a fair opportunity for all prospective bidders and proposers. Therefore, the Office of Contracts and Procurement publishes solicitations for goods and services on the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Texas Smart Buy website when the expected value exceeds $50,000.
The university uses a variety of formal solicitation methods. For more information about the following methods, see the General Purchasing Procedures:
- 1.5.2 Invitation to Bid (ITB)
- 1.5.3 Request for Proposal (RFP)
- 1.5.4 Request for Qualifications (RFQ)
- 1.5.5 Request for Information (RFI)
Note: A supplier does not have to be listed on the Centralized Master Bidders List (CMBL) to submit a bid or a proposal.
B. Bid/Proposal Submission Requirements
In order for the supplier’s bid or proposal to be considered by the university, it must comply with the formal solicitation document. Formal solicitation documents specifically outline the information and format required. Bids or proposals that do not meet these submission requirements are subject to disqualification. Here are some things suppliers should be aware of when they submit a bid/proposal:
- Designated Buyer for All Communications
A designated staff member in the Office of Contracts and Procurement is assigned to each bid and is responsible for all communications related to that solicitation. During the course of the solicitation process, prospective bidders or proposers must direct all communications to the solicitation’s designated staff member.
- Exceptions to Standard Terms and Conditions
Standard terms and conditions apply to the subsequently awarded purchase order or contract. Bidders or proposers may propose exceptions to the terms and conditions; however, this could result in disqualification of the supplier’s bid or proposal. Requested exceptions must include proposed alternative language.
- Submission Deadline
Bids or proposals must be received by the submission deadline. Those received after the submission deadline will not be opened and will not be considered.
- Bid Opening
Office of Contracts and Procurement bid openings are conducted at 504 Lavaca Street, 8th floor and are open to the public. Interested bidders may request that a specific bid be read aloud by appearing in person at the bid opening site when bids are scheduled to open. For information about the bid opening, contact the solicitation’s designated staff member.
- HUB Subcontracting Plan
Solicitations with an expected value greater than $100,000 may require the submission of a HUB Subcontracting Plan (HSP). The HSP is reviewed by the the Historically Underutilized Business Office (HUB). Failure by the supplier to submit a HUB subcontracting plan when it is specifically required will result in disqualification of the supplier’s solicitation or bid. HSPs that are determined to be unacceptable by the HUB/SB office will result in disqualification.
C. Bid/Proposal Results and Awards
Bids and proposals are evaluated based on criteria identified in the solicitation document. For Invitations to Bid (ITBs), the award is determined based on best value criteria, generally more heavily weighted on price and delivery. For Requests for Proposals (RFPs), the award is based on best-value criteria. If best-value criteria are used:
- it is clearly identified in the solicitation document, along with the percentage weighting that will be used for each criterion.
- the university appoints an evaluation team comprised of subject matter experts and end users to score each proposal against the criteria.
- the Office of Contracts and Procurement compiles the scores from the evaluation team members and reviews the scores with the team. The team makes a recommendation as to what action to take, and the Director, Contracts and Procurement decides how to proceed.
All bidders or proposers are notified by the Office of Contracts and Procurement when an award is made, and the results are publically posted on the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Electronic State Business Daily (ESBD) website.