06 - 005 Competitive Bid Limit

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Bid Limit:

Purchasing must obtain competitive pricing for the purchase of goods or services $35,000 or over through a formal bid process, unless the purchase is covered by the following types of existing contracts: USNH, state, federal, or other cooperative contract or pricing agreement (NHCUC, GSA, E&I). Any solicitation issued by purchasing is not a commitment to issue an order.

Types of Solicitations:

  • Request for Information (RFI)
    An RFI is used when you don't know exactly what you want or you don't know what is available in the marketplace. The information received as a result of the RFI may assist in determining whether a formal request for bid or proposal is necessary.
  • Request for Bid (RFB)
    An RFB is used when you know precisely what you need and have precise requirements and specifications.
  • Request for Proposal (RFP)
    The RFP is a hybrid of these documents. An RFP is used when you have a general idea with some specifications and/or it's a large, complex project with potential for multiple solutions.

Initiating the Bid Process:

A BSC/department can initiate the bid process by communicating their needs to purchasing as follows:

  • Email - preferred (attach Word, Excel, or other document)
  • Fax
  • Enter a Banner Requisition
  • In person

Overview of the Bid Process:

Once the request is received by purchasing, the following process occurs:

  • Purchasing assigns a bid number to all requests (RFB, RFP, or RFI) for tracking purposes

    This number should be referenced on all documentation relating to the request (e.g. bid document, correspondence, email, Banner document)

  • A specific due date and time are assigned to all requests
  • Purchasing creates the RFB, RFP, or RFI request document
  • Purchasing issues the RFB, RFP or RFI to interested vendors and posts to the purchasing web site
  • Responses are sent to purchasing by the specified date and time

    Responses are confidential until the due date and time

  • A public opening of all responses will be held at purchasing or another specified location

    The contact person from the business unit, as well as all firms, are encouraged to attend

  • All responses are evaluated by purchasing and the contact person
  • When applicable, a detailed summary of all responses is tabulated into an Excel spreadsheet to assist in the evaluation process
  • The summary is distributed to the contact person and is available to the general public
  • A decision on the award is made with collaboration from purchasing
  • If a decision is made to award, the contact person notifies their business unit on whether to initiate a purchase order or use the PCard. Sending the summary form to the business unit will assist them in placing the order.
  • When a bid is awarded, purchasing will post the information to the web
  • If insurance or bonding is required from the awarded firm, purchasing is responsible for ensuring that these requirements are met prior to working on campus

In general, awards are made to the lowest cost, most responsive and responsible firm meeting the specifications and delivery requirements outlined in the request for bid or proposal. On the more complex purchases, evaluation factors such as past technical experience, years in business, customer references, and life cycle closing are considered, in addition to price.


The official version of this information will only be maintained in an on-line web format. Any and all printed copies of this material are dated as of the print date. Please make certain to review the material on-line prior to placing reliance on a dated printed version.

This page last updated Monday, June 22, 2015. For information on the adoption and effective dates of policies please see explanation on the OLPM Main Menu.