Only a bidder on the solicitation may appeal an award decision. A bidder is considered a vendor who has submitted a formal offer which meets all submission requirements. A "No Bid" in the context of an appeal does not constitute a formal offer. The Purchasing Department will not consider appeals filed by manufacturers or vendors selling through distributors, or businesses listed as subcontractors in a vendor's proposal.
In order to initiate an appeal, a bidder must follow these steps:
- Within 24 hours of the bid opening the aggrieved bidder must write to the Director.
- The written appeal should include the bid number and should clearly state the facts believed to constitute an error in the award recommendation, or desired remedy. Only the information provided within the 24 hour deadline will be considered in arriving at a decision. The Director is not required to take into consideration any material filed by any party after the appeal deadline.
- The Director or the Director's designee will provide a written decision after investigating the matter or, if more information is needed, will schedule an informal meeting. The recommendation will be forwarded to the Chief Financial Officer.
Until issuance of a final decision on a timely appeal, the Purchasing Department will not award a contract or purchase order pursuant to a disputed solicitation. However, if there is a threat to public health, safety or welfare, or danger of immediate and substantial harm to College property from delay in making an award, the Purchasing Director may proceed with an award and provide written justification for such action.
The Chief Financial Officer will review the recommendation and issue a decision. It will be sent to the Vendor and Purchasing Department. This decision is final.
A copy of the Vendor Appeal, Director's Recommendation, and Final Decision of Chief Financial Officer will be placed in the bid file and the Purchasing Vendor Appeal folder.
To maintain the integrity of the purchasing process and to ensure that the College receives purchases without undue delay, appeals requesting a waiver of the following omissions and requirements cannot be granted:
- Failure of a bidder to sign a bid.
- Failure of a bidder to properly submit a bid, per bid instructions.
- Failure of a bidder to submit the bid to the Purchasing Department by the due date and time.
- Failure of a bidder to initial erasures or corrections to pricing information in ink. (See "Preparing a Response to a Solicitation".)
- Failure of a bidder to provide samples, descriptive literature, or other required documents by the bid deadline or other specified time.
- Failure of a bidder to provide a required bid deposit or performance bond by the date and time specified.
- Failure of a bidder to submit a timely appeal.
If there were no responsive bids, these requirements may be waived at the discretion of the Director. In fairness to bidders who meet specifications and to prevent delays in purchasing, the Purchasing Department will not withdraw a recommendation to award or reevaluate bids when an appeal maintains that the bid specifications were unnecessarily restrictive or that a bid exceeding specifications provided a better value than a lower bid meeting specifications. A vendor must raise concerns about bid specifications as described under "Inappropriate Specifications".
The inclusion of the bid price in a vendor appeal is prohibited unless determination of the bid price is at issue in the appeal. This measure has been implemented in order to maintain the integrity of the bid process, avoid any appearance of potential impropriety, and ensure an appeal is decided solely on its merits without regard to price. Appeals which include the bid price where determination of such price is not at issue will not be considered.
The Purchasing Department may cancel or rebid a solicitation before the execution of a contract or receipt of a purchase order by a vendor for any of the following reasons:
- The requesting customer requests cancellation for financial or programmatic reasons.
- All of the responsive bids exceed the requesting customer's cost estimate.
- None of the bids met the required specifications or complied with the terms and conditions of the solicitation.
- No bids were received.
- A vendor appeal was granted.
- The best interest of the College will be served by doing so.
- The specifications, statement of work or terms and conditions will not accomplish the intended objective.
- The specifications or statement of work unduly restrict fair and open competition.
- The specifications, statement of work or terms and conditions do not adequately protect the College's best interest.
- The solicitation or the resulting contract would be in violation of law.
Sole Source Awards
The Purchasing Department may issue a sole source award under one or more of the following conditions:
- The purchase is available from only one source.
- The purchase must match or be compatible with goods, supplies or services.
- It would not be economically feasible for another vendor to supply the purchase.
- A single vendor is uniquely qualified to meet the College's acquisition objective.
The College may engage in competitive negotiations in arriving at the prices and terms in a sole source award.
The Purchasing Department may bar a vendor from consideration for award of a contract or purchase order if:
- Within the past three years, the vendor, an officer of the company, or an owner of a 25% or more share of the company has been convicted of a criminal offense incident to the application for, or performance of , a contract or subcontract.
- Within the past three years, the vendor, an officer of the company, or an owner of a 25% or more share of the company has been convicted of any offense which reflects on the vendor's business integrity such as embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction or records, receiving stolen property, breaking state or federal antitrust statutes.
- The vendor has failed to substantially perform a College contract or subcontract according to its terms, conditions and specifications within specified time limits.
- The vendor abused the solicitation process or violated the terms of a solicitation after bid submission.
- The vendor failed to cooperate in monitoring contract performance by refusing to provide information or documents required by the contract, failed to respond to complaints to vendor or accumulated repeated justified complaints regarding performance of a contract.
When the Purchasing Department believes grounds for debarment exist, it will send the vendor a notice of proposed debarment indicating the grounds and the procedure for requesting a hearing. If the vendor does not respond with a written request for a hearing within twenty calendar days, the Director will issue the debarment decision without a hearing. The debarment period may be of any length, but usually will not exceed three years. After the debarment period expires, the vendor may reapply for inclusion on the bidder lists through the regular application process.
Washington Court Place, Room 214
Phone: (517) 483-1785
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