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General Procurement Questions


  1. When does a supplier need to sign a confidentiality and/or non-disclosure agreement (NDA)? When ASU is engaging in discussions regarding collaborations about a particular subject when discussing best practices or obtaining forward-looking methodology about technology-related subjects when sponsoring research and/or when the supplier is acquiring rights to ASU inventions.

  2. Who manages NDA Agreements? The Office of Industry and Research Collaboration (OIRC) is responsible for signing NDA Agreements on behalf of the university. The office can be reached at industryagreements@asu.edu. They will have you fill out a request form and submit that request form with the File mutual NDA agreement signed by the supplier. This office will also help you negotiate terms and conditions for NDA agreements if the supplier must submit an NDA on their own paper or in their own format.      

  3. What two (2) things are needed in order to make a purchase? For ASU (a public institution) a procurement vehicle and contract terms and conditions (T&Cs) are required to make a purchase.

  4. What is a procurement vehicle or procurement method? A purchasing vehicle is essentially a way or method to buy something. Think about when you are making your own large purchases at home. Once you determine that you have the money, the next thing you have to find is a way to buy it. Are you going to go to the store or are you going to buy straight from Amazon? Some examples of purchasing vehicles could be an existing contract with the State, County or other public institution. It could be based on a cooperative agreement. A cooperative agreement is basically when a bunch of companies come together to bundle their buying power and use their bigger volume to get better deals and prices. Or, another way to buy might be if another university has already gone through a request for proposal to find a viable supplier. Essentially, we can piggyback off of any of these methods that already exist. The University does not always have to complete a formal solicitation (a.k.a. RFP) for goods or services.

  5. What are T&Cs? T&Cs is short for Terms and Conditions. ASU uses its standard purchase order terms and conditions for the majority of purchases.

  6. Do you have to complete a Request for Proposal (RFP) for purchases over $100,000 dollars? Circumstances vary. Often times the university has other procurement methods such as existing public contracts, cooperative agreements or other public institutional RFPs that can be used a purchasing vehicle in place of an RFP. Exceptions are also possible and come in the form of providing sole-source documentation and/or bid waivers (signed by the CFO). 

  7. Is the $100,000 threshold for one year or the term of the entire contract? The threshold is for the entire term of the contract. So, if the cost is $92,500 for a one-year agreement then you do not need an RFP to purchase since the cost with tax would be under $100,000. However, if the contract is for three years then, an RFP would be needed since we will be spending $299,977.50 over the course of the agreement. Also, please note that any purchase over $50,000 still requires 3 bids. 

  8. What is “3 bids and a buy”? Three bids and a buy is a procurement vehicle. This method can only be used if the contract is between $50,000 and $100,000. If a contract is over $50,000, then the requester only needs to provide 3 bids/quotes with the purchase order. Procurement may ask you to submit the email that went out to all suppliers asking them to provide the bid. This procurement method does not need to be public or formal. 

  9. Is Supplier Relationship Management the same as Strategic Sourcing? Supplier relationship management is a part of Strategic Sourcing. Strategic Sourcing incorporates sourcing, procurement, and supplier management. Supplier relationship management is the process of holding the supplier accountable for their commitments and performance measures. 

  10. What is a formal solicitation or a public solicitation? A solicitation is a process of notifying prospective or qualified offerors that we wish to receive bids or proposals on the specified product or service at a specific date and/or time. All solicitations are posted on the ASU bid board.

  11. What is a sole-source purchase? Sole-source as a procurement vehicle shall be avoided except when no reasonable alternative source exists. To justify a sole-source one must state that there is only one source for the required material, service, construction or construction service, therefore, the university doesn't need to receive bids or perform a formal solicitation. The justification implies that there is only one person or company that can provide the scope of services needed and that any attempt to obtain bids would only result in that company being available to meet the need.

  12. What is a sole-source letter? A letter that is created by a supplier of a sole-source product or service that can be used as backup or documentation for an item that is sole-sourced.

  13. What will a sole-source purchase justification form require? The form requires unique characteristics of the product/service; the method used to determine that it is the only one source of the product/service; and reasons why the supplier is the only source, such as matches existing equipment, a repair or attachment to an existing item; no other manufacturer of this type of product exists; or reasons why other manufacturers of this type of product do not meet the minimum requirements or technical characteristics.

  14. What is a bid waiver form? A form that waives the competitive bidding requirement due to an emergency or immediate need. The requester must demonstrate without question that the requiring need could not have been foreseen or that the purchase cannot be made insufficient time for normal purchasing procedures to be used.

  15. What is an RFP? RFP stands for Request for Proposal. It is the most-used type of formal solicitation. Contact Procurement for information on how to complete an RFP and any other options for a formal solicitation.

Formatting/Contents Questions:

  1. Does Procurement provide you with a template for the RFP? Yes, a template will be provided by the buyer assigned to the project. See templates for sample.

  2. What part of the RFP needs to be completed by the project team? The background, intent, contract terms, evaluation criteria, pre-proposal conference details and scope of work must be completed by the project team.