Bid/Quotation/Proposal procedures

It is public policy for the State of Washington to foster, encourage and promote open access for all interested parties to earn the State's business.
The Purchasing Department prepares specifications and obtains competition either by formal invitation to bids, request for quotations/proposals or telephone quotes. The manner in which competitive prices are received is determined by the value of the request:

1. Invitation for bids: These are sealed formal documents. Faxed/e-mailed bids are not allowed.

2. Request for quotations/proposals: These may be requested in writing, via fax or verbally. Written quotations may be faxed, mailed or e-mailed as indicated in the solicitation document.

All bids and quotations must be received by the date and time required.  State of Washington rules require that the documents must be in our possession at this time;  they may not be in transit by mail or courier.  Please note that this rule supersedes and reverses the English common law "mailbox rule."

Competitive pricing is obtained from vendors on the State vendor/bid list, or who are known to supply that commodity. All competitive solicitations will be posted to the State procurement system, "WEBS."

Whenever practical, specifications are stated in generic terms. Specific brand names and part numbers are used only to define a standard of quality and performance required by the colleges, unless it is specified that no "alternates" or "equals" will be accepted. Suppliers bidding "alternates" or "equals" are required to designate their bids as such and provide descriptive literature.

Bids or quotations must be written in ink or typed, completed in full and signed. Unsigned bids will not be accepted. Before submitting a quotation or bid, review all documents for completeness and accuracy, and verify they are signed by a person who has the authority to commit your firm.

Mark the outside envelope with the bid or quotation number (one bid per envelope).

After the closing time, CCS will evaluate the submissions and identify the "apparently successful bidder" in a Notice of Intent to Award that will be sent to all participants.

Complaint procedures

The complaint process occurs early in the solicitation, after the question/answer period, to catch mistakes and errors before vendors submit a response.  The complaint process helps CCS insure an open/transparent process. The purpose is to settle unresolved vendor issues before bids are submitted.

Grounds for complaint:

A vendor may file a complaint relative to a solicitation based on the following:
§ The solicitation unnecessarily restricts competition;
§ The evaluation/scoring process is unfair or flawed; or
§ The solicitation requirements are inadequate or insufficient to prepare a response

Vendor Complaints:
§ Must be in writing (email is acceptable)
§ Must be sent to the procurement coordinator no later than 5 days prior to bid deadline
§ Should clearly articulate the basis for the complaint
§ Should include a proposed remedy

The purchasing manager will:
§ Review the complaint.
§ Respond to the complaint in writing
§ Post the complaint and solution, if any, to WEBS, the state procurement website
The agency complaint process does not include an appeal process. The complaint may not be raised again during the protest period.

 Protest procedures

Effective January 1, 2013, any participant in a competitive solicitation (including requests for quotations, invitations to bid, or requests for proposals) may request a debriefing conference within three business days after the Notice of Intent to Award is published.  During this conference, only matters relating to the submissions by the party who requested the conference may be discussed; competitor's submissions may not be discussed.

Only parties who attend a debriefing conference may subsequently file a formal protest, in writing, during the next five business days. The protest shall state the cause of the action relating to one or more of these following criteria only:

  • A matter of bias, discrimination or conflict of interest on the part of an evaluator;
  • Errors in computing the scores or prices; or
  • Non-compliance with procedures described in the solicitation document, agency policies or the Revised Code of Washington.
CCS will respond to the protest within ten business days or advise when it will be adjudicated if additional time is required.  The response will be be provided by a CCS administrator who has not been involved in the subject procurement.  Aggrieved parties who wish to appeal the response may do so in the Superior Court of Spokane County. 

Information: 509-434-5318

Reviewed February 5, 2014