Purchasing is accomplished by using various methods which include, but are not limited to, the following:
Competitive Sealed Bids are used for purchases valued at $50,000 or higher. The Request for Bid (RFB) is a formal procurement method utilizing detailed specifications, advertising and a Public Bid Opening at a prescribed time and date. Bid openings are publicized by the Purchasing Department, unless otherwise stated. Contracts resulting from the bid process may be for a one-time purchase or a term contract.
Competitive Sealed Proposals
Competitive Sealed Proposals are used for purchases valued at $50,000 or higher. Unlike Competitive Sealed Bids, the Competitive Sealed Proposals method does not itemize the services to be performed in such detail that the only determinant factor is price. Rather, this method lists the contract deliverables in general terms and overall goals and requires each respondent to offer a detailed strategy for the delivery of the requested services. Awards are approved by the Board of Trustees based on of the recommendation of the selection committee, which rates each proposal against the published selection criteria.
The Purchasing Department has the authority to join other units of State and local government in cooperative purchasing plans when the best interests of the College would be served, in order to take advantage of maximum volume discounts.
An Emergency Purchase is one that is sudden and unexpected occurrence or condition that could not be reasonably foreseen and which poses an actual and immediate threat to safety or normal operation of the College. State law permits the College to waive its policies regarding procurement to prevent substantial loss and interruption of services and operations.
The Purchasing Department has the authority to contract for goods and services with a Maryland state or local agency, political subdivision of the State, or school in the State when the best interests of the College would be served thereby.
Request for Proposal
Request for Proposals (RFP) are normally used for purchases valued $50,000 or higher, when it is not possible to identify exact specification and / or if the issues of “how to achieve the desired results” is best left up to the vendor to propose. There may be instances where a third party is contracted to prepare the specifications. The RFP may also be used when factors other than price must be considered in selecting a vendor. Awards are approved by the Board of Trustees based on the recommendations of the selection committee, which rates each proposal against the published selection criteria.
Request for Quotations
Request for Quotations (RFQ) are normally used for purchases valued below $50,000, unless the complexity of the terms and conditions requires the added controls of the formal bid process. The quotation is awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible vendor
Sole Source Procurements
A Sole Source Procurement, if approved by the Vice President of Finance, can be exempt from quotation and bid requirements. For any product or service to be considered a sole source item, it must be the only product or service that will produce the desired result, and only one source is available, or only one source meets a specific need.