Per California State Law (Public Contract Code Section 10507.7 and California Constitution, Article 9), and as supported in University policy Business and Finance Bulletin (BUS) 43, the UC is a public trust, and to insure the security of its funds and compliance with the terms of the endowments of the UC, purchases over $99,999.99 (regardless of funding source) must be publicly and competitively bid. Competitive bidding provides the public with a fair opportunity to provide goods & services to the UC, stimulates competitive pricing in a manner conducive to sound fiscal practices, protects the public from misuse of public funds, and eliminates favoritism, fraud, and corruption in the awarding of public contracts

Use of a UCOP Agreement vendor NOT using a Price Schedule (Primary, Secondary or Co-Primary) waives the requirement to bid. State requirements for competitive bidding include shipping/handling as presented on the vendor quote, but is exclusive of sales tax.

Notwithstanding the above, California Public Contract Code Section 10508.5 allows the UC to award a Purchase Agreement to a certified small business, microbusiness, or disabled veteran business enterprise up to $250,000 without being competitively bid, so long as the UC obtains price quotations from one certified small or DVBE business for purchases up to $100,000, or two or more quotes from certified small businesses or DVBEs for purchases of up to $250,000.

Visit our Small and Diverse Business Program page for more information on how to identify certified small businesses.

Types of Bids

  • Request for Information (RFI)
  • Request for Quotation (RFQ) - typically done on a Lowest Cost model.
  • Request for Proposal (RFP) - involving a Best Value point system; points are awarded to the answers suppliers provide to questions on the bid.

Procedure for Bid Analysis and Evaluation

To begin, send an email to letting us know what your bid parameters are. We ask that you do not submit a requisition until a winning bidder has been chosen.

Written bids (RFQs or RFPs) are first tabulated and reviewed by the buyer for conformity to the bid document. Copies of the bids are then forwarded to the department with instructions on how the department is to evaluate the bids. After departmental review, the buyer will make an award recommendation to the department and complete the process. The department must review and compare the bids using the following criteria:

The award must be made to the Lowest Responsible Bidder meeting specifications, or else all bids must be rejected. (BUS-43, Part 3, III. F.)

Lowest Responsible Bidder

The lowest responsible bidder will be determined on the basis of one of the following two methods:

  1. By "COST ALONE"
  2. Or by "BEST VALUE"
  • Does the award fall within the limits of the "Basis for Award" section of the bid document?
  • Do the bid responses match the original specifications?
  • Did the bidder respond as requested and answer all questions?
  • Are equivalent items being compared on all bids?
  • Are demonstrations or oral presentations needed before proceeding with the evaluation process?
  • Are all bidders given an equal opportunity to present their offer?