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2.4.1 Contracts


Routine contracts for the purchase of supplies, equipment or the services of independent contractors requiring the expenditure of budgeted funds in excess of $25,000 shall be awarded on the basis of competitive bids. For further details on this requirement, please see Wayne State University Statutes - Routine Contracts.

The Request for Proposal and Request for Quotation processes are conducted by the Purchasing Department.  All competitive bids are obtained by the Purchasing Department.  Bids may be formal (sealed) or informal (facsimile transmission or e-mail) with the full understanding, on the part of the vendors, that confidentiality cannot be maintained and that meeting university deadlines cannot be guaranteed due to potential transmission delays.

The Request for Proposal (RFP) is a complex and lengthy process that is very effective in researching the market and obtaining best value for the university. The RFP process is typically used when seeking to obtain services; such as construction/renovation, elevator maintenance, property management, autoclave (pressure vessels) maintenance, software acquisition, vending services, auditing services, etc.

The RFP process requires heavy involvement of the Requesting Department, Purchasing, and other end users. A calendar of events is established, and careful attention is given to all specifications and requirements. The RFP process may take one to two months or more to complete, depending on complexity, the availability of the units, the accuracy of the specifications, and the response of the participating vendors.  It is imperative that Departments work closely with the Purchasing Department to ensure compliance with university policies and procedures.

Exceptions to the competitive bid requirement or request for proposal process may be granted in the following situations:

  1. The assistant vice president for procurement & strategic sourcing has the authority to grant exceptions as follows: purchases when there is only a single known source of supply; purchases where scientific or professional judgment require the use of specified goods or instruments; and in cases of emergency. If there is a legitimate reason to forgo a competitive bid, a written request must be submitted to the assistant vice president for procurement & strategic sourcing for consideration.
  2. The chief of staff and the vice president and treasurer have the authority to grant exceptions for contracts with firms or independent contractors who offer specialized services  and expertise in areas traditionally related to the needs of the operating units, such as auditors, consultants, executive search firms, etc., where a public bid would not be appropriate.





  1. Determine if a request will be for $25,000 or more. If greater than $25,000 a bid or Request for Proposal process is required. For all contracts that are to be signed by the assistant vice president for procurement & strategic sourcing and/or treasurer, the bid or Request for Proposal process is to be conducted by the Procurement & Strategic Sourcing Department. The responsible department, college or division must provide all supporting documents.
  2. Exceptions to the bid policy may be granted under the following circumstances:
    • Routine contracts for goods or services where there is a single source of supply,

    • Scientific or professional judgment requires the purchase of specified goods or instruments,

    • In case of an emergency;

    • The requestor must document the necessity for an exception to bid in a "request for bid waiver" memorandum to the assistant vice president for procurement & strategic sourcing.
  3. There are instances where the procurement of highly specialized professional services may not be appropriate for a competitive bid or the RFP process. In those cases, the requestor must document the circumstances in a "request for bid waiver" memorandum to the chief of staff.  The memorandum should state the capabilities/reasons for selecting the person/organization, and any other facts to be considered in determining whether to waive the competitive bid requirement. This memorandum must be approved by the head of the School/College/Division prior to submission to the chief of staff.

  4. If the conditions in points 2 or 3 above do not apply, contact the Procurement & Strategic Sourcing Department to initiate the bid process or the Request for Proposal process.

Chief of Staff

  1. Review request for exception to bid and approve or deny request.

  2. If denied, note denial on memorandum and return to department.

  3. If approved, note approval on memorandum and return to department.

Procurement & Strategic Sourcing Department

  1. Review all documents for propriety and completeness.

  2. Determine need for a competitive bid or RFP.  Prepare documents and distribute to vendors; accept bids/proposals on the established due date, and analyze responses.

  3. If exception to bid was requested, review and approve or deny the request. If request is denied, notify department and initiate the competitive bid or RFP process.

  4. If the vendor is not in the Banner data base, the buyer must complete a Vendor Action Request form.  The Vendor is required to submit a signed IRS W-8 or W-9.  All information must be verified by Purchasing before an order is issued.  Any person, who is an employee of the university, cannot be a University Vendor without advance approval by the Board of Governors.

    • Please note:  If a Vendor fails to provide accurate information and/or the IRS forms, or if a potential conflict of interest exists, the order will be denied.
  5. Issue purchase order.