Business Office

Affiliated departments and school

Procurement Act

Effective July 1, 2003 - Threshold Amounts Effective July 1, 2010

Purchases of equipment, commodities, and general services (excludes Professional and Artistic Services and Construction)


Purchases must be made through a competitive sealed bid or competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process at $51,300.

Competitive sealed bid/RFP solicitation must be publicly advertised

in an electronic Procurement Bulletin for at least 14 days before bid/RFP opening.

Criteria to be considered in the competitive sealed bid/RFP must be indicated and objectively measurable.

For competitive RFP solicitations, the relative importance of price and other evaluation factors must be stated.

Brand Name only specifications cannot be used except for products purchased for resale and prescriptive drug or medical supply.

Specifications cannot be unduly restrictive and cannot use specifications drafted by a potential bidder.

Department Considerations

Department should notify all faculty and staff of the issues addresses in the attached pages and the internal procedures to be followed in order to comply.

Department should plan purchases in consideration of the additional time required to advertise and prepare a bid/RFP solicitation on transactions of $10,000 or more.

Department should consider that categories of purchases previously exempt such as: publications; subscriptions; advertising; data processing equipment, software or services; duplicating machines and supplies; maintenance or repair from the original manufacturer; and professional or artistic services, no longer carry a categorical exemption and must be handled through a bid or RFP process or sole source process (See also Sole Source topic).

For transactions that must be bid or handled via a RFP solicitation, the department must provide sufficient specifications to permit development of a bid/RFP solicitation along with its departmental purchase request.

Department should also submit a listing of any and all suppliers that they want to receive a copy of the bid/RFP solicitation.

Advertisement in the Procurement Bulletin may elicit responses from more suppliers which may require additional time in evaluating bid/RFP responses and result in additional time required to process the transaction.

Specifications submitted should not be proprietary or otherwise unduly restrictive. Specifications cannot request a "Brand Name" only unless the item is for resale through a campus resale unit or is a prescriptive medical drug or supply. Specifications cannot be photocopied or otherwise identical reproductions of or drafts prepared by a potential bidder. Failure to provide adequate specifications with a departmental purchase request will cause additional delay in processing the transaction.

In addition to specifications, the department must submit information regarding any price related or other criteria that it will consider in evaluating the responses received. Examples of such criteria include, but are not limited to the following: total or life-cycle cost, delivery, quality, testing, service, and/or warranty. Criteria identified for evaluation should be objectively measurable

If the purchase transaction is to be handled via a RFP solicitation, then, in addition to specifications and criteria to be used in the evaluation, the department must indicate the relative importance of price and the other criteria to be used in the evaluation.

If not taking the lowest bidder by price, the department must provide a letter explaining the rationale for not selecting the lower priced bidder(s) in consideration of the fact that a summary of such explanation must be published in an electronic Procurement Bulletin.

Since offers on bids/RFPs that exceed $10,000 must include required disclosure information, the department may have to select a high priced offer if the lowest bidder/respondent by price does not provide such disclosure information.

If the purchase is to be made as a sole source or emergency procurement, the department must submit a justification letter that is detailed and sufficient enough to withstand a challenge by others in consideration of the fact that the intent to make a sole source purchase or notice of an emergency purchase must be published in an electronic Procurement Bulletin. (See also Sole Source and Emergency Purchase topics)

Department should consider that if a challenge to a requested sole source procurement is found to be warranted, the purchase transaction may be withdrawn as a sole source and have to be handled under the RFP solicitation process resulting in further delay in completing the transaction.

Business Office
School of Chemical Sciences
338 Noyes Lab
MC-712 Box D-3
600 South Mathews Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
Monday thru Friday
8:00 am to 4:30 pm

Please send comments and suggestions to:
scs-procreimb [at] scs [dot] illinois [dot] edu

For accounting and grants questions, contact
scsgrants [at] scs [dot] illinois [dot] edu