- Micro-purchase method – for supplies or services costing less than $10,000, no competitive quotations need to be solicited. This threshold was raised from $3,500, much to the relief of NPOs like research universities and institutes. Certain NPOs may also request an approval process for micro-purchase thresholds higher than $10,000.
- Small purchase procedures – for items costing $10,000 or more but below the simplified acquisition threshold (currently raised to $250,000): price or rate quotations must be obtained from an adequate number of qualified sources. However, each NPO can determine what is an “adequate” number and it could be any number greater than one. Also, the price quotations can be in writing, oral, or by finding a price list on a website or via an online search engine. Due to the threshold increase, more procurements will likely fall under the small procurement method rather than the more stringent competitive proposal method.
- Sealed bid method – for items over the $250,000 threshold, this is the preferred method for procuring construction services. Sealed bids are publicly solicited through formal advertising and a firm fixed-price contract (lump sum or unit price) is awarded to the responsible bidder whose conforming bid is the lowest price.
- Competitive proposal method – for items over the $250,000 threshold, this more complex method involves RFPs in which qualifications of the chosen vendor are more important than the pricing of services.
- Non-competitive proposal method – for sole-source contracts, which are only feasible in certain situations, such as when a unique type of service or product can only be provided by a specific vendor or in emergency situations.
1. Avoid purchasing unnecessary items;
2. Where appropriate, make an analysis of lease verses purchase alternatives to determine the most economical and appropriate decision;
3. Provide a clear and accurate description of the technical requirements in a manner that does not restrict competitive bidding, including
a. Details on how bidders shall comply,
b. Your policy for providing opportunities to minorities, women and small businesses, and
c. Preferences for energy savings, environmental safety and natural resource conservation.