Bidding and RFP Procedures
This website is to assist potential bidders/proposers in understanding the rules and regulations associated with Invitation for Bids (IFB) and Request for Proposals (RFP) solicitations. The competitive IFB and RFP process used by the university is that designated in the Commonwealth Procurement Code (Act 57), and the policies of the Board of Governors of the State System of Higher Education.
The following information is provided as a summary of the requirements outlined in procurement and contracting procedures developed by Kutztown University, and in accordance with the above-referenced sources. The procedures listed herein are provided as information only and should not be regarded as a complete listing of the requirements of Act 57, the State System of Higher Education, or Kutztown University. All information contained herein is subject to revision at the discretion of the university as directed by changes in legislation and/or State System of Higher Education policy.
The State System's eProcurement Exchange is the official advertisement and public notice for construction projects and construction-related professional services (IFB and RFP).
Contractors debarred for bidding on Commonwealth of Pennsylvania contracts for any reason whatsoever, are not eligible for award of a contract.
Pre-Bid and Pre-Proposal Conferences
A Pre-Bid or Pre-Proposal Conference to review bid proposal and project requirements may be scheduled at the discretion of the university. The conference may or may not be mandatory. The project advertisement and the Special Instructions to Bidders/Proposers will specify if the conference is mandatory or not. Bids and proposals will not be accepted from a company that fails to attend a mandatory conference. If a conference is not mandatory, the university still recommends that contractors attend the meeting. The university reserves the right to refuse conducting site visits at any other time other than during the pre-bid proposal conference. Contractors may visit the campus during normal business hours but will not be permitted access to locked areas, student housing, or to mechanical/electrical systems without escort.
It is the responsibility of the bidder by careful personal examination of the contract documents to satisfy themselves as to the nature and location of the work, as well as all environmental conditions that may affect the performance of the work. All bidders should visit the site to thoroughly familiarize themselves with the existing conditions. If any discrepancies should be found between existing conditions and the bid documents, prospective bidders shall report these discrepancies to the university, or designated professional, for clarification prior to submitting a bid. Failure of the bidder to visit the site, recognize and take into account in their bid site conditions that affect the work, shall not be considered sufficient cause for any increase in the agreed upon contracted amount.
The university sets a date and time when all questions (technical and/or administrative) are due. The Invitation for Bids or the Request for Proposal will provide information as to when and where all questions are to be submitted. All questions must be submitted in writing and will be answered in writing in an addendum. Questions submitted after the specified due date and time will not normally be considered.
Bids and proposals must be submitted in sealed envelopes that are plainly marked on the outside with all information that is required by the Invitation for Bid or Request for Proposal. Bids and proposals submitted after the due date and time will not be accepted. No exceptions will be made for late bids or proposals. It is the responsibility of the contractor to ensure that their bid/proposal arrives at the designated location before the specified due date and time. If due to inclement weather, natural disaster, or for any other cause the university office location where bids/proposals are to be submitted is closed on the due date, the deadline for submission shall automatically be extended until the next University business day on which the office is open, unless the contractor is otherwise notified by the university. The time of day for submission shall remain the same.
Bids will be publicly opened, base bids read, and the "apparent" low bidders announced. No other information will be given at that time. Bid results will be posted on the State System's eProcurement Exchange within ten (10) working days of the bid opening. Proposals will not be publicly opened or read. A list of all companies submitting a proposal may be found on the State System's eProcurement Exchange.
Bids and proposals may be withdrawn up to the time of the bid opening or proposal receipt, provided a written request is received prior to the due date and time specified for receipt of bids/proposals. All bids/proposals are unconditionally accepted without alteration or modification except as authorized in the bidding documents. The university reserves the right to reject any or all bids for any reason.
If a bid guaranty is required in the Invitation for Bids or the Request for Proposals, a Bid Bond must accompany each bid/proposal. Failure to submit a bid guaranty, if required, will result in the rejection of the Bid Proposal as unresponsive. If a Bid Bond is used as the guaranty, it must be submitted on the university-furnished Bid Bond form, complete with all signatures, seals, and certificate of power of attorney.
Should Contracts Bonds be required, the contractor must, within ten (10) days after receipt of a request, sign, have the surety execute, and return the requested Contract Bonds to the university. The contractor's surety company must be authorized to do business in Pennsylvania. Failure to execute the required Contract Bonds within the time specified will result in payment to the university, not as a penalty, but as liquidated damages, their bid proposal guaranty, and the university shall have the right to award the contract to the next lowest responsive and responsible bidder/proposer.
All bids are subject to review for both responsiveness and responsibility. A responsive bid is one that conforms in all material respects to the requirements and criteria advertised in the Invitation for Bids or the Request for Proposals. A responsible bidder is one who has the capability in all respects to fully perform the contract requirements and the integrity and reliability, which will assure good faith performance.
The university reviews bids received to assure that all documents have been submitted as instructed in the Invitation for Bids and that all bid documents are properly completed. In the event a bidder fails, refuses, or neglects to provide any requested information or documents within the time stated in the Bid Documents or in the request, the university has the right to reject their bid proposal as non-responsive.
A contractor responsibility check may also be conducted by the university to determine a contractor's ability to complete work. Upon request by the university, the contractor must provide information on financial status, workforce, references, and any other information the university considers pertinent to the project. Failure to submit the required information, when requested, may result in rejection of the Bid Proposal. The contractor may be contacted by the university to answer questions or provide additional information.
Notice of Award
Once all responsiveness and responsibility checks are complete, the university will issue a written Notice of Award. The university may, solely at its own discretion, award the contract to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder within sixty (60) days from the date of bid opening. The university also has the right to waive technical defects if in the best interest of the university.
Notice to Proceed
The Notice to Proceed will be made by letter mailed to the contractor and shall be effective the date of the mailing unless otherwise indicated in the letter. The university will try to issue the Notice to Proceed within 120 days of the bid opening. Any delays caused by the contractor's failure to provide any required documents or information within the specified time will cause an equivalent number of days to be added to this time frame. Contractors should not order any materials or equipment or make any financial commitments concerning the contract until receiving the university's Notice to Proceed.
Requests for Proposals (RFP)
The university may also use Request for Proposals (RFP) as a method and means to procure services. The use of competitive sealed proposals takes into consideration not only cost, but also technical factors based on documented experience, expertise, and past performance of the contractor. The selection objective is to select the proposal that represents the best overall value from all responding proposers. The RFP is a method of evaluating cost/price and other factors specified in the RFP with the objective of selecting the proposer with the best overall proposal based primarily upon technical merits, with costs and other factors considered as appropriate. This process provides the opportunity for cost/technical tradeoffs. Therefore, the award of a resulting contract will not necessarily be made to the lowest priced offer or the highest ranked technical offer. Proposals are evaluated by a university Evaluation & Selection Committee against the standards set forth in the RFP, without regard for the relative strengths and weaknesses of competing proposals. There is no public opening of proposals, and only those proposals that result in the award of a contract are subject to the PA Right to Know Act.