Goods & Services Formal Solicitations
- If you have a purchasing need or have a procurement question, you may submit a Request for Advice (RFA).
- You will be assigned a follow-up New Goods & Services Solicitation service request to gather additional information. Based on your procurement needs, your Procurement staff may recommend any of the following:
- Invitation to Bid
An Invitation To Bid (ITB) seeks suppliers who can supply a specific goods or services at the lowest price. ITBs...
- Only consider price as the determining factor between responsible, responsive bidders
- Do not allow negotiations
- Take approximately 3 months to complete
- Request for Proposals
Requests For Proposals (RFP) seek proposals from suppliers about how best to achieve the agency's objectives. Proposals are evaluated on criteria other than just price. RFPs...
- Are a good option if you don’t know what’s available, or what approach is best
- Allow you to evaluate meaningful criteria other than price
- Include evaluations and negotiations
Take approximately 6 months to complete
- Request for Qualifications
Requests For Qualifications (RFQ) seek to qualify a roster of suppliers to do additional competitive procurements later. RFQs...
- Are used to identify suppliers who are interested and available
- Establish a master contract with each qualified supplier including negotiated terms and conditions but no formal scope of work
- Are followed by work order procurements solicited to the pool of qualified suppliers. (You can use the pool for multiple procurements to establish multiple contracts with defined scopes or specifications.)
- Solicit work orders to the entire pool or a subset of the qualified supplier pool based on the competition requirements determined by the work order spend ($10,000-$50,000: solicit at least 3 pool suppliers; $50,000+ solicit to the entire pool of qualified suppliers)
- Evaluate work orders based on project needs: cost or experience
- Take approximately 3 months to complete
- Request for Information
Requests For Information (RFI) are used to research a process, product, or the viability of a proposed solution by asking the supplier community to provide information on the topic. RFIs...
- Are informal
- Are not technically a procurement
- Don't have a specified format for responses
- Don’t reject "late" responses
- Take approximately 3 months to complete
- Complete all fields in the assigned service request:
- Funding Sources
- Bidding Requirements
- Insurance Requirements Form
The Insurance Requirements Form is integrated with the service request. Once you complete the Solicitation Service Request Risk Management will be notified to complete their review.
- Attach the required documents to your Solicitation service request:
- Draft RFP Scope of Work (SOW) / ITB Specifications (Specs Tip Sheet)
- Incorporate ecolabels & sustainability standards (Sustainable Purchasing Guide)
- Attachments and Exhibits
- Attachments: documents or forms bidders/proposers must submit
- Exhibits: additional information for bidders/proposers
- (ITB Only) Pricing Sheet - list the bid items you expect bidders to price, including the unit of measure
- (RFP Only) Proposal Evaluation Planning
- Evaluation committee: identify who will review proposals (functional, technical, and end user perspectives, etc.)
- Proposal questions: describe what we want from the proposer (narrative response, Q&A chart, etc.)
- Evaluation criteria: define the qualifications used to score proposals; assign points to what's most important
- Subcontracting/Apprenticeship Opportunities Analysis
Your information will automatically be routed to the Business Development & Contract Compliance office for review and assignment of small business utilization and apprenticeship goals.
- Finalize the Solicitation and draft Agreement documents
Your Procurement staff will send you a Message in King County E-Procurement when the documents have been uploaded to SharePoint and are ready for your collaboration and finalization.
- Solicitation advertised in newspapers and online
Forward all questions related to the procurement to the Procurement staff; you'll be asked to assist P&P in preparing formal responses, published online as addenda.
- Pre-Bid/Proposal Meeting
At the pre-bid/proposal meeting, your agency will present a summary of the contract scope or specifications describing your needs. This is an informational meeting. All questions from bidders or proposers about the contract must be submitted in writing.
- Addenda and Clarifications
Supplier questions will be submitted to your Procurement staff; you'll be asked to assist in preparing a formal response. P&P will issue clarifications and changes to the solicitation through King County E-Procurement.
P&P opens bids/proposals when they are due but agencies are not required to attend.
- Invitation to Bid (ITB): The Procurement staff will review the bids and prepare a tabulation ("bid tab") which compares the companies' prices. King County awards to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder(s). Your agency must review and approve the Procurment staff’s recommendation for award.
- Request for Proposal (RFP): The agency evaluation team will access the consultant proposal documents from within King County E-Procurement. Procurement staff will coordinate with the evaluation team will review proposals and conduct consensus scoring offline. Any proposal clarification and scheduling of interviews, demonstrations or presentations will be handled by Procurement staff.
Your Procurement staff will use the King County E-Procurement app to message the successful bidder/proposer with the Notice of Intent to Award. The supplier will receive an email notification. By logging into their profile, the supplier can upload their documents, including insurance forms, etc.
Suppliers have two days to formally protest after the Notice of Intent to Award is issued. P&P will receive the protest submittal and follow the protest procedures documented in the ITB/RFP. P&P will communicate with your agency and suppliers throughout the process.
A debrief is an optional meeting any supplier may request to discuss their proposal and how it was scored. King County will NOT disclose any other proposals. Debriefs are intended to promote transparency by giving suppliers a chance to be heard and ask questions about how their proposal was evaluated, so that they might be more competitive next time.
Negotiation is not permitted. The bid submittal constitutes acceptance of terms & conditions.
Negotiations may begin with the supplier as soon as P&P issues the Notice of Intent to Award.
During negotiations the following should occur:
- Finalize the Scope or Work (referred to as the Statement of Work in the final agreement).
- Address supplier concerns with our Terms and Conditions:
- Consult the PAO before accepting changes to avoid putting King County at risk
- Consult with Risk if the proposer requests changes to the insurance requirements
- Consult with BDCC if there are concerns about the small business utilization requirements
- Determine the final contract pricing with the supplier.
Your agency contract signatories will receive an email with a link to sign the contract electronically using DocuSign. A final signed copy of the agreement can be downloaded from the DocuSign confirmation email.
The agency should maintain and nurture a relationship with the supplier. If there are issues with the supplier's fulfillment of the contract terms (delivery, quality, etc.) document the situation and work with the supplier to resolve it. It may be a simple misunderstanding or a lack of clarity in the contract terms. Contact the Procurement staff if you are unable to find resolution by working with the supplier.
Documentation should include...
- Description of the situation
- Efforts at reconciliation from both parties
Submit a Contract Change Order/Amendment Service Request:
- If you’ve already executed the amendment, attach the signed document to the service request.
- Or, you may ask P&P to route the amendment for signature through DocuSign.
Once the final invoice has been paid, submit the "Close Oracle Contract Agreement" Service Request.
The agency should be aware of the contract expiration date and whether or not a new contract will be needed.
Submit a Request for Advice Service Request in advance of contract expiration so there is not a gap in service between contracts.
- For ITBs - at least 90-100 days prior to expiration
- For RFPs - at least 6-9 months prior to expiration