TITLE 44: GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS, PROCUREMENT AND PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
SUBTITLE A: PROCUREMENT AND CONTRACT PROVISIONS
CHAPTER II: CHIEF PROCUREMENT OFFICER FOR PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION
PART 4 CHIEF PROCUREMENT OFFICER FOR PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION STANDARD PROCUREMENT
SECTION 4.2015 COMPETITIVE SEALED PROPOSALS
Section 4.2015 Competitive Sealed Proposals
a) Competitive Sealed Proposals may be used whenever permitted by the Code and as described in this Part.
b) The Competitive Sealed Proposal method of source selection may be used to procure the following categories (note that the following services, if they are professional and artistic, must be procured pursuant to Section 4.2035 of this Part):
1) electronic data processing equipment, software and services;
2) telecommunications equipment, software and services;
3) consulting services;
4) employee benefits and management of those benefits; and
5) insurance and banking services.
c) Competitive Sealed Proposals may be used on a case-by-case basis when it is determined by the SPO that competitive sealed bidding is either not practicable or advantageous. The Competitive Sealed Proposal method differs from competitive sealed bidding in two ways: it permits discussions with competing offerors and changes in their proposals, including price and it allows comparative judgmental evaluations to be made when selecting among acceptable proposals for award of the contract. Factors to be considered in determining whether competitive sealed bidding is either not practical or advantageous include:
1) When evaluation factors involve the relative abilities of offerors to perform, including degrees of experience or expertise, when the types of supplies or services may require the use of comparative, judgmental evaluations to evaluate them adequately, or when the type of need to be satisfied involves weighing aesthetic values to the extent that price is a secondary consideration;
2) whether oral or written discussions may need to be conducted with offerors concerning technical and price aspects of their proposals;
3) whether offerors may need to be afforded the opportunity to revise their proposals, including price;
4) whether award may need to be based upon a comparative evaluation, as stated in the Request for Proposals, of differing price, quality and contractual factors in order to determine the most advantageous offering to the State. Quality factors include technical and performance capability and the content of the technical proposal;
5) whether the primary consideration in determining award may not be price; and
6) if prior procurements indicate that competitive sealed proposals may result in more beneficial contracts for the State.
d) Content of the Request for Proposals
The RFP shall be prepared in accordance with Section 4.2010 (Competitive Sealed Bidding), provided that it shall also include:
1) a statement that discussions may be conducted with offerors who submit proposals determined to be reasonably susceptible of being selected for award, but that proposals may be accepted without those discussions; and
2) a statement of when and how price should be submitted.
e) Receipt and Registration of Proposals
1) Receipt. Upon its receipt, each proposal and modification shall be date- and time-stamped but not opened and shall be stored in a secure place until the time and date set for opening. If a proposal is opened for identification purposes or opened in error, the file shall state the reason for the error.
2) Proposals and modifications shall be opened publicly at the time, date and place designated in the RFP. Opening shall be witnessed by a university employee or by any other person present, but the person opening proposals shall not serve as witness. A record shall be prepared that shall include the name of each offeror, the number of modifications received, if any, a description sufficient to identify the supply or service item offered, and a notation that the package contains a price proposal. The record of proposals shall be open to public inspection after award of the contract.
3) Proposals and modifications shall be opened in a manner to avoid disclosing contents to competitors. Only authorized university personnel and contractual agents may review the proposals prior to award.
f) Evaluation of Proposals
1) Evaluation Factors in the RFP. The RFP shall state all of the evaluation factors, including price, and their relative importance. Evaluation subfactors, if any, and their relative importance must be finalized prior to the opening and made available for inspection and copying upon opening. However, all price subfactors and their relative ranking must be shown in the RFP.
2) Evaluation. The evaluation shall be based solely on the evaluation factors set forth in the RFP and no other factors shall be considered, except as communicated in advance to each proposer with opportunity to make necessary adjustments to the proposal. Numerical rating systems shall be used unless another scoring tool is authorized by the SPO. Any scoring tool shall reflect the evaluation criteria and ranking set forth in the RFP and any subfactors identified at the opening. Proposals shall be submitted in two parts: the first, covering items except price, and the second, covering price. The first part shall be evaluated and ranked independent of the second part of all proposals. Each member of the evaluation committee must read and evaluate the first part individually. After completion of the individual evaluations, the evaluation committee should meet to confirm the individual scores and reach consensus. The evaluation committee shall consider significant or substantial variance of scores, divergent scoring comments, or other information that suggests the need for further discussion. After consideration of comments, individual evaluators may, for good cause, adjust their scores. The price proposal shall be opened in the presence of a State witness and distributed to the appropriate evaluators.
g) Proposal Discussions with Individual Offerors
1) Purposes of Discussions. Discussions are held to:
A) promote understanding of the University's requirements and the offerors' proposals; and
B) facilitate arriving at a contract that will be most advantageous to the State, taking into consideration price and the other evaluation factors set forth in the RFP.
2) Conduct of Discussions. Offerors shall be accorded fair and equal treatment with respect to any opportunity for discussions and clarifications of proposals. If during the discussions it is determined there is a need for any substantial revision of, or change to, the RFP, the RFP shall be canceled and may be resolicited to incorporate the clarification or change. Auction techniques (revealing one offeror's price to another) and disclosure of any information from competing proposals are prohibited. Any substantial oral clarification of a proposal shall be reduced to writing by the offeror.
3) Best and Final Offers. The SPO may request best and final offers from those offerors deemed acceptable after completion of any discussions. Best and final offers shall be submitted by a specified date and time. The SPO may conduct additional discussions or require another submission of best and final offers. The scope of the best and final offer and the number of vendors allowed to participate shall be defined by the SPO. If an offeror does not submit either a notice of withdrawal or another best and final offer, the offeror's immediately previous offer will be construed as its best and final offer.
An award shall be made by the SPO pursuant to a written determination showing the basis on which the award was found to be most advantageous to the State, taking into consideration price and evaluation factors set forth in the RFP. The contract file shall contain the basis on which the award is made. After the most advantageous finding is presented to the SPO, the SPO may request a reduction in the price only term of the proposal.
i) Publicizing Awards
1) Offerors shall be notified of contract award. Notification shall be issued electronically and, additionally, may be in the form of a letter, purchase order or other clear communication. Notices of awards through the RFP process shall be published in the Bulletin prior to the execution of a contract. Failure to provide this notice to all offerors shall result in extending the time for filing a bid protest up to 5 business days. Notice of the award shall be posted on the university's website the next business day. The winning proposal shall be available for public inspection after award, along with a record of each unsuccessful proposal.
2) The notice of award must include the information identified in Section 4.1525.
(Source: Amended at 36 Ill. Reg. 10951, effective August 6, 2012)