Section 1120.2010  Competitive Sealed Bidding


a)         Application

Competitive sealed bidding is the required method of source selection, except as allowed by the Code and this Part.  The provisions of this Section apply to every procurement required to be conducted by competitive sealed bidding.


b)         Invitation for Bids (IFB)


1)         Use.  The IFB is used to initiate a competitive sealed bid procurement.


2)         Content.  The IFB shall include, at a minimum,  the following:


A)        instructions and information to bidders concerning the bid submission requirements, including the time and date set for receipt of bids, the address of the office to which bids are to be delivered, the maximum time for bid acceptance by the State, and any other special information;


B)        the purchase description, evaluation factors, delivery or performance schedule, and inspection and acceptance requirements not included in the purchase description; and


C)        the contract terms and conditions, including warranty and bonding or other security requirements, as applicable.


3)         Incorporation by Reference.  The IFB may incorporate documents by reference provided that the IFB specifies where those documents can be obtained.


c)         Bidding Time

Bidding time is the period of time between the date of notice or distribution of the IFB and the time and date set for receipt of bids.  In each case, bidding time will be set to provide bidders a reasonable time to prepare their bids.  A minimum of 14 days shall be provided unless a shorter time is authorized by the Code or this Part.


d)         Bidder Submissions


1)         Bid Form.  The IFB may provide a form that shall include space in which the bid price shall be inserted and that the bidder shall sign and submit along with all other necessary submissions.


2)         Bid Samples and Descriptive Literature.


A)        Bid samples or descriptive literature may be required when necessary to evaluate required characteristics of the items bid.


B)        Unsolicited bid samples or descriptive literature is submitted at the bidder's risk, may not be examined or tested, will not be deemed to vary any of the provisions of the IFB, and may not be utilized by the vendor to contest a decision or understanding with the State.


e)         Public Notice


1)         Publication.  Every procurement for supplies and services in excess of the small purchase limit that must be procured using an IFB shall be publicized in the next available issue of the Bulletin.


2)         Public Availability.  A copy of the IFB shall be made available for public inspection.


f)         Pre-Bid Conference


1)         A pre-bid conference may be conducted to enhance understanding of the procurement requirements.


2)         The pre-bid conference shall be announced as a part of the IFB notice.


3)         The conference may be designated as "attendance mandatory" or "attendance optional".


4)         The conference should be held long enough after the IFB has been issued to allow bidders to become familiar with it, but sufficiently before bid opening to allow consideration of the conference results in preparing their bids.


5)         Nothing stated at the pre-bid conference shall change the IFB unless a change is made by written amendment to the IFB.


6)         Amendments shall be supplied to all those prospective bidders known to have received an IFB.


7)         If the conference is mandatory, the amendment shall be supplied to attendees only.


g)         Amendments to Invitations for Bids


1)         Form.  Amendments to IFBs shall be clearly identified, shall reference the portion of the IFB they amend and shall be publicized in the next available issue of the Bulletin.


2)         Timeliness.  Amendments shall be made available within a reasonable time to allow prospective bidders to consider them in preparing their bids.  If the time and date set for receipt of bids will not permit such consideration, the amendment shall extend the response time.  If necessary, the response time may be extended by publication in the next available issue of the Bulletin.


h)         Pre-Opening Modification or Withdrawal of Bids


1)         Procedure.  Bids may be modified or withdrawn by written notice received in the office designated in the IFB prior to the time and date set for bid opening.  A fax modification or withdrawal, or withdrawal received by telephone prior to the time and date set for bid opening, will be effective if followed in writing.


2)         Records.  All documents relating to the modification or withdrawal of bids shall be made a part of the appropriate procurement file.


i)          Receipt, Opening and Recording of Bids


1)         Receipt.  Upon its receipt, each bid and modification shall be time-stamped but not opened and shall be stored in a secure place until the time and date set for bid opening.  If a bid is opened in error, the file shall so state.


2)         Opening and Recording


A)        Bids and modifications shall be opened publicly at the time, date, and place designated in the IFB.  Opening shall be witnessed by a State employee or any other person present, but the person opening bids shall not serve as witness.  The name of each bidder, the bid price, and such other information as is deemed appropriate by the Procurement Officer shall be recorded and the name of each bidder read aloud or otherwise made available. The names of witnesses shall also be recorded at the opening.


B)        The winning bid shall be available for public inspection after award, along with the record of each unsuccessful bid.


3)         Confidential Data.  The Procurement Officer shall examine the bids to determine the validity of any requests for nondisclosure of trade secrets and other proprietary data identified in writing.  If the parties do not agree as to the disclosure of data or other information, the bid shall be rejected as nonresponsive.


j)          Bid Evaluation and Award


1)         General.  The contract is to be awarded to the lowest responsible and responsive bidder whose bid meets the requirements and criteria set forth in the IFB, except as permitted in the Code and this Part.  The IFB shall set forth the requirements and criteria that will be used to determine the lowest responsive bidder.  No bid shall be evaluated for any requirements or criteria that are not disclosed in the IFB.


2)         Responsibility.  Responsibility of prospective vendors is covered by Section 1120.2046 (Responsibility) of this Part.


3)         Responsiveness. A bid must conform in all material respects to the IFB.


A)        Product or Service Acceptability.  The IFB shall set forth any evaluation criteria to be used in determining product or service acceptability.  It may require the submission of bid samples, descriptive literature, technical data, references, licenses, or other information or material.  It may also provide for accomplishing any of the following prior to award:


i)          inspection or testing of a product or service prior to award for such characteristics as quality or workmanship;


ii)         examination of such elements as appearance, finish, taste or feel;


iii)        other examinations to determine whether the product or service conforms with any other purchase description requirements.


B)        The acceptability evaluation is not conducted for the purpose of determining whether one bidder's product or service capability is superior to another, but only to determine that a bidder's offering is acceptable as set forth in the IFB.  Any bidder's offering that does not meet the acceptability requirements shall be rejected.


4)         Determination of Lowest Bidder.  Following determination of product or service acceptability as set forth in this subsection (j), bids will be evaluated to determine which bidder offers the lowest cost to the State in accordance with the evaluation criteria set forth in the IFB.  Only objectively measurable criteria that are set forth in the IFB shall be applied in determining the lowest bidder.  Examples of objectively measurable criteria include, but are not limited to, transportation cost and ownership or life-cycle cost formulas.  Evaluation factors need not be precise predictors of actual future costs, but to the extent possible evaluation factors shall be reasonable estimates based upon information the IOC has available concerning future use and shall treat all bids equitably.  Pricing for optional supplies or services, or for renewal terms, may not be considered, particularly when the pricing for the items or terms is unbalanced when compared to other pricing in the bid.


5)         Price Negotiation. This Section permits negotiations with the low bidder to obtain a lower price for the item bid.


k)         Documentation of Award

Following award, a record showing the successful bidder shall be made a part of the procurement file.


l)          Award to Other Than Low Bidder


1)         The CPO may award to other than the lowest responsible and responsive bidder upon a written determination that award to another bidder is in the State's best interest.  The written explanation must be published in the appropriate volume of the Procurement Bulletin.


2)         The name of the bidder selected, pricing, and the reasons for selecting this bidder instead of the low bidder must be published in the appropriate volume of the Bulletin.


3)         The explanation must include:


A)        a description of the needs of IOC;


B)        a determination that the anticipated cost will be fair and reasonable;


C)        a listing of all reasonable and responsive bidders; and


D)        the name of the bidder selected, the pricing and the reasons for selecting that bidder.


4)         The explanation shall be filed with the Legislative Audit Commission and the IOC PPB.


m)        Publicizing Award


1)         The successful bidder shall be notified of award and the notification may be in the form of a letter, purchase order or other clear communication.


2)         In procurements over the small purchase limit set in Section 1120.2020, notice of award shall be published in the next available issue of the Bulletin.


(Source:  Amended at 37 Ill. Reg. 3075, effective March 1, 2013)