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Methods of Purchasing Against a Purchase Request

  • Last Updated: 03/04/2013
  • Effective Date:

Policy Statement
The State Purchasing Division (SPD) and the Board of Regents (BOR) establish purchasing methods, which consist of a solicitation method and an evaluation method.  Procurement professionals will identify the best solicitation method for each purchase request.  Solicitations refer to the process of requesting offers from suppliers to sell goods or services.   Approved SPD solicitation methods for purchases at or above the competitive bid threshold are Requests for Quotes (RFQ), Requests for Proposals (RFP), Requests for Qualified Contractors (RFQC), and BOR approved methods are Invitation to Bid (ITB) as well as RFQC and RFP.   The end user or Procurement may make informal pricing requests for purchases less than the competitive bid threshold ($25,000 for SPD and $50,000 for BOR).   All solicitation methods, other than informal price requests, are conducted through a formal sealed bid process.   With this process, suppliers’ offers are kept confidential and not opened by Procurement until after the solicitation has closed. The method of evaluation (pass/fail, scored, etc.) will vary by solicitation type as well as the specific terms of the solicitation.
Reason for policy
To provide a description on the various methods utilized for making purchases.

The following sections provide the procedures for the various methods of solicitation: 

Informal pricing requests – section Orders for Supplies, Materials and Services Less than $25,000

 RFQ – Section Request for Quote (eSource)

 RFP – Section Request for Proposal (RFP)

 Invitation to Bid – Section Invitation to Bid (Construction/Public Works)

Additional contacts

Procurement Staff 706-542-2361 

Policy definitions

BOR – Board of Regents 

Invitation to Bid (ITB) is a competitive procurement method prescribed by the BOR used for construction and public works contracts.  ITBs include specifications and sometimes qualifications which must be met by the responding vendor.  The process identifies the lowest priced responsive and responsible bidder(s) for contract award. 

Request for Proposals (RFP) is a formal solicitation method that seeks to leverage the creativity and knowledge of business organizations in order to provide a solution to a unique procurement. Unlike the RFQ Request for Quotations process in which the University prescribes both the specifications and solution to its own needs and suppliers replicate the University’s specifications and solutions in the bids the suppliers submit, the RFP Request for Proposals process allows suppliers to propose their own comprehensive and innovative solution to the University’s needs described in the RFPRequest for Proposals. The RFPRequest for Proposals seeks to identify the "best value" for the University by using a combination of technical and cost factors to evaluate suppliers’ proposals. The University should use a RFPRequest for Proposals if the project does not lend itself to the creation of a clear and accurate statement of work and the objective of the solicitation is to identify a supplier who can offer the best possible solution to the University’s identified needs at the lowest cost. The RFPRequest for Proposals process may only be used as a method of solicitation after a written determination has been made that the use of competitive sealed bidding (i.e., the RFQRequest for Quotations process) will not be practicable or advantageous to the University.

Request for Quotes (RFQ) process is a competitive procurement method used to solicit bids for the supply of goods or services. In the RFQRequest for Quotations process, UGA prescribes both the specifications and solution to its needs.  A RFQ is usedRequest for Quotations if the project lends itself to the creation of a clear and accurate specifications and the objective of the solicitation is to identify a supplier who can provide the required specifications at the lowest possible cost.  The RFQ Request for Quotations process identifies the lowest priced responsive and responsible bidder(s) for contract award.  

Request for Qualified Contractors (RFQC)   is a prequalification process with the primary intent to identify multiple qualified sources of supply.  Under SPD regulations, a purchase order may not be issued from a RFQC, rather a RFP or RFQ must be issued to those prequalified vendors and they will be required to submit a quote or proposal in order to be considered for award.

Solicitation – method of purchasing

SPD – State Purchasing Division


Responsible University Senior Administrator: Vice President for Finance & Administration 

Responsible University Administrator:  Procurement Officer 

Policy Owner:  Procurement 

Policy Contact:  Annette Evans 

Phone Number: 706-542-2361

Responsibilities: The procurement professional must identify the best solicitation method for purchasing against a purchase request. 

Responsibilities:  The department/end user should contact Procurement immediately if they believe they have a purchase that will require a RFP so SPD requirements can be communicated clearly from the beginning of the project.


Question 1. Can a vendor consider a RFQ or RFP as a contract or purchase order?

Answer 1. No.  A solicitation should not be construed by a vendor as an order to make any purchase or other commitment.