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Bid Policy

The Federal Acquisition Regulation defines a small purchase as $25,000 or less. Tufts University requires that any purchase over $5,000 (20% of the small dollar purchase threshold of $25,000) comply with Competition and Price Reasonableness procedures.

Competitive Bidding

Tufts University requires competitive bidding and documentation for every purchase order $10,000 and over. Buyers are expected to promote competition and ensure advantageous pricing by soliciting bids from a minimum of three vendors and to select the lowest bidder able to meet the requirements. For orders $10,000 and over the quotations must be written. Requestors of quotations must retain documentation of these bids/quotations in department files for audit purposes.

Non-competitive Supplier Selection

Occasionally, a buyer is unable or chooses not to competitively bid the requirements. These situations involve selected or sole sources. A selected source: alternative suppliers exist in the competitive market, but the buyer chooses a particular supplier because of technical requirements (precision, reliability) or past performance by other suppliers (poor service, availability of parts). A sole source: no other supplier is capable of fully meeting the requirements.  Sole sources should be the exception, not the rule.

Cost/Price Analysis

Tufts University also requires documentation verifying that all purchase prices are fair and reasonable. The buyer must provide documentation of cost/price analysis for all non-competitive purchase orders $10,000 and over. Documentation can be based on the price of previous and similar purchases, current price lists, catalogs, advertisements and negotiated pricing agreements (vendor partnerships).

Download supplier justification/price verification form for such documentation.