Vendor/Bidder FAQ's

How Do I...

V-1. Get on the Bid List?

V-2. Understand the importance of a Statewide Contract? 

V-3. Get on a Statewide Contract?

V-4. Find required Solicitation or Contract forms?

V-5. Locate Solicitation opportunities?

V-6. Determine Solicitation requirements or clarify bid-related questions?

V-7. Respond to a Solicitation?

V-8. Access a list of public purchasers posting in Comm-PASS?

V-9. Advertise effectively in the Business Directory?

Vendor/Bidder Answers

HOW DO I…

V-1. Get on the Bid List?

There is no general "list".

If a potential customer is asking if you are on the list, they are referring to an active Statewide Contract which usually (a) covers a broad range of goods and services (b) is awarded to multiple vendors and (c) has a three year duration.

These potential customers may be required by law or by internal policy to purchase only from authorized vendors on active Statewide Contracts. Only OSD issues these Solicitations. Once vendors bid, those who are awarded get listed on the Contract records Vendor(s) tab.

To find a Solicitation for Statewide Contract which is OPEN for response, follow these steps:

  • Select the Solicitations tab from the Comm-PASS home page
  • Select Search for a Solicitation
  • Select the For Statewide Contract checkbox to enter a check
  • Select the Document Status as OPEN
  • Select the Search button
  • Select the results link offered at the top of the page
  • Select the View icon (eyeglasses) to access any complete record
  • Select each tab to access the Solicitation requirements

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V-2 Understand the importance of a Statewide Contract?

Why are public purchasers so concerned about your status as an authorized vendor listed on a statewide Contract issued by the Operational Services Division?

  • All executive department buyers must purchase the items and services covered by a statewide contract from only those authorized vendors listed; and,
  • listed on the Issuer(s) page may purchase from those vendors listed on statewide Contracts to avoid costly or time-consuming bid processes.

Purchasing under the terms and conditions of a statewide Contract negotiated by OSD or its designee creates a win-win:

For Eligible Purchasers

  • pre-qualified pool of vendors
  • competitive price/warranty/terms
  • bid process elimination
  • OSD issue management

For Statewide Contract Vendors

  • large pool of required purchasers
  • even more eligible purchasers
  • elimination of redundant response
  • single contract management

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V-3. Get on a Statewide Contract?

In brief, the same way all the awarded vendors did!

Interested bidders seeking to win a statewide Contract must:

  • Locate an Open Solicitation by selecting on the search screen - "For Statewide Contract" =YES;
  • Review all requirements and determine if you intend to respond; If YES,
  • Subscribe to SmartBid to enable the required online submission
  • Respond via SmartBid in accordance with bid instructions prior to Close Date; and,
  • Succeed within the evaluation criteria established by OSD, or its designee.

Evaluation criteria for Statewide Solicitations are established on a case-by-case basis using best-value principles which means the lowest cost may not be the deciding factor.

Your company becomes a statewide vendor once all Contract documents are executed and the Procurement Team Leader (PTL) sends a valid award notification.
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V-4. Find required Solicitation or Contract forms?

The Issuer is responsible to provide all required forms on the Forms & Terms tab of the record.

For Solicitations, Issuers might attach other documents to the Specifications tab.

File access is also the Issuer's responsibility, so contact them for alternate access in the event a file cannot be read.

If required forms are not provided, contact the person listed on the Issuer(s) tab of the record.
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V-5. Locate Solicitation opportunities?  

MANUAL SEARCHES ARE FREE!

NOTE: SmartBid subscribers receive automatic email notifications for all Solicitation, Forum and Contract postings and amendments per their Areas of Interest.
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V-6. Determine Solicitation requirements or clarify bid-related questions?

1. Review all the information presented in the Solicitation record.

Be advised that each Open Solicitation record in Comm-PASS contains six tabs and it is solely the responsibility of the interested bidder to:

  • Review all information provided within a Solicitation, including attached files;
  • Check the Summary page's Version Number AND Last Changed Date to ensure you have the most recent version of the Solicitation.

2. Contact the Issuer for clarification or direction on a specific Solicitation per the Issuer's directions.
Some Issuers restrict written questions only to the Forum. Some specify an email address or a postal address. Some do not accept written questions at all if they have a physical bidder's conference.

Comm-PASS HelpDesk staff are not authorized to answer bid-related questions .

No answers are legally binding until distributed in writing or posted on Comm-PASS within the Solicitation record or the associated Forum (Online Bidders' Conference) record. 
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V-7. Respond to a Solicitation?

There are two methods of response for Solicitations posted on Comm-PASS: paper (traditional) or online submissions.

Solicitations for Statewide Contracts will require (and other Departmental Solicitations may require) online submission. this requirement, if specified, is posted in the Announcement, or WTO notice, and/or with the complete Solicitation.

If the Issuer requires online submission, you must subscribe to SmartBid. Its features will enable you to:

  • Electronically agree to Forms & Terms
  • Defer ink signature forms until award, if any
  • upload file content you complete or create in response to the Solicitation
  • Submit the entire "package" online to an encrypted, time-stamped lockbox
  • Receive a receipt
  • Retain an electronic copy of the entire bid submission for your records

If the Issuer requires paper submission, follow the directions regarding bid package content, number of copies required, submission deadlines, and delivery address provided in the Solicitation.
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V-8. Access a list of public purchasers posting in Comm-PASS?

  • To access a searchable listing of all the purchasing organizations with posting privileges in Comm-PASS:
  • Select the Solicitations tab from the main navigator bar
  • Select the Search for Solicitations link
  • Select the Select Entity/Department link
  • Select the Search button

A link will be returned with a listing of all the Entities who are posting on Comm-PASS. Each Entity may contain one or more Departments.
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V-9. Advertise effectively in the Business Directory?

You must be a SmartBid subscriber in order to advertise in the Comm-PASS Business Directory.

  • The Comm-PASS Business Directory is a "yellow-pages" style directory of all SmartBid Subscribers which anyone can browse or search through. Your company is listed by name and goods and services categories, which you select in your custom profile. Manage your profile to ensure customers can find you.
  • If your company has both a subscription and an Active Contract on Comm-PASS, your Business Directory record will contain a link to the Contract.
  • Receive automatic email notifications of all Comm-PASS postings matching your customizable profile of goods and services.

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