There is no “bid list.” To become a seller on a Statewide Contract, vendors must execute a contract with OSD or its designee after responding to a fair, open, and competitive solicitation for bids to provide goods and/or services. This section explains the steps required in order to become a Statewide Contractor.
Registering your company with the Commonwealth, filing taxes, having a vendor code, signing up for Comm-PASS SmartBid, or holding a contract with a department or municipality does not mean your company is an authorized vendor on a Statewide Contract. In order to become a statewide contractor, you must complete the following steps:
Locate an open solicitation for a Statewide Contract
Interested bidders have two ways to learn about all Open Solicitations including those for Statewide Contracts:
- Manually search Comm-PASS using the free Search for Solicitations engine and download capabilities; or,
- Receive free automatic email notifications based on a customizable profile of Areas of Interest via free subscription to Comm-PASS SmartBid.
Determine the solicitation requirements
Solicitation requirements are established by the Issuer and the Strategic Sourcing Team (SST) in conformance with applicable laws, policies, and practices. The Request for Response (RFR) and other terms and conditions and supporting documents, collectively the “solicitation requirements,” are published on Comm-PASS for each solicitation.
Interested bidders should:
- Review all information provided on each tabbed page of the Solicitation record, including the attached files;
- Communicate questions or concerns via the online Bidders Forum;
- Check Comm-PASS frequently for answers to bidder questions in the online Bidders Forum and for changes or additions to the bid requirements.
To identify the bids offering the best value, the SST usually evaluates submissions based on two types of criteria:
- Mandatory criteria are sometimes identified with the words “must”, “shall”, or “required.” These are pass/fail criteria that bidders absolutely must meet to be considered a responsive bidder.
- Desirable criteria are used to measure the “value added” by the bidder. Compliance with a desirable criterion usually results in additional evaluation points. While low price may be an important criterion under the concept of best value, additional points may be awarded for a variety of features depending upon what the SST considers important. Examples of such criteria include: next day delivery, complimentary pick-up for returned items, enhanced response time, extended warranties, environmentally preferable products or services, cost effectiveness of products or services due to lower operating costs, lower life-cycle costs, increased durability, etc.
If, after reading the requirements, you are still unclear about anything, communicate your concerns via the online Bidders Forum on Comm-PASS and/or the bidders’ conference, if offered. Only the person listed under Contact Information on the Issuer(s) page has the authority to answer bidder questions. Only answers issued in writing or via the Bidders Forum on Comm-PASS are legally binding.
Submit a response in accordance with the solicitation requirements prior to the Close Date
Submit your bid on time! The Close Date and Time are published on the “Summary” tab of each solicitation. The Comm-PASS system clock provides the official time of record for all SmartBid bid submissions. The clock in the OSD reception area provides the official time of record if the solicitation requires submission of a paper bid.
Your Comm-PASS SmartBid account gives you a secure lock-box to upload your bid documents as soon as they are ready. Simply hitting “Submit” before the Close Date does not mean your bid has been accepted by Comm-PASS – time is required to upload the bid documents, and Comm-PASS will halt the upload process when the Close Date/Time has passed.
Prevail in accordance with evaluation criteria established by the Strategic Sourcing Team
Evaluation criteria for Solicitations for Statewide Contract are established for each Solicitation using best-value principles. During the evaluation process, bidders may be asked to clarify portions of their responses, or provide added documentation, if needed. Such requests for clarification usually have response deadlines, therefore it is important that bidders frequently check their email and respond promptly.
Oral presentations, samples of products, and/or tours of facilities may be requested. The process of reviewing and evaluating responses sometimes takes several weeks, so please be patient!
Many Statewide Contracts have limitations on the number of awards, meaning that not all Bidders who meet the Mandatory Requirements will be awarded.
Your company becomes a Statewide Contractor once all Contract documents are executed by OSD and the Strategic Sourcing Services Lead sends an award notification.