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Procurement Methods


EMWD purchases a variety of inexpensive items utilizing procurement cards, or occasionally, petty cash. All other purchases for materials, equipment, supplies, and services (with the exception of public works construction) are the responsibility of the Purchasing Division and will be authorized by the issuance of a purchase order to the selected vendor.

The Purchasing staff uses the following three basic procurement methods

  • Request for Quotation (RFQ)
  • Request for Bid (RFB)
  • Request for Proposal (RFP)

Request for Quotation (RFQ)

This is a simplified process which reduces both paperwork and administrative time and effort. Telephone quotations are used for items of small dollar value or where time limitations do not allow for routine hard copy solicitations.

Although purchase orders are issued based upon the best price received from a responsible supplier, discussions may be held with suppliers to clarify or otherwise ensure responses conform to EMWD requirements.

Supplier responses, i.e., “Quotes”, should completely conform to the RFQ requirements and include a firm price and the required delivery date. The RFQ is a flexible and expeditious method for acquiring goods and services.

Request for Bid (RFB)

The RFB process requires detailed specifications be solicited by EMWD for firm bids. Bids are currently delivered electronically via Bonfire Interactive.
The RFB process is rigid. Bids are due on or before the published date and time for receipt as specified on the RFB. Bids received after the exact time set for opening of bids will not be accepted. Negotiation discussions are not allowed. 

If suppliers have questions about Bid requirements, they should ask for clarification prior to bid opening. Contract award is based on the lowest price received from a responsive and responsible bidder. Bids that take exception to the bid package may be rejected.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

The RFP is used when the importance of technical considerations dictates the contract award be based upon cost and “other factors”. The “other factors” are expressed in the RFP as Evaluation Criteria.

Unlike the RFB which contains a detail or design specification, in an RFP the requirement is generally expressed in terms of performance specification or required outcome. Suppliers are asked to propose their own technical solution to achieve the required results. Suppliers’ proposals may consist of a two-part offer. The first part is the technical solution. The second part is the price proposal.

The EMWD proposal evaluation and source selection process begins with evaluation of the technical proposal by using the Evaluation Factors listed in the RFP to assess the acceptability of each technical proposal received. After technical merit is determined, the pricing proposals of those suppliers whose technical proposals are determined to be acceptable are reviewed. Evaluations of technical merit and price are then completed. In order to ensure a complete understanding of all issues, and the proposed price properly reflects that understanding, negotiation discussions may be conducted.

Contract award is made based upon EMWD’s “best buy” determination. The “best buy” need not be the lowest price.