Purchasing and Business Services Manual (PUR)

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Effective: 3/1/1965

Revised: 7/1/2018

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PUR 303–03: Preparation of Specifications and Response Evaluation Criteria

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To establish responsibility for preparing specifications and developing evaluation criteria for bidder responses

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Purchasing and Business Services

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Purchasing and Business Services is responsible for issuing solicitations for the procurement of goods and services. Solicitations include invitations to bid (ITB), Requests for Proposal (RFP), or any other requests for prices, including all supporting documents. Purchasing and Business Services and the requesting department share responsibility for preparing specifications (a component of the solicitation), as well as developing evaluation criteria.

Areas of Responsibility

Terms and Conditions

Purchasing and Business Services is primarily responsible for the terms and conditions of the solicitation.


Although Purchasing and Business Services and the requesting department share responsibility for the specifications, the requesting department is primarily responsible for developing the technical or performance specifications of a solicitation.

Specifications must be written with a view to securing goods or services with the appropriate quality for the particular procurement. Only the grade or degree of goods that will meet, but not exceed, the requirements will be purchased by the university.

In order to ensure objective contractor performance and eliminate unfair competitive advantage, contractors that develop or draft specifications, requirements, statements of work, or invitations for bids or requests for proposals must be excluded from competing for such procurements.


Specifications must be written fairly and equitably and must not be:

  1. unduly restrictive
  2. prejudicial to any supplier


  3. a basis for just complaint from any competitive bidder.


The descriptor “brand name or equal” may be used in specifications as a means of defining performance or other salient requirements of a procurement. When the descriptor “brand name or equal” is used, the specific features of the named brand that are required must be clearly identified so that it is clear what would make a competing product an “equal.”

Where brand name only is desired, the requestor shall justify in writing the reasons for specifying a particular brand name through the respective procurement officer to the chief procurement officer. This document will be retained in the bid file.

Sustainable Purchasing Considerations

Sustainability requirements outlined in PUR 210, “Sustainable Purchasing” need to be considered when developing specifications for goods and/or services.

Response Evaluation Criteria

Purchasing and Business Services and the requesting department share responsibility for developing the evaluation criteria for the responses to an RFP. The evaluation criteria should include a method for scoring supplier responses against specific criteria.

A method for scoring each evaluation criterion will simplify the evaluation process and enable the response evaluator(s) to explain why any responding firm was or was not selected.

Technical Evaluation of Proposals

For procurements using Federal monies, and where else appropriate, the requesting department staff will compare the technical and/or performance characteristics of the goods and/or services offered against the requirements of the solicitation. The results of this technical evaluation will be documented in writing and will include the technical and/or performance reasons for recommending an award to the apparently successful proposer and for rejecting an award for each of the other proposers. This technical evaluation will be submitted to the Buyer and will be a part of the procurement file.

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For related information on the solicitation process, see:

  1. PUR 305–01, “Bidding Requirements for Procurements Costing Less than $50,000”
  2. PUR 305–02, “Bidding Requirements for Procurements Costing at Least $50,000 but Less than $100,000”


  3. PUR 306–01, “Bidding Requirements for Procurements Costing $100,000 or More.”

For further information on information provided to suppliers, see the policies in PUR 501, “Supplier Information/Advertising.”

For further information on selection of suppliers, see the policies in PUR 502, “Supplier Selection.”

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