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Selecting Vendors

Vendor Qualifications: All vendors providing supplies, equipment, or services should be reputable firms having demonstrated capacity to produce or provide supplies, equipment, services and other items within a reasonable time or within specific time limits established by the purchaser. Vendors should be subject to disqualification if they misrepresent quality, quantity, or price of what is being purchased. Vendors that exceed reasonable time limits should also be disqualified.

Selecting Vendors:  Whenever possible, select vendors on the basis of three price quotations or competitive bids. As a subrecipient, you must conduct all procurement transactions in a manner providing full and open competition consistent with the Procurement Standards in the Uniform Requirements (CFR 200.319 (PDF)). This requirement holds whether procurement transactions are negotiated or competitively bid, and without regard to dollar value. In order to avoid unfair competitive advantage, contractors that develop or draft specifications, requirements, statement of work and invitations for bids or requests for proposals, must be excluded from competing for such procurements.

Written procedures for procurement transactions must ensure all solicitations incorporate a clear and accurate description of the technical requirements of the material, product, or service to be procured. Solicitations should also identify all requirements that must be fulfilled and all other factors to be used in evaluating bids and proposals.

Under certain circumstances, supplies, equipment, services, or other items may be purchased without bids or quotations. Quotations may not be necessary if a qualified vendor is the sole source of the items to be purchased, or, in case of emergency, when immediate delivery is necessary for the entity’s continued provision of adequate services.

All sole-source purchases should be reviewed by the person at the agency with authority to approve such purchases, or a designee. In any event, the grantee project director should be apprised of any sole-source purchase as soon as possible. A written memorandum explaining all emergency purchases and all other sole-source purchases exceeding an amount determined by management should be attached to the file copy of the purchase order.

To determine what Method of Procurement to be followed, please refer to CFR 200.320 (opens in new window) (Methods of Procurement) in the Uniform Requirements as well as Chapter XIV. Procurement of Goods and Service and Chapter XV. Procurement of Professional Services of this grant manual.

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