Bid Process

Purchasing may use one of the following competitive processes to obtain the goods or services you require. The total dollar amount of the requisition and the type of goods or service being purchased determine the appropriate process.


By state statute, any purchase exceeding $5,000.00 or $50.00 for printing must be transacted via an official bid process.

Purchasing pre-approval is required prior to engaging in purchasing actions with the exception of purchases made using a department's delegated authority. 

Purchases made without necessary pre-approval are considered illegal by the state and the employee contracting the procurement may be held liable for the cost.

Serial purchasing or fragmenting a transaction to avoid the delegation limit is not an acceptable alternative.



Simplified bidding is a procurement method used when the estimated cost of a transaction is more than $5,000 up to $50,000 and the item or service is not available through UW System contracted suppliers or through a contract. The Simplified Bid Process is outlined in the linked document.

The university is required to seek a minimum of three potential qualified external vendors. Submit all bids and responses in your COST ticket. Your COST representative will document the quotes on the Simplified Bidding Record form for auditing purposes. The documentation may be in the form of current catalog prices or price lists, phone, fax or email quotes, or written bid responses.

The completed Simplified Bidding Form should be uploaded in ShopUW+ logo as backup documentation for the purchasing request.


Personnel must be careful not to give one supplier an advantage by sharing another supplier's prices, terms, or other bid information during the course of the bidding process. Suppliers may ask to be notified of the bid results. Departments are not authorized to release this information until after the purchase order has been issued.


Uniqueness of product or service, patented or proprietary features, and intrinsic value may restrict the existence of competition.

Purchasing has authority to waive bidding up to $25,000 with appropriate justification and documentation from the ordering department. Waivers of $25,000 or more require Purchasing to obtain authority to proceed from UW-Systems, the Wisconsin Department of Administration Bureau of Procurement and the Governor.

Submit a COST ticket and your representative will assist with the waiver process.


Purchases over $50,000

Purchases of $50,000 or more require a detailed competitive process. The competitive bidding process includes development of specifications, posting on VendorNet, advertising in the official state newspaper - The Wisconsin State Journal, public bid openings, bid evaluations, award notifications, and may be subject to bidder protests regarding the award.

Generic bid specifications are used to gauge the supplier response and must be carefully developed to ensure the success of the Official Sealed Bid process.

After reviewing the bid results, an award is made to the bidder(s) meeting all the specifications with the lowest price.

Changes in a bid specification or bidder's response that may infringe on the rights of other bidders or the University cannot be made after bid opening.


Only in cases where specifications cannot be developed or when an award cannot be made strictly on specifications or price, a Request for Proposal process is sometimes used. Because the RFP process is quite involved and requires various levels of approvals and review, several months must be allowed to arrive at an award determination.

In either of these cases, Purchasing should be involved as early in the process as possible. Submit a COST ticket and your COST representative and purchasing will be in touch.


The purchase of printing, radioactive materials, vehicles, legal services, architectural and engineering services, and temporary help is restricted and governed by different statutes or administrative rules. Review the Special Approval list and contact Purchasing for details.

Business Services


900 Wood Rd.
Kenosha, WI 53144 
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Parking: Lot T

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