RFPs and RFQs
There are two main vehicles for competitive bids, the RFP and the RFQ:
Request for Proposal (RFP)
The RFP is used to solicit written proposals from potential suppliers and is best suited for services. RFP’s allow for both cost and non-cost factors to be evaluated in addition to conditions of responsiveness and responsibility to achieve best value.
Request for Quotation (RFQ)
The RFQ is used to solicit written quotations and is best suited for commodities. The request and the quote in response may be either written or oral as specified by the purchasing activity. Factors impacting cost and conditions of responsiveness and responsibility are normally evaluated. Non-cost factors may be evaluated and all factors may be weighted if considered appropriate.
Both RFPs and RFQs start with a defined set of specifications. Specifications shall set out the essential characteristics of the materials, goods, commodities, leases (including equipment or real property), licenses (including software) and services being procured so that potential responders are responding to the invitation of the same materials, goods, commodities, leases, licenses and services, and on the same terms.
Specifications should be written in clear, simple language and provide an accurate description of the physical, technical or functional characteristics of the materials, goods, commodities, leases (including equipment or real property), licenses (including software) and services. Specifications should be as detailed as practical without being so narrowly drafted that they limit competition.