NOTICE: The Finance Policies and Procedures Manual, along with the previous manual, is undergoing changes. These sites are continually updated to reflect changes in business processes. If you cannot find the information you are seeking in these policies, email for more information.
Policies and Procedures

Policy 1231 – Solicitation of Quotations, Bids and Proposals

November 23, 2003
Last Updated
July 22, 2010
Responsible University Officer
Director of Purchasing Services
Responsible Unit
Procurement Services

Policy Statement

The solicitation of competitive quotes, bids or proposals is the sole responsibility of Purchasing Services. Purchases for goods and services should be made from items available at University Stores or through existing State contracts, unless lower prices can be obtained from other sources and adequately documented.

A requestor may designate a specific vendor on a requisition, however Purchasing Services is required to search for the vendor who will provide the best price, best quality, delivery time, and other factors deemed advantageous to the University. All bidding information received, including pricing, remains confidential until an award is made, so as not to compromise the competitive bid process. Likewise, to protect the integrity of the solicitation process, any communication with bidding vendors regarding clarification of a quote, bid, or proposal must go through the assigned purchasing agent. The requesting department will participate in the evaluation process; however, if the lowest-priced bid is not selected, the departmental evaluation team is required to submit a justification providing specific reasons for the selection.

At least three quotes are required for purchases over $5,000. For purchases greater than $10,000 and up to $500,000, Purchasing Services uses the University’s sealed formal bid procedure to obtain competitive bids. Purchases in excess of $500,000 are submitted to the State Division of Purchase and Contract for appropriate bidding practices.

Assuming the requestor requisition package contains adequate specifications and justifications, the following lead times are requested to solicit bids/quotes and to place an order:

Value of Purchase…..…Business Days Required

Up to $10,000…………………… 7 – 10
$10,000 – $500,000 ………… 15, plus time for department to evaluate bids
More than $500,000 ……….. 20 – 30

Successful bid responses are incorporated into the purchase order which binds the vendor to meet the quantities, qualities, prices, and other conditions proposed in the bid.

Reason for Policy

The State of North Carolina requires competitive bidding for all items not available on State Term Contracts. The policy clarifies the dollar thresholds for the bid types and provides an estimated time line for each type.


Procurements funded by foundation monies are excluded.

Special Situations



  • 1226.1 - Creating a Purchase Requisition

Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: A vendor called to ask a question about a procurement that I had submitted for competitive bid. May I answer the vendor's question regarding the bid solicitation?
A: No, all correspondence should be addressed to the purchasing agent so no bidding vendor has information not available to all others. Purchasing Services shall ensure that all interested parties are made aware of questions, answers, or changes within the scope of the bid requirement via a formal written addendum.

Q: Purchasing Services sent me a number of vendor bids to review and evaluate. The lowest bidder is a company with which I had a bad experience and I do not want them to be selected. Do I have to select them?
A: Unless a vendor has been debarred from doing business with any State agency, they cannot be disqualified based on someone’s opinion. Documentation and proof of the issue needs to be submitted to Purchasing Services when it arises.

Q: When do I need a quote or a bid solicitation?
A: Except where a waiver, special delegation, exemption, or an emergency purchase is permitted by rule, the State requires the University to seek fair and open competition for all purchases greater than five thousand dollars ($5,000).

Q: Can a bid be accepted after the bid opening date and time?
A: No. Late bids cannot be accepted, regardless of the reason. All bids must be received by the bid opening date and time shown on the bid document.

Related Data

North Carolina State Purchase and Contract Administrative Code, Procurement Authorization and Procedures – Contracting Requirements, 01NCAC 05B .0301
North Carolina General Statute, Rules, N.C.G.S.143-53(a)(2)
North Carolina General Statute, Powers of Board regarding certain purchasing contracts, N.C.G.S.116-31.10


Solicitation of Bids and Quotations Purchasing Services - Goods 919-962-3774 919-962-0636
Solicitation of Bids and Quotations Contract Services & Stores- Services 919-962-9463 919-962-6271


July 22, 2010
May 26, 2004