An RFP document must include information according to Oregon statutes and administrative rules.
Using the approved RFP template is mandatory for agencies. This
template was developed by DAS Procurement Services and the Attorney
General's Office to create alignment with state statute, DOJ Model
rules, and DAS rules. The RFP checklist can be used in conjunction with the template.
An RFP document includes the RFP and its attachments, which are
provided in the RFP template. Additionally, an RFP document includes a
sample contract, and all exhibits, addenda and supplemental information
that will be posted through ORPIN.
The procuring agency should draft the RFP document, including a
sample contract, according to the instructions provided for in the RFP
template. The RFP template includes the following elements as components
of the RFP document:
- High level information about the RFP – a description of
the procurement objectives and the parameters that define the scope,
factors that inform the procurement, such as agency policy or
legislative direction, (as applicable), award information, term and
- Tentative schedule of events – anticipated dates for pre-proposal
conference, questions/requests for clarification, RFP protest period,
proposal closing, public opening of proposals, presentations,
demonstrations, or interviews, notice of intent to award, etc.
- Single Point of Contact (SPC) – procurement professional responsible for communicating any provision of the RFP or its process.
- Authority – identification of the statute, rule, or other authority, or through DAS delegated authority.
- Method – RFP may include combination of the methods, including
options for competitive range, discussions and revised proposals,
revised rounds of negotiations, negotiations, best and final offers, or
multistep sealed proposals.
- Overview and purpose – background information on the agency and the
project, describing how the need has been met historically, desired
outcomes, context, benchmarks or past performance, driving factors,
including past and projected purchases, and contract or price agreement
- Scope of work – description of what the agency is looking for. The
scope of work establishes the parameters of what can be amended into the
contract at a later date. The scope of work should not be confused with
the statement of work, which is intended to describe the work to be
completed as agreed to by the parties in a contract.
- Minimum proposer requirements – proposal must demonstrate how
proposer meets all requirements of this section, which may include
D&B ratings, number of years’ experience related to business and
technical requirements, licenses or certifications, among other
- Proposal submission requirements – content elements include an
executive summary, RFP template attachments, such as proposer
information, references, cost proposal, COBID certification (Attachment
B-Attachment G), administrative and technical proposal, key persons and
resumes, work samples, and any other requirements applicable to the RFP,
and as applicable for each competitive round. Format elements include
page limits, format and quantity and authorized representative.
- Proposal requirements – content elements include RFP template
attachments, such as proposer information, references, cost proposal,
key persons and resumes, technical proposal, work samples, project
implementation plan, and any other requirements applicable to the RFP,
and as applicable for each competitive round.
- Solicitation process – the process and content details of the
solicitation, including issuance of public notice, provision for
pre-proposal conference, questions and requests for clarification,
protests, proposal delivery options, modifications or withdrawal,
proposal closing date, public opening date, (limited to disclosure of
the proposers’ names), and proposal rejection, and as applicable for
each competitive round.
- Evaluation process – the processes and criteria for determining
responsiveness and responsibility, evaluation criteria for evaluating
each proposal and proposers capability independently, evaluating cost,
and consideration of preferences, and as applicable for each competitive
- Point and score calculations – description of method for assigning
points, scoring, ranking of proposers, and determining next steps, and
as applicable for each competitive round.
- Additional rounds – if additional competitive round details are
undetermined, however, a procuring agency wants to reserve the right to
conduct them, the agency may describe its intent to conduct additional
competitive rounds and include the details in the notice of competitive
- Scoring and ranking of proposers for subsequent rounds – options for
scoring and ranking of proposers may be specified in the RFP. Options
include selection of either a cumulative scoring method or an
independent scoring method, as applicable across multiple competitive
- Award and negotiation – includes provisions for:
- Award notification process – highest ranking responsible proposer(s) based upon the scoring methodology and process.
- Intent to award protest – protest submission provisions.
- Submission requirements apparent Successful Proposer – insurance, taxpayer ID, business registry, etc.
- Contract/Price agreement negotiation – agreement to comply with the
requirements of the RFP, including the terms and conditions of the
Sample contract/price agreement (Attachment A) unless noted in its
proposal and unless it is a negotiable term and condition.
- Contractor selection methodology – the method of selection applicable only to multiple awards of contract/price agreements.
- Additional information – includes encouraging small businesses
certified by COBID, governing laws, ownership/permission to use
materials, cancellation of RFP, cost of submitting a proposal,
recyclable products, printing, binding, and stationary work (if
applicable), among others.
Beyond the RFP template content elements, the following items,
provided by Oregon statutes and administrative rules, further direct
the Competitive Sealed Proposals procurement. RFP documents must
- Requirement for a contractor's certification of compliance with Oregon tax laws, if applicable (refer to ORS 305.385).
- Proposer certification of non-discrimination in obtaining required subcontractors, if applicable.
- Provisions for proposal security.
- Requirement that contractors perform work according to the highest industry standards for their profession.
- All contractual terms and conditions applicable to the procurement,
clearly specifying the consequences for a contractor’s failure to
perform the RFP’s scope of work or a contractor’s failure to meet
established performance standards.
- Contractual terms or conditions that the agency reserves to
negotiate or requests proposers to offer within the context of the
request for proposals.
The procuring agency must follow its internal and state-level
procedures for review and approval of the RFP document prior to posting
the public notice. State-level procedures, at a minimum require the
agency to submit the RFP, with the attached sample contract,
the Attorney General for the required legal sufficiency review.
Additional state-level reviews may be required depending on the type of
product or service being procured.
After the procuring agency obtains internal and state-level
approvals, the agency must advertise the opportunity to potential
proposers through a public notice posted on ORPIN. This informs
potential proposers of the procurement opportunity and strengthens
To promote the procurement opportunity and foster competition, a
procuring agency may supplement the public notice through additional
means. An agency may use mail, newspaper or the agency’s website for
this purpose, however, the information provided must be limited to
directing potential proposers to the official notice on ORPIN.
Note: Conducting a solicitation through ORPIN satisfies an agency’s
requirement to provide timely notice and information to the Governor’s
Policy Advisor for Economic and Business Equity regarding proposal
contract awards (refer to ORS 200.035).
All public notices must contain the following information:
- Where, when, how, and for how long the RFP may be obtained.
- A general description of the products or services to be acquired.
- The date that suppliers must file applications for prequalification,
if prequalification is a requirement, and the class of products or
services for which suppliers must be prequalified.
- The office where contract terms, conditions and specifications may be reviewed if unable to access the ORPIN official notice.
- The name, title and address of the individual authorized to receive proposals.
- The time and date by which sealed proposals must be received.
- Any other information deemed appropriate.
Official notice of the RFP must appear on ORPIN for a minimum of 30
days prior to closing. Additional notice may be given for any
reasonable time period.
In certain circumstances, the procuring agency may determine that a
shorter official notice period is in the public's interest and that the
shortened period will not substantially affect competition. A posting
period, however, must not be less than seven days. If the official
posting period is reduced from 30 days, the procuring agency must
document the specific reasons for the shorter time period in the
After posting the RFP, the procuring agency must manage the
solicitation until responses are received. The procuring agency must be
careful to protect the integrity of the competitive procurement process
by treating all potential proposers fairly and equally during the
procurement process. After the RFP is posted, a potential proposer must
direct all communications related to the RFP, including technical
requirements, contractual requirements, the RFP process, or any other
provision only to the single point of contact identified in the RFP.
Solicitation management includes:
- Facilitating the pre-proposal conference (if provided through the solicitation).
- Receiving and responding to suppliers’ written inquiries regarding the solicitation.
- Processing solicitation addenda, as required.
The purpose of a pre-proposal conference is to explain the
procurement process and scope of work to potential proposers and allow
them to ask questions. Oral responses to questions and other statements made
during the pre-proposal conference are not binding on the State unless
confirmed in writing through an addendum to the RFP posted through
An addendum is used to communicate material changes to the RFP,
correct minor defects, and provide information or clarification to
potential proposers. If the procuring agency must amend the RFP, it
should consider the impact to the potential proposers and determine if
additional time should be given for submission of proposals. Official
notice of an addendum to the RFP must be posted on ORPIN. Unless there
is an extenuating public interest, the addendum should not be issued
less than 72 hours before the proposal closing unless the addendum also
extends the proposal closing date.
After the official public notice of the solicitation and before the
award of a contract, any communication between the procuring agency and
potential proposers must occur within the context of the solicitation
only. This communication can only occur during the scheduled question
and answer time frame allowed by the RFP as it relates to potential
proposer questions related to terms and conditions, specifications,
addenda or other related matters.
this time frame, telephone conversations and meetings with potential
proposers must be documented in the procurement file and a record of all
material communications regarding the solicitation by potential
proposers must be included as part of the procurement file.
The procuring agency must date and time stamp, but not open, any
proposal submitted prior to closing. Proposals must be stored in a
secure place until the closing time and date described in the RFP.
After the closing date and time for the RFP, the procuring agency
conducts a public opening for all proposals received, and reads aloud and records the names of all proposers in a
proposal register that must be posted to ORPIN.
All proposals are
withheld from public inspection until after award of the contract. At a public opening, the procuring agency
must only disclose the names of the proposers and must open
proposals in a manner to avoid disclosing contents to competing
Any proposals arriving after the official due date and time
are considered late and may be retained by the state, returned to the
proposer at its expense, or destroyed.
Mistakes in proposals
To protect the integrity of the competitive procurement process and
to assure fair treatment of proposers, the procuring agency should
carefully consider whether it will allow for waivers, or withdrawals of
proposals for certain mistakes.
The procuring agency must not allow a proposer to correct or
withdraw a proposal for an error in judgment. If mistakes are found in a
proposal after the opening, but before award of the contract, the
procuring agency may take the following actions:
- Waive, or permit a proposer to correct, a minor informality. A
minor informality is a matter of form rather than substance that is
evident on the face of the proposal, or an insignificant mistake that
can be waived or corrected without prejudice to other proposers.
Examples include a proposer’s failure to:
Correct a clerical error if the error is evident on the face of the
proposal or other documents submitted with the proposal, and the
proposer confirms the procuring agency’s correction in writing. Examples
- Return the correct number of signed proposals or the correct number of other documents required by the RFP document
- Sign the proposal in the designated block, provided a signature
appears elsewhere in the proposal, evidencing an intent to be bound
- Acknowledge receipt of an addendum to the RFP document, provided
that it is clear on the face of the proposal that the proposer received
the addendum and intended to be bound by its terms; or the addendum
involved did not affect price, quality or delivery
Permit a proposer to withdraw a proposal based on one or more
clerical errors in the proposal only if the proposer shows with
objective proof and by clear and convincing evidence:
- Typographical mistakes.
- Errors in extending unit prices.
- Transposition errors.
- Arithmetic errors.
- Instances in which the intended correct unit or amount is evident by simple arithmetic calculations.
Note: Unit prices must prevail over extended prices in the event of a discrepancy between extended prices and unit prices.
- The nature of the error.
- That the error is not a minor informality or an error in judgment.
- That the error cannot be corrected or waived.
- That the proposer acted in good faith in submitting a proposal and
in communicating that the alleged error in the proposal exists.
- That the proposer acted without gross negligence in submitting a proposal that contained the claimed error.
- That the proposer will suffer substantial detriment if they are not granted the permission to withdraw the proposal.
- That the state will not face substantial hardship from withdrawal of the proposal.
- That the proposer promptly gave notice of the claimed error.
A procuring agency may allow for mistakes in proposals to be
corrected after opening, however, changes that are prejudicial to public
interests or fair competition are not allowed. The procuring agency
must reject any proposal in which a mistake is evident on the face of
the proposal and the intended correct proposal is not evident or cannot
be substantiated from documents submitted with the proposal.
A procuring agency may cancel awards or orders due to proposal
mistakes, but must support that action with a written determination.
Following award, a proposer is bound by its proposal, and may withdraw
its proposal or rescind a contract only as allowed by applicable law.
The procuring agency must conduct a review of all proposals to
determine their responsiveness to the RFP’s mandatory requirements,
including compliance with the RFP’s Minimum Qualifications and Minimum
Submission Requirements sections. Following this review, the evaluation
committee, comprising representatives selected by the procuring agency, must
independently review the responsive proposals and evaluate each
according to the criteria established in the RFP.
At any time prior to award, the procuring agency must determine
responsibility of the apparent successful proposer and may reject a
proposer found to be not responsible. Refer to Develop Evaluation Strategy
for more information on the evaluation process.
Depending upon the provisions of the RFP, a procuring agency may
make an award using the following contractor selection methods or
combination of methods:
- Solely on the ranking of proposals.
- Discussions leading to best and final offers (revised proposals).
- Serial negotiations, beginning with the highest ranked proposer.
- Competitive simultaneous negotiations.
- Multiple-tiered competition.
- Multistep RFPs.
The procuring agency may conduct site tours, demonstrations,
individual or group discussions and other informational activities with
proposers for the purpose of clarification to ensure full understanding
of, and responsiveness to, the solicitation requirements or to consider
and respond to requests for modifications of the proposal requirements.
The procuring agency must use procedures outlined in the RFP to ensure
proposers are given fair and equal treatment with respect to any
opportunity for negotiation and revision of proposals.
If an agency determines that two or more proposals are identical, it must use the following priority to resolve the tie:
- Award to the proposer who is offering products or services manufactured, produced or that will be performed in Oregon.
- Award through a random drawing if none or all of the tied proposers
are offering products or services manufactured, produced or that will be
performed in Oregon.
Life cycle costing
A procuring agency must consider the use of life cycle costing as an evaluation
factor to quantify the total cost of ownership. This method calculates
the cost to acquire, operate, support and dispose of a product over its
The procuring agency may use this method to include any additional
costs that relate to adverse impacts of a product, for example, impacts
to the environment or public health. Using this method, award of a
contract is not based solely on the lowest price, and a low proposal
would include life cycle costing.
If a procuring agency elects to use life cycle costing for evaluation, the RFP must:
- Describe how life cycle costing will be considered and applied in the evaluation process and award decision.
- Provide relevant information for the evaluation of the proposal, for
example, projected product usage, operating environment, and operating
- Provide any information related to testing, demonstrations, or interviews.
- Describe any information that potential proposers must provide in
their proposals, including relevant life cycle costs and supporting
Multi-tiered and multistep proposals
A procuring agency may provide for a multi-tiered or multistep selection process that:
- Permits award to the highest ranked proposer at any tier or step.
- Calls for the establishment of a competitive range.
- Permits either serial or competitive simultaneous discussions or negotiations with one or more proposers.
In multi-tiered and multistep solicitation, a procuring agency may
exercise its discretion to use a variety of means to solicit information
from potential proposers in any sequence or order and at any stage of
the selection process.
At the completion of any stage, the procuring agency may determine
the most advantageous proposal and award a contract, or contracts for
multiple-award solicitations, and conclude the procurement process.
Before posting a notice of intent to award, the procuring agency
may provide proposers the opportunity to protest exclusion from the
competitive range or phases of multi-tiered or multistep sealed
proposals. However, with the posting of the intent to award notice, the
procuring agency must provide an opportunity to protest its intent to
award a contract. Refer to the full section on Protests
for more information on providing for and addressing a protest.
Best and Final Offers
During the evaluation process, the procuring agency may determine that the use of a Best and Final Offer (BAFO) is required.
A request for BAFO may be used during the evaluation process for any of the following reasons:
- To clarify or amend the RFP.
- To request revised cost proposals from the proposers.
- To allow proposers to submit clarifications.
The BAFO is a good tool to ensure proposers are given fair and
equal treatment with respect to revisions of proposals and evaluation.
When the need for a BAFO arises, the BAFO will be provided to all
proposers, unless the procuring agency has eliminated proposers using
competitive range or other evaluation methods described in the RFP. When
issuing a BAFO, the procuring agency must establish a date and time for
the proposers to submit their response. The BAFO must inform proposers
that if they do not submit a BAFO, their immediately previous proposal
will be considered their best and final offer. After best and final
offers are received, the evaluation committee will reevaluate the proposals
as modified by the BAFO response. A procuring agency may determine to
use additional rounds of BAFO as needed.
Prior to meeting with the proposer, the procuring agency should
prepare a summary of points to cover in the negotiations, and during the
negotiations should document the outcome of negotiation discussions for
each point. Verbatim records of the discussion are not required.
A procuring agency may conduct serial negotiations with the
highest-ranked eligible proposer or may conduct simultaneous
negotiations with all eligible proposers. A procuring agency may
negotiate any element called out as negotiable in the RFP, including:
- Proposed statement of work.
- Proposed price.
- Other terms and conditions authorized for negotiation in the RFP.
A procuring agency must not accept alternative terms and conditions
that are not reasonably related to those authorized for negotiation in
The procuring agency may terminate negotiations with a proposer and
enter into negotiations with the next highest-ranking proposer. The
procuring agency may take this action after a time period established in
the RFP if it believes the proposer is not negotiating in good faith or
if the procuring agency has determined that further negotiations will
not result in the parties agreeing to the terms and conditions of a
contract in a timely manner.
For multiple award contracts, the procuring agency may enter into
contracts with different terms and conditions with each contractor to
the extent those terms and conditions are within the scope of the RFP
and do not materially conflict with the applicable contractual terms and
Revised rounds of negotiations
A procuring agency may conduct successive rounds of proposals
achieved through negotiations to gain the best proposal for purposes of
award. Through this process, negotiations may successively or jointly
encompass price, specifications, and final terms and conditions. The
procuring agency must disclose the parameters of each round of
negotiations, at which point the agency may revise the solicitation’s
specifications, terms and conditions, evaluation criteria and weight, or
At each successive round, the procuring
agency may disregard its scoring of prior proposals and produce new
scoring for the new proposals. The procuring agency may eliminate any
proposal after a round because the proposal did not meet a minimum score
or was not susceptible to award. The procuring agency may proceed to a
subsequent round, and at its discretion, may permit any previously
eliminated proposer to submit a new proposal, if the reason for the
prior elimination no longer applies.
Once the procuring agency selects the responsible proposer that
submitted the proposal offering the best value to the state, the agency
must document the award determination and file it in the procurement
file. At a minimum, documentation of an award determination for an RFP
- The complete evaluation of the proposals.
- Written justification for any rejection of higher scoring proposals.
- Written documentation of any discussions, clarification, negotiations or BAFO.
- Written documentation of any other procedures used to select the anticipated awardee.
In addition to these required elements, the procuring agency should
also document any other relevant information supporting its award
After documenting the award determination, the procuring agency
should prepare for contract award. Prior to awarding a contract, the
procuring agency must send to all proposers a written notice of the
intent to award and post a notice of intent to award on ORPIN at least
seven days prior to the award of a contract.
The procuring agency may determine that circumstances justify
prompt execution of a contract, in which case a shorter award notice
period may be provided. If a shorter award notice period is used, the
procuring agency must document the specific reasons for the shorter
notice period in the procurement file.
After the notice of intent to award, the
procurement files must be made available according to applicable law,
except where applicable law requires the procuring agency to make
information contained in the procurement files available before any
notice of intent to award (refer to the Public Records Law) or that the
procuring agency may withhold from disclosure to the public because the
materials are deemed exempt or conditionally exempt from disclosure
(refer to ORS 192.501-502).
After the intent to award notice period, and as required by the
RFP, the procuring agency must provide the successful proposer a
contract, signed purchase order, price agreement, or other contract
documents, as applicable.
The successful proposer must promptly sign the provided contract
and complete any actions necessary to fully execute the contract as
required by the RFP.