Competitive Procurement

Effective: Moved to Policy Library from UPM 10.3(1), UPM 10.3(2)
Reviewed and Updated: April 19, 2017
Contact: Procurement Services


Competitive procurement through a bidding process is an important aspect of purchasing in a public institution. The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, and the Federal Government both require fair and open competition based on functional and generic specifications. Careful development of bid specifications helps assure that the goods and services offered by vendors meet your needs. Bids not meeting your requirements can be rejected if the original specifications were objective and based on the necessary function and performance of the items or services desired.

Policy Statement

Procurement Services is responsible for establishing procedures and developing procurement processes, including processes where the procurement of goods and services is competitively bid. Informal competitive bids from an adequate number of vendors are required for purchases which are between $25,001 and $50,000. Purchases of goods and services over $50,000 require a formal competitive bid process. Competitive bids may be obtained at lower dollar levels, when the procurement agent determines it is in the best interest of the university or the purchase involves a conflict of interest vendor.

Negotiated, noncompetitive, and sole source purchases are recognized as proper procurement procedures in appropriate circumstances where the public will be served. Requests to use negotiated, noncompetitive, and sole source purchasing processes must be submitted to and approved by Procurement Services.