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A formal invitation to bid shall be issued for any purchase or cumulative purchase that is reasonably expected to cost $25,000 or more and that does not fall into an exemption provided for in the bid policy.  The bid shall be advertised in at least one newspaper published in Howard County for at least two (2) weeks before bids are to be filed. 

Invitations to bid shall include the following information:

  • date, time, and place of bid opening;
  • specifications for the item or services being purchased;
  • criteria for awarding bid, including whether it will be awarded based on lowest bid price, lowest evaluated bid price, or price most favorable to the college; and
  • if the award is to be based on lowest evaluated bid price, the objective measurable criteria by which this price will be determined.

Should it become necessary to issue an addendum prior to the bid opening, the director of procurement shall determine whether the bid opening date should be extended.  Care shall be taken to ensure fair and equal treatment of all vendors during the bid process.

After bids are opened, the bid shall be evaluated by appropriate staff to determine the lowest responsible bidder meeting all specifications.  Additionally, any procurement preferences will be taken into consideration as specified in the bid documents.

If all aspects of the bids are determined to be equal, the director of procurement shall document that fact and recommend award by one of the following methods:

  1. award to an equal business opportunity (EBO) bidder, when tied with a non-EBO bidder;
  2. award to a Howard County based firm, when tied with a non-Howard County based firm; or
  3. in the presence of a witness, conduct a drawing to determine the awardee and record the results.

After a determination for award has been made, the director of procurement shall provide the recommendation and supporting documentation to the appropriate authority for award.

The procurement office shall submit a quarterly report to the board that summarizes all such awards for the current fiscal year.

Policy Manual Review/Revision:   07/01/10