Howard University
Purchasing Policies and Procedures Manual
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Purchasing Manual
VII. Bidders' List
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Page Index:
   A. Organization Of Bidders' List
   B. Use Of The Bidder's List
   C. Pre-qualification For Bidders' List
   D. Maintenance Of Bidders' List
   E. Monitoring Vendor Performance


All vendors who conduct business with the University must meet criteria as responsible and financially sound business organizations. To this end, all vendors are required to submit a Pre-qualification Application to the Materials Management Department (MMD) for review and approval. All applications shall be reviewed in a fair and impartial manner. Approved applicants will be provided a copy of the publication "A Vendor's Guide for Doing Business with Howard University."

  • A bidders' list of qualified bidders shall be established and systematically updated. The bidders' list shall be used as the basis of soliciting vendors for all competitive bidding.
  • The bidders' list shall be reviewed periodically by the MMD Director to determine its currency and that it is properly used.
  • Rejected applicants must be informed in writing of the reason (s) for rejection.

A. Organization of Bidders' List

The bidders' list should be organized so that it provides an effective means of soliciting qualified suppliers. In order to ensure that the bidders' list is manageable and avoids wasteful solicitation it should be arranged according to major commodity groups. As a general rule, the commodity groupings should extend to that classification level which produces a good return on bid solicitations.

B. Use of the Bidders' List

The bidders' list shall be used as the primary source for soliciting invitations to bid. When soliciting invitations under the formal bidding process, the buyer shall reference the appropriate bidders' list and send bids to all vendors listed. This same requirement also shall apply to the informal bidding process, in both cases, if the list is excessively long the buyer may choose to solicit a smaller number of vendors but in no instance shall fewer than three vendors be solicited. The selection of bidders will be on a rotational basis.

C. Pre-qualification for Bidders' List

Vendors who are interested in doing business with the University must complete a Pre-qualification Application for the bidder's list. The purpose of this application is to assess the vendor's financial condition, product lines, and ability to provide quality and timely service.

The Materials Management Department (MMD) reviews all pre-qualification applications. Criteria to be considered in evaluating vendor qualifications include:

  • Availability of qualified staff, how long vendor has participated in its industry; past record of performance;
  • Length of time key personnel have been employed is sufficient to demonstrate knowledge and experience of industry;
  • Capacity to produce in a quality and timely fashion; and
  • Financial condition; 
  • Licensed, if required to perform in its capacity and have available supply sources when necessary.

In addition, prospective suppliers should be requested to provide brochures and any other descriptive materials that would be helpful in assessing the supplier's capabilities. At the completion of the pre-qualification review, MMD advises vendors, in writing, of their acceptance or rejection for the bidders' list. Vendors who are not accepted for inclusion on the bidders' list are informed, in writing of the reasons for the rejection . Vendors who are accepted onto the bidders' list are informed of the procurement policies and procedures of the University which are contained in the booklet A Vendor's Guide for Doing Business with Howard University.

D. Maintenance of Bidders' List

Pre-qualification is only one aspect of managing an effective bidders' list. Of equal importance are maintaining the currency of the list and ensuring that vendors contained on the list continue to meet the original application standards.

1. Removal and Suspension from the Bidders' List 

Under certain specified conditions, the University may remove or suspend vendors from the bidder's list. Events warranting suspension are as follows:
  • Failure to deliver commodities according to the schedule indicated on the Purchase Order and/or contract;
  • Delivery of commodities that are not specified on the Purchase Order;
  • Failure to respond to three consecutive invitations for bid;
  • Substitution of commodity ordered without prior approval from the Buyer;
  • Failure to comply with bid price;
  • Failure to continue to meet the initial pre-qualifications criteria; and
  • Evidence of unsatisfactory performance, as determined by an impartial investigation.

Vendors are suspended from the bidders' list for 1 year, after which they may be reinstated. Any vendor suspended three times from the bidders' list will not be reinstated unless the vendor submits evidence substantiating that the conditions which initiated suspension from the bidders' list are no longer present nor are they likely to occur in the future. Under this circumstance, reinstatement to the bidders' list may be approved by the MMD Director.

Vendors may be removed from the bidders' list for the following reasons:

  • . Bankruptcy or insolvency of the vendor.
  • . Pending bankruptcy.
  • . Collusion with other bidders to retain competitive bidding.
  • . At the bidder's own request.

Removal from the bidders' list for the above reasons is absolute, with no provision for reinstatement.

Bidders who have been suspended or removed from the bidders' list will be notified in writing, conveying the reasons for such action.

E. Monitoring Vendor Performance

An important aspect of maintaining qualified bidders' list is monitoring vendor performance. It is essential that user departments are satisfied with the quality and timeliness of services received from vendors. MMD has the primary responsibility for tracking vendor performance and dealing with vendors who fail to provide adequate service. In order to fulfill this responsibility MMD must be kept informed of any problems user departments may encounter with existing vendors. To accomplish this, user departments experiencing dissatisfaction with vendors must complete and return to MMD a Vendor Complaint Form indicating the specific details and reasons for dissatisfaction.

The Director for Materials Management is responsible for handling vendor complaints and will review the facts through discussions with the user department and the vendor. Based on this review the Director will take appropriate action to ensure that the user department needs are adequately met.

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