Bidders' Conference - SOP

This standard operation procedure (SOP) is subject to the University Policy on the Procurement of Goods and Services.

A bidders' conference provides potential bidders with an opportunity to discuss and/or view the project/work site and become familiar with the existing conditions prior to submitting a quote or responding to a competitive bid.

Term Definition
Bidders' conference A pre-bid vendor meeting and/or site visit
Bidder/Vendor A potential vendor who responds to a Supplier Quote Solicitation/Competitive Bid
Vendor Meeting A pre-submission site visit offered to potential bidders to examine a job site to be completely familiar with existing conditions prior to submitting a competitive bid response.
Verbal Instruction Any discussion between two or more parties.
Mandatory Vendor attendance is required or submission will not be opened or considered
Optional Vendor attendance is strongly recommended, but not required for submission to be opened or considered.

The Process

If a mandatory vendor meeting or site visit is offered, the details will be specified on the Supplier Quote Solicitation or the Competitive Bid document. For competitive bids managed by Procurement Services a Procurement Services staff member must be present at all mandatory site visits.

A mandatory or optional vendor meeting or site visit will be conducted in the same manner as follows:

  • The vendor must register attendance on the Bidders' Conference Attendance Form (PDF) provided at the meeting/site visit. This sheet must be attached to the package that is sent to Procurement Services for Purchase Order issuance if an award is made.
  • All essential information related to the scope of work must be included in the Supplier Quote Solicitation or in the Competitive Bid document. This is the only information that can be discussed or reviewed at the meeting/site visit. For example, answers to questions related to drawings or specifications must only be those that can be made by reference to specific requirements outlined in the Supplier Quote Solicitation or Competitive Bid document.
  • Vendor questions related to the submission process such as, submission rules or deadlines, do not require a formal written response as this information is clearly stated in the Supplier Quote Solicitation or Competitive Bid document.
  • All other clarification questions raised by vendors and answers provided by the internal community member(s) leading the meeting/site visit will be documented and provided in writing to all vendors invited to submit a quote or respond to a competitive bid.
  • These questions and answers will be sent via email for Supplier Quote Solicitations, and by addendum, posted on Biddingo/Merx, for all competitive bids within forty-eight (48) hours of the conclusion of the meeting or site visit. Vendors are required to consider all new information in their submissions.
  • Vendors must not consider verbal instructions or answers provided to suppliers during a meeting/site visit, which are not supported by an email or addenda when completing their submissions.
  • Vendors attending a site visit will only be allowed access to the job site according to the time specified to minimize disruption to the community.
  • Vendors requesting additional time to survey a job site must obtain written approval from the University.