Montana Department of Transportation

Doing Business

Contracting & Consulting

Bidding Procedures - Supplies/Services (Purchasing)

The Department of Administration has granted MDT's Purchasing Services Bureau limited purchasing authority for supplies and services.

Following the terms of this delegation and in compliance with the Montana Code Annotated (Title 18) and the Administrative Rules of Montana (Title 2, Chapter 5), the Department has adopted the following procedures to aid in the procurement process.

Request for Quotation (RFQ)
The RFQ is the most common method of procuring supplies for the Department. The RFQ will contain technical specifications and a formal bid opening date/time. All bids must be received in the appropriate Department office by the date and time specified, to be considered for award. Award is based on the lowest, responsible bid price meeting all of the criteria and specifications of the solicitation. However, the Department reserves the right to reject any or all bids when it is in the best interest of the Department.
Request for Proposal (RFP)
The RFP is used when several factors need to be considered, in addition to cost, to obtain the required supply or service. The RFP will state the relative importance of all evaluation factors. Within the RFP process the Department can negotiate terms of the proposals, including prices, if desired. After the formal opening date/time the RFPs are public documents and open for inspection, with a few exceptions. Only legitimate trade secrets (those meeting the requirements of Title 30, Chapter 14, Part 4, MCA) and certain financial information may be withheld from public inspection. The public may also attend all meetings of the evaluation committees. Because of the length and complexity of most RFPs, the Department will not provide copies of RFP responses. However, vendors are welcome to make their own arrangements for copying the desired information.
Payment
After delivery of the supplies or services, the vendor must submit an invoice to the "Bill To" location specified on the purchase order or contract. All invoices, packing lists, and correspondence must reference the purchase order or contract number. Standard payment terms are net 30 days from the date of delivery of the goods or receipt of a properly executed invoice, whichever is later.

How to Respond to Bids and Proposals

All bids must be submitted on the forms provided. An authorized representative of the company must sign bids and proposals. The use of company bid forms containing terms and conditions in conflict with those listed in the bid document are not acceptable. All bids and proposals must be delivered to the appropriate Department office in a sealed envelope or box clearly labeled with the RFQ or RFP number.

It is the vendor's responsibility to ensure that a bid or proposal is delivered to the appropriate Department office prior to the opening time and date specified. Late bids will be rejected regardless of the degree of lateness or the reason for the delay, including causes beyond the control of the vendor.

Bids may not be faxed directly to the Department. Facsimile copies of bids will be accepted only if received by the Department in a properly labeled and sealed envelope. They must fully comply with all other conditions of the RFQ or RFP and must be received by the specified opening time and date.

Bids and proposals may be withdrawn prior to the bid/proposal opening time and date. Unless withdrawn, all submitted bids and proposals become the property of the Department. Bids and proposals must be firm for thirty days, unless otherwise provided for in the RFQ or RFP.

General Information for Vendors

All-or-None Bids
All-or-none bids may be considered if clearly in the best interest of the Department. All-or-none bids must contain item-by-item prices.
Alternate Bids
Vendors may submit alternate bids (a bid on supplies other than specified). Alternate bids are considered only if the vendor is the lowest responsible vendor on their primary bid. Bids must be clearly identified as "Primary" and "Alternate".
Bid Errors
Prior to the opening of a bid or proposal, errors may be corrected by lining out and entering the substituted words or figures and initialed by the person signing the bid. No bid may be altered or amended after the bid opening. In the case of errors in the extension of a price, the unit price will prevail.
Bond Forms
The Department will supply Bid Security Bond and Contract Performance Security Bond forms when security is required. These are the only acceptable forms for bond submission.
Contract Agreement
The vendor's signature on the bid or proposal constitutes an offer to sell under the terms and conditions contained in the bid or proposal. The delivery of a Purchase Order or contract with the valid signature of the procurement official constitutes acceptance of the offer to sell and consummates the binding contractual agreement.
Contractor Registration
Contractors may be required to register with the Montana Department of Labor and Industry. If a particular bid or proposal requires such registration, please contact the Department of Labor and Industry at (406) 444-7734.
Copies of Bid and Proposal Responses
Because of the length and complexity of most RFPs and some RFQs, the Department may not provide copies of the responses. However, vendors are welcome to make their own arrangements for copying the desired information.
Correspondence Concerning Bids/Proposals
Any questions concerning an RFQ or RFP should be directed to the procurement official whose name and phone number appears on the RFQ or RFP and include the bid or proposal number and the bid opening date as stated.
Default by Vendor
In the case of any default of the vendor, the Department may procure the supply or service from other sources and hold the vendor responsible for any damages incurred including, but not limited to, excess costs or handling charges. The Department has the right to remove any vendor from the Vendors List who defaults on a contract with the Department.
Excise Taxes
The State of Montana is exempt from Federal Excise Taxes (#81-0302402).
Hazardous Chemical Information
Vendors must provide one set of appropriate Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and container labels upon delivery of all hazardous chemicals. All Material Safety Data Sheets and labels must be in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's "Hazard Communication Rule."
Inspection
All supplies are subject to inspection and testing. Items that do not meet specifications will be rejected. Failure to reject upon receipt, however, does not relieve the vendor of liability. When subsequent tests after receipt are conducted and when such tests reveal failure to meet specifications, the Department may seek damages regardless of whether part or all of the merchandise has been consumed.
New Products
All supplies and services offered and furnished must be new and of current production unless the RFQ or RFP specifically allows otherwise. Re-manufactured or re-furbished supplies are not considered new.
Samples and/or Literature
Any samples or descriptive literature requested in the RFQ or RFP must be provided free of charge. Samples which are not destroyed by testing, may be returned at the vendor's expense upon request. Samples submitted by successful bidders/proposers may be kept for the contract duration for comparison of shipments received.
Specifications
The procurement official assumes that a vendor is bidding in strict accordance with the specifications in the RFQ. Any exceptions to the bid must be clearly indicated. Exceptions may be rejected. Merchandise received that does not meet the specifications will be returned at the vendor's expense.
Tie Bids
All conditions and terms being equal, the procurement official will resolve tie bids by flipping a coin. The flipping of the coin will be witnessed by at least one other individual and documented on the tabulation sheets.
Vendor Protests
A vendor may file a formal protest at any time during the procurement process. To file a protest, bidders and offerors must notify the Purchasing Services Bureau, 2701 Prospect Avenue, PO Box 201001, Helena MT 59620-1001, no later than 14 days after the execution of a contract. The protest must be in writing and state, in detail, all of the protestor's objections. In return, the Purchasing Services Bureau must conduct an internal review of the protest and notify the protestor in writing of the findings within 30 days of the protest. If the decision of the Purchasing Services Bureau is not satisfactory, the vendor may pursue a contested case hearing within 14 days of the protest decision, pursuant to the Montana Administrative Procedures Act. It is important to note that in the event of a protest, contested case hearing or judicial review, the Department is under no obligation to delay, halt, or modify the procurement process. Monetary damages of any sort are not permitted per Section 18-4-242, MCA.

MDT Standard Terms And Conditions

Collusion Prohibited - Prices quoted shall be established without collusion with other vendors and without attempt to preclude the Montana Department of Transportation from obtaining the lowest possible competitive price.

Standards - Products bid shall be new and unused (unless otherwise stated) and free of known defect.

Bids may contain specific terms, conditions, specifications and brand/model product references. No consideration will be given if a bid response fails to conform to the terms and conditions stated within that bid package. No consideration will be given if the product bid fails to meet or exceed the specifications detailed within the bid package. No consideration will be given if the product bid fails to meet or exceed the design, construction and performance standards, stated or implied, by use of a brand/model product reference.

Brand/model product references are provided solely as a means of establishing a standard of design, construction and performance and should in no way be construed as an attempt to limit competition. Bids for other, equal brand/model products are always welcome.

Antitrust Assignment Clause - All vendors, contractors and subcontractors hereby assign to the State of Montana any and all claims or causes of action for any antitrust law violations or damages arising there from as to goods, materials and services purchased under the terms of this agreement and any change order that may result from this agreement. This assignment is made on behalf of the vendor, contractor and all subcontractors who may be hired or contracted with to furnish goods, materials or services.

Preparation of Bids - Bids must be written in ink and/or typewritten on bid forms furnished herewith. Erasures and alterations must be initialed by the vendor in ink. Verbal bids will not be accepted. Telegraphic or facsimile bids sent directly to the Montana Department of Transportation will not be accepted. However, facsimile bids sent to a third party and then delivered to the Department in a properly addressed, sealed envelope will be accepted. Bid quotations shall be considered firm for thirty days after the date of opening unless otherwise stated in writing within the bid package.

Exceptions - A prospective vendor may take "exception" to bid terms, conditions, specifications and dates stated within the bid package. However, the Montana Department of Transportation reserves the right to disqualify any and all bids submitted which include exceptions, if deemed not in the Department's best interests.

Unit Price - Unless otherwise specified, the unit price for each line item must be provided in the appropriate space within the bid document. This shall be known as the "base" bid. The unit price for multiple items must be extended to reflect the total price for the quantity of items requested. Unless otherwise specified, the unit price shall prevail.

Alternate Bids - The Montana Department of Transportation may consider an "alternate" bid, if and only if the "base" bid by the same vendor is low bid, and, if that low bid meets or exceeds all terms, conditions and specifications of the bid package. Bids must be clearly identified as "Primary" and "Alternate".

"Alternate" bids not falling within these criteria will not be considered.

Rejection of Bids - The Montana Department of Transportation reserves the right to reject any and all bids (wholly or in part) which fail to meet the terms, conditions and specifications of the bid package; or, are determined to be not in the Department's best interests; or, for which funding is not available. A written or verbal explanation regarding rejected bids may be obtained by contacting the Purchasing Services Bureau 406-444-6033 in Helena, Montana.

For more information or to access the State of Montana Vendor Handbook, please visit http://vendor.mt.gov/business.mcpx