Montana Department of Transportation

Supply & Service Vendors

Supplies and Services (Purchasing) Bidding Procedure

The Department of Administration has granted MDT's Purchasing Services Section 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.

Invitation for Bid (IFB)
The IFB is the most common method of procuring supplies for the Department. The IFB will contain technical specifications and a formal bid opening date/time. All bids must be received through the Montana Acquisition & Contracting System [(eMACS)] 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.
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 and proposals must be delivered through eMAC's. It is the vendor's responsibility to ensure that a bid or proposal is submitted correctly through eMAC's 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. The use of company bid forms containing terms and conditions in conflict with those listed in the bid document are not acceptable.

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 IFB 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.
Bid Errors
No bid may be altered or amended after the bid opening.
Bond Forms
The required Bid Security forms are Bid Bond, Bid or Proposal Bond and the required Contractor Performance Security form is the Contract Performance Bond. These are the only acceptable forms for bond submission.
Contract Agreement
The vendor's bid or proposal submission 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 IFBs, the Department may not provide copies of the responses. However, vendors are welcome to make their own arrangements for copying the desired information.
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."
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 IFB or RFP specifically allows otherwise. Re-manufactured or re-furbished supplies are not considered new.
Questions Concerning Bids/Proposals
Any questions concerning an IFB or RFP should be submitted through eMAC's Q&A Board, or directed to the procurement official whose name and phone number appears on the IFB or RFP.
Samples and/or Literature
Any samples or descriptive literature requested in the IFB 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.
The procurement official assumes that a vendor is bidding in strict accordance with the specifications in the IFB. 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 Section, 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 Section 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 Section 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 Contractors and without attempt to preclude the Department from obtaining the lowest possible competitive price.

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

For more information or to access the State of Montana Vendor Handbook, please visit