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Purchasing Guidelines for Required Competition

When is a Competitive Solicitation Required?

State of Washington and Federal purchasing rules require that purchases over the Direct Buy Limit be competitively solicited in the absence of a contract, funding source mandate, or a sole source justification. Procurement Service buying staff are responsible for issuing competitive solicitations. 

Competition requirements are met by Procurement Services issuing an RFx (Request for Quote, Request for Bid, Request for Quotations and Qualifications, or Request for Proposal). Completion time for the RFx varies based on complexity and value of the goods and/or services. Procurement Services works with the requesting department and other experts in developing the timeline, specifications, and/or statement of work (SOW) for the RFx, and in the evaluation process.

The solicitation process is typically determined by the risk associated with the dollar amount of the purchase.

Cumulative Purchases Over the Direct Buy Limit

Unless purchased from a contract vendor, purchases expected to exceed the Direct Buy Limit within a 12 month period must be purchased competitively through Procurement Services. Such purchases are initiated by the campus customer by submitting a request to Procurement Services. 

MWBE (Minority and Woman Owned Business)

Wenatchee Valley College endeavors to promote inclusiveness for all business enterprises and especially to increase the level of participation for diverse businesses through many avenues, including the purchases made by WVC . Procurement Services has a goal of spending 6% of campus goods and services expenditures with Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and 4% of campus goods and services expenditures with Woman Business Enterprise (WBE). Competitive solicitations are one method Procurement uses to meet these goals:

  • Informal solicitations are those solicitations between $10,000 and $100,000 that require limited competition and do not require advertising. Informal solicitations require quotes from a sufficient number of vendors to validate price reasonableness. Informal Solicitations should be sent to at least 3 vendors, and must include one (each) OMWBE certified MBE and WBE, in accordance with RCW 28B.10.029.
  • Formal solicitations are those solicitations over $100,000 that must be formally advertised and provide broad competition. These solicitations are posted in WEBS (Washington Enterprise Business Solution), both to comply with state law and to maximize opportunities for small and diverse businesses.







Solicitation is not required to be advertised

The solicitation may or may not be advertised

Advertising is required

Risk associated with purchase is low to moderate

Risk associated with purchase is moderate to high

Risk associated with purchase
is high

Solicitation should take from
1-4 weeks*

Solicitation should take
4-6 weeks*

Solicitation should take
8-10 weeks or longer*

Item(s) specifications are clear

Limited specifications and/or specifications need to be developed

Many iterations to develop final specifications and evaluation criteria

Award is based on price and/or minimal non-price factors with little or no negotiations

Evaluation team/criteria to be developed

Significant involvement by campus customer(s), Purchasing, potential suppliers and successful supplier


Award based upon price as well as non-price factors/terms and conditions

Long-term, campus-wide contract possible

Limited supplier negotiations

Contract may be made available to other institutions


Award based upon price as well as non-price factors as well as other terms and conditions

Complex supplier negotiations

Note: Time frame(s) may vary based on complexity of procurement and market.  This diagram is meant only to illustrate the sequence of steps in a typical procurement.