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Saint Paul Public Schools, District 625
360 Colborne Street
Saint Paul


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Request for Bid/Quote/Proposal Quick Guide

Request for Bid/Quote/Proposal Quick Guide

Hiring vendors or contractors to provide goods or services can happen in a variety of ways.

Request for Quote (RFQ)

Requesting a quote is an informal procurement process

 Use is limited to the following:

  • Total cost is $50,000 or less
  • SPPS staff approaches the vendor or contractor with request
  • Must have at least two quotes for comparison, three is preferred
  • State or Joint Powers contracts can be used in place of multiple quotes

Request for Bid (RFB)

Requesting a bid is a formal procurement process.

Used when the need or scope can be clearly defined (eg: I need X. How much will it cost?)

  • Total cost is $50,000 or more
  • Used for construction, goods, and services
  • Vendors and contractors approach SPPS with bids to advertised solicitations
  • SPPS advertises the need for at least two weeks
  • Ideally three or more for cost comparison, but possible to award on single bids
  • No negotiation between vendor and SPPS
  • Lowest responsive and responsible bid wins

Request for Proposal (RFP)

Requesting a proposal is a complex formal procurement process.

 Used when the scope is not easily defined, or the goods or services may vary between vendors (eg: My school or program has this need. How can you help me meet this and what will it cost?)

  • May be needed for goods or service contract regardless of cost
  • Useful when there is insufficient detail (eg: hiring a grant writer, a program evaluator, a landscaper, etc.)
  • Negotiation between SPPS and vendor is built into the process
  • Proposals are scored using predetermined criteria; highest scoring vendor is awarded

See specific linked procedures for exceptions, full details, and steps.