Procurement to increase engagement with small and diverse businesses


Nd Campus

It’s tough for minority and small- business owners to break into established markets. Companies that may be poised to sell their products or services on a large scale may not get the chance. The University and the federal government recognize that challenge. 

On July 1, Procurement Services at Notre Dame announced an update to the procurement policies for purchases using both federal and non-federal funds. The Uniform Guidance Bidding Policy identifies that purchases over $150,000 will be part of a competitive bidding process. 

On Jan. 1, to streamline and improve the effectiveness of University procurement practices, Procurement Services, in collaboration with the Office of Public Affairs and the Office of Economic Development, expanded the competitive bidding program to stimulate the participation of small, women-owned, veteran-owned, disadvantaged and minority-owned businesses in formal Request for Proposals (RFPs) for University purchases exceeding $150,000. 

The competitive bidding process formalizes the University’s efforts to work with these types of businesses. The program complies with federal requirements encouraging institutions that receive federal grants or funding to solicit all business types and sizes. 

Faculty and staff who are involved in the procurement process are asked to do the following:

  1. Evaluate the suppliers’ proposals to select the best option for the University.
  2. Approve suppliers whose bids are the best value for the University, not purely on the basis of whether a business is small, women-owned, minority-owned or diverse. 

As part of the program, Procurement Services will actively search for and collect a list of small and diverse businesses, and provide the companies with information on how to do business with the University. Procurement Services will promote the program, and
will need your support to review
the vendors. 

For purchases less than or equal to $10,000, departments creating a requisition should follow their own judgment in identifying and obtaining a quote from a potential supplier. Procurement Services can supply lists of preferred suppliers, negotiate discounts and provide support as requested. For purchases above $10,000 but below $150,000, written quotations still must be obtained from at least three qualified sources. In these cases, formal competitive bids are not required. Faculty and staff may contact Procurement Services if they have any questions.