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Solicitation Methods

The estimated dollar amount and type of goods or services to be purchased generally determines the procurement method required.

Request for Information (RFI)

An agency may choose to research information on a proposed RFP without having to commit to doing an RFP by doing a Request for Information (RFI). The RFI is used by agencies to gain information on specifications and pricing for new products, programs or services. The RFI process is mainly used to assist in the development of a Request for Proposal (RFP) at a later date.

The RFI is not used as a tool to "pre-select" vendors.

The information gained from the RFI may be used in the development of a competitive solicitation process, leading to the selection of a contractor that is best suited to provide the solution(s) that meets the requesting agency’s requirements.  The requesting agency is interested in learning about all types of solutions available in the marketplace for service.  In the RFI response, respondents should provide full details about their solution in order for the requesting agency to gain a clear understanding of the complete solution being proposed.

In the RFI process, the requesting agency may request in-person demonstrations from Respondents of the RFI for the purpose of collecting additional information and/or receiving clarification on proposal details.  Invitations may be extended to Respondents of the RFI subsequent to the receipt of responses.

The RFI process typically takes roughly 3-5 weeks from issue of the RFI to the submission of proposals.

Contracts do not directly result from an RFI; however, the State may elect to limit participation to vendors that respond to the RFI, if and when the State releases an RFP.

Responses to the RFI will remain confidential until after the RFP Process is complete.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

The Request for Proposal method is used for procurements in which factors other than cost play a significant role. Per IC 5-22-9, when a purchasing agent makes a written determination that the use of competitive sealed bidding is either not practicable or not advantageous to the governmental body, the purchasing agent may award a contract using this procedure instead of competitive sealed bidding. This provides a formal process for the procurement of goods and/or services for which price is not the sole factor in the selection of a vendor or vendors.

By using the RFP process, the State intends to award a contract to the responsive/responsible Respondent(s) whose proposal is determined to provide the "best value" to the State. Because the requesting agency determines the specifications of what is being solicited through the RFP, it allows the agency more control over the process, which in turn helps the agency to obtain the "best fit" for its needs. Because the evaluation criterion is explained throughout the RFP, respondents have the opportunity to concentrate, in their proposals, on the areas most critical to the requesting agency. The RFP provides an agency with the opportunity to enter into contract negotiations with the respondent or respondents that submit the best and most cost effective proposal(s).

Managed Service Provider (MSP)

Managed Service Provider - Information Technology

Managed Service Provider - Administrative Clerical

Special Procurement

Special/Emergency purchasing methods may be used when unique circumstances exist, as provided for by Indiana Code IC 5-22-10, allowing standard practices to be circumvented. The need for this type of purchase must qualify under at least one of the criteria defined in IC 5-22-10 sections four to nineteen and justification must be provided explaining why this type of purchasing method applies.

Request for Special Procurement Form | SF 54650

Request for Special Procurement Form Instructions | SF 54650 Instructions

Process for agencies with IDOA Account Managers

  1. Agencies with Account Managers will submit their Special Procurement requests to their Account Manager once all documents have been compiled.
  2. Account Manager will review to make sure the request meets the submission requirements (page 45-46 of DPAP manual), and also to verify the request is legitimate and doesn’t raise any red flags.
  3. Once vetted/reviewed, the Account Manager will just forward the Special Procurement email request to the IDOA Special Procurement email inbox (on behalf of the agency) and copy in the pertinent agency contact(s).
  4. The approval/denial for the request will then be sent to everyone on the email chain.

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