2308 Competitive Bidding

Document purpose

To define purchases requiring competitive bidding.


December, 1986


December, 2019


June, 2023

Responsible Office

Procurement Services


Procurement Services


  1. Procurement Services is responsible for establishing an equitable and efficient competitive bidding process and ensuring that the procedures are followed. 

  2. All purchases with an aggregate value of $10,000 or more must be competitively bid. Regardless of the dollar amount, competitive bids are not required for purchases from University Preferred Contract Suppliers, as designated by Procurement Services in the Penn Marketplace.  

  3. A competitive bid is defined as evaluating a minimum of three bids from qualified sources. It is recognized that in certain circumstances it is either infeasible or an undue burden to obtain three or more bids.  Procurement Services will accept fewer than three bids only in cases where the normal competitive bid process cannot be conducted. Purchase orders for which at least three bids cannot be obtained must be accompanied with a written request to waive the competitive bidding process, in which the circumstances are explained. Procurement Services is authorized to determine when more than three bids will be required.  

  4. Procurement Services is authorized to require competitive bids for purchases from Preferred Contract Suppliers if, in its judgment, greater value may be realized by the University in doing so