Simplified Bid Process

Simplified bidding is a procurement method used when the estimated cost of a transaction is more than $5,000 and up to $50,000 and the item or service is not available through ShopUW+ or through a contract.


A minimum of three bids from qualified external suppliers are required and the Simplified Bidding Record form needs to be completed and attached to the requisition. Follow the procedure as outlined in UW-3055 – Simplified Bid Process (UW–Madison’s written policy). It is considered a best practice to send vendors written specifications through e-mail or other means to ensure all vendors have access to the same information. In addition, specifications should not be intentionally restrictive to limit competition. Please see UW-3054 – Specification Writing for detailed information about specification writing.

Confidentiality of bids

UW–Madison personnel must be careful not to give one vendor an advantage by sharing another vendor’s prices, terms, or other bid information during the course of the bidding process.

Vendors may ask to be notified of the bid results. Departments are not authorized to release this information until after the purchase order has been issued.

Final Approval of Bids

Award will be made to the lowest responsible bidder meeting specifications. If the department believes there is a reason the lowest responsible bidder should not be awarded the procurement, the department may recommend awards to Purchasing Services. In such cases, a justification will be required by Purchasing Services.

Simplified bidding performed by departments will be subject to review by Purchasing Services which may elect to solicit additional bids to assure the requirement for competitive bidding has been met. The official award will be made by Purchasing Services.


For additional information on the Simplified Bid Processing, review Purchasing Services contact information for the agent who is assigned the commodity you are purchasing.