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Sealed Bid Process


The Central Procurement Office shall issue solicitations requesting sealed bids for purchases exceeding $50,000.00. Telephone, fax and telegraphic bids are not acceptable as a sealed bid. A summary of authorized bid thresholds is listed in Exhibit 1.


(a) Emergency Purchases. The requirement for a sealed bid may be waived by the Chief Procurement Officer in an emergency purchase situation.

(b) Informal Written, Verbal or Telephone Quotations. Unsealed bids, verbal or telephone quotations may be requested for local purchases not exceeding $25,000.00, and agency contracts with delegated purchase authority for a bid not exceeding $25,000.00. Written confirmation of the quotation should be sent to the requesting state agency. Fax confirmation is acceptable as written confirmation of bids on informal purchases not exceeding $25,000.00.

(c) Single-Source Purchase Contract. Single-source purchases shall be made only when an item is unique and possesses specific characteristics that can be filled by only one source and must have prior approval by the Chief Procurement Officer.

(d) Utility Contracts. The Department shall purchase or contract for all telephone, telegraph, electric light, gas, power, postal, and other services for which a rate for the use thereof has been established by a public authority in such manner as the Chief Procurement Officer deems to be in the best interest of the State of Tennessee. Each such purchase or contract shall be made on a competitive basis, whenever possible, in accordance with these rules and regulations, unless it has been determined that such purchase is single source. If such purchase has been determined to be single source, the purchase shall then be made pursuant to Rule 0690-3-1-.03 (3), which governs sole source procurements.

(e) Competitive Negotiation. A contract may be entered into by competitive negotiation only in cases when the State is unable to obtain needed goods and/or services by competitive sealed bid. The Chief Procurement Officer shall prescribe the procedures under which negotiation is to be conducted. These procedures shall provide for the safeguarding of the information and provide fairness to the vendors in the negotiation process.

(f) Negotiation - GSA. When a vendor maintains a General Services Administration agreement with the United States of America, or any agency thereof, the Chief Procurement Officer may negotiate with that vendor, but there shall be no contract price that is higher than the contract price between the General Services Administration and the vendor. Any purchase made pursuant to this provision must have the prior approval of the Procurement Commission.


The use of a multi-step sealed bidding process is required in the acquisition of departmental computer systems involving the purchase of hardware and the development of application software. The multi-step sealed bidding process may also be used, subject to approval by the Procurement Commission, for the procurement of other products or services, when it is not practical to prepare initially definitive specifications which will be suitable to permit an award based on price.


If bids are submitted collectively in one large envelope (i.e. Overnite Express Carrier), but respond to separate solicitations, each bid must be sealed in a separate envelope and be clearly marked and labeled on the outside referencing the applicable solicitation number and the bid opening date. Failure to comply will result in the rejection of your bid.

General Procurement Information: 615-741-1035