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Get Bid Specifications Ready Early

Review your grant application's requirements and get your bid specifications ready early. If you receive an award, this early preparation will help you to implement your grant as soon as possible and help ensure you are able to complete your project within the period of performance.

Steps to Follow

1. Start to draft a bid solicitation that encourages competition by not using proprietary vendor specifications.

By avoiding the use of proprietary vendor specifications, you encourage competition, which may decrease your overall costs. For example, you can request bids for a new pumper and specify that it have an "independent front suspension." But specifying that the pumper have a particular name-brand independent front suspension would be a proprietary specification that would limit competition to those vendors that build trucks containing those particular items.

2. Avoid any real or apparent conflicts of interest in your procurements.

Remember that no employee, officer, or agent of your organization, who has a real or even apparent conflict of interest (potential for personal gain), may participate in the selection of the contractor or vendor that will supply the grant-funded items or services. They cannot accept gifts, favors, or anything of monetary value from potential contractors.

3. Maintain written procurement procedures.

Become familiar with and keep on file the written procurement procedures and standards for your organization. If you are unsure, check with your local or state government for procedures. All grantees must have procurement procedures that follow local or state procurement procedures AND meet federal procurement law as outlined in 2 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 200.318.

4. Have a record system set up for the grant.

Make sure that you have system established that will maintain your grant records accurately and securely while still being accessible. All federal awards are subject to a possible audit or desk review.