To purchase items with federal or state funds, the subrecipient must have the following policies in place before creating a solicitation.
Written procurement procedures
The subrecipient shall have procurement procedures that are compliant with applicable local, state, and federal regulations and approved by the subrecipient’s governing body includingbBoard of directors, chief financial officer, and others.
Note: As a best practice, the subrecipient should review those regulations annually to ensure their procedures are current.
Written standards of conduct
To ensure all vendors are treated equally, subrecipients are required to have standards of conduct to address issues that could appear as favoritism. The standards shall address any employee that engages in the selection, award, and administration of contracts at a minimum. Specially, the standards should address and prohibit solicitation and acceptance from potential vendors or selected vendors for the following items.
- Anything of monetary value.
The standards also need to address disciplinary action for violations committed by any of the following subrecipient staff or stakeholders:
- Board members.
A protest is a contractor’s remedy for addressing a perceived wrong during the contract process. A subrecipient is required to have protest procedures outlining how conflicts shall be resolved at each stage of the procurement process, which include the following:
- Pre-bid or solicitation phase protest.
- Pre-award protest.
- Post-award protest.
At a minimum, the protest procedures shall summarize, at each stage, the following items:
- Specific vendor protest file deadlines.
- What needs to be included in the protest (name, solicitation/contract number, description, etc.).
- Method of protest submission.
- An outline of the response types a vendor shall receive.
- Identify the organization representative responsible for final determination.
- Notification to TxDOT PTN and FTA requirements.
- Allowance for reconsideration if facts change/error in previous ruling.
For more information, it is important to review the FTA’s Best Practices Procurement Manual section on Protest Procedures.