Competitive Bid Response Documentation

USAC and FCC E-rate procedures require applicants to select the most cost-effective solution through an open and fair competitive bidding process, and to be able to fully document the bid selection process.

See USAC Form 470 Reminders on the SLD web site.

Logging Bid Responses:

Recent Selective Reviews of Form 471 applications by USAC have required applicants to indicate the number of bids they received for all funding requests for Category 1 and Category 2 services, including month to month and tariff services.  Copies of all bids received have also been requested.

When applicants use a formal RFP process to solicit vendor bids, documentation of responses is normally a standard part of the process. When service requirements are simply listed in the Form 470, additional care must be taken to log vendor responses.

Copies of all bids received (winning or losing) must be retained for documentation purposes.

Documenting Vendor Selections:

SLD Selective Reviews also require applicants to provide complete documentation indicating how and why the applicant has selected each service provider. This documentation should include a description of your evaluation process and the factors you used to determine the winning bid. If more than one factor was used, the weight of those factors should be indicated in percentage values. We advise that a bid assessment worksheet (see download links below) be used to support your decision.

While there are many factors that may help you select the vendor that can most effectively provide the services and/or equipment needed, price should always be the most heavily weighted factor when determining the winning bid. The assessment worksheet is designed to help applicants document their vendor selection procedures in a manner consistent with these SLD "evaluation sheet" guidelines.

Competitive Bid Worksheets:

The "Bid Responses and Assessments" worksheets (see Excel or PDF links below) are designed to help applicants log each vendor response to their Form 470, and to compare and assess bids received.  Services being received from an existing vendor can be considered a bid and should be logged and evaluated as such on the Response worksheet.