The Solicitation Process

The University conducts most solicitations electronically through the University’s Ariba Sourcing Network and suppliers should be prepared to submit their responses via this method  The University utilizes the Washington Electronic Business Solution (WEBS) to post notices for competitive solicitations over $100,000 and occasionally for solicitations between $10,000 and $99,999. The notices posted in WEBS contain details related to the solicitation type, size and scope intended to inform suppliers of relevant opportunities available at the University.

In order to view the complete solicitation conducted through the Ariba Sourcing Network a supplier must be registered in the Ariba Network.

In order to respond to WEBS postings from the University, suppliers  may be required to register in the Ariba Network.  There is no fee for registering in the Ariba Network. The WEBS posting will include instructions regarding the method required to submit a bid.

Pre-registering on the Ariba Network prepares suppliers to respond to University solicitations and can save time when responding to future solicitations.


  • Register on the UW Ariba Sourcing Event website using this link:
  • Solicitations posted in WEBS will include instructions regarding the timeline, procurement coordinator contact information and sufficient detail to help suppliers determine their interest in responding to the solicitation.

                                Summary of solicitation process via the Ariba

Please see "Getting Started Supplier Guide" for more information.


Please note that registration with WEBS is distinct and separate from the UW Supplier Registration requirement.

The required solicitation process is determined by the dollar amount of the purchase and the commodity type as specified in this table.

Solicitation Process Description of Process Goods and  Services
Direct Buy Competition or justification for vendor selection is not required. Departments may place orders with supplier of choice within the direct buy limit without prior approval of Purchasing Services. Some exceptions may apply. less than $10,000 including shipping and handling  (excluding tax)
Informal Competition Procurement Services Buyer will issue an informal solicitation to qualified suppliers. Responses may be provided by telephone or in writing (email, fax, or U.S.. mail), depending on instructions from UW Buyer. If the solicitation is not advertised via Washington Electronic Business Solutions (WEBS) UW Procurement Service Buyer must include at least one minority and one woman owned business certified by the State Office of Minority and Woman Business Enterprise (OMWBE) in the solicitation process. (RCW 28B.10.029(c)(iii) $10,000 to less than $100,000
Formal Competition Procurement Services Buyer will issue a written solicitation and advertise via Washington Electronic Business Solutions (WEBS). Formal receipt process required. $100,000 and greater








Submitting a Bid

Read all requirements in a bid thoroughly and refer questions to the UW Buyer named in the document, prior to the deadlines specified in the bid document.

Reminder to Suppliers About Responding to Solicitations:

  • Pay attention the instructions in the solicitation regarding when and how to submit offers.
  • Questions regarding the solicitation should be directed to the procurement coordinator named in the solicitation.
  • Depending on the type of solicitation, late offers will not be considered.

Bid Openings:

Most Procurement Services solicitations do not include a public bid opening, however if a solicitation includes a notice to hold a public bid opening, it will be held at Procurement Services, located in the Roosevelt Commons West building at 4300 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98195. The bid opening will be conducted by a Procurement Services staff member.

  • Bids must be received by the date and time indicated in the solicitation document.
  • Responses to Requests for Proposals and Requests for Information will not be read at a public opening.

Note: Public Works bids are managed by the Capital Projects Office. Contact 206-543-5200 for information about their bid process.

Complaint and Protest Procedure:

Solicitations posted to WEBS shall include complaint and protest procedures in compliance with RCW 39.26.170. Complaints address issues with the solicitation and must be submitted and responded to prior to the deadline for submissions.  Protests address issues with the award after the apparent successful bidder is announced.

Public Review of Bid Responses:

Bid responses for goods, services and supplies are available for public review in accordance with State public disclosure laws, after an award is made. All bid files are maintained by bid number only. The bid number must be cited in any request for information.For more information please visit the University of Washington, Office of Public Records website at:


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