Partnership Grants

APPENDIX E: Procurement Process and Public Notice Requirements

The dollar threshold established by the Minnesota Historical Society takes precedence over and supersedes all individual applicant procurement policies. An exception to this is made if a grantee’s procurement process is stricter than these requirements and is reflected in the grant agreement.
A grantee may acquire materials or services in connection with a grant. Grantees create a procurement process that reflects the following requirements:
  • Any services and/or materials that are expected to cost $20,000 or more must undergo a formal notice and bidding process.
  • Any services and/or materials that are expected to cost between $10,000 and $19,999 must be scoped out in writing and offered to a minimum of three (3) bidders.
  • Any services and/or materials that are expected to cost between $5,000 and $9,999 must be competitively based on a minimum of three (3) verbal quotes.
  • Support documentation of the procurement process utilized to contract services must be maintained by the grantee and are subject to examination by Minnesota Historical Society, its designated representatives, or any applicable agency of the State of Minnesota for a minimum of six years from approval date of the Final Report.
Pre-Existing Contracts
If continuation of work is needed on phased grants, the applicant organization must demonstrate a continuing relationship with the contractor, vendor, or consultant through both contract and amendments that do not exceed five (5) years. The original contract must not exceed two (2) years and must have been solicited and secured in accordance with procurement standards as stated above. The vendor, contractor, or consultant must have been employed by the applicant organization as an independent contractor without a break in service. The Grants Office will need to review a description of need for continuation of work in the Project Personnel section of the application. Include copies of contract(s) and documentation of the procurement process—these must be uploaded to the Request Documents section to determine if a pre-existing contract is allowed under the above terms. A contract from previous non-grant-funded work is not accepted under these terms. 
The grantee is responsible for the settlement and satisfaction of all contractual and administrative issues related to contracts entered into with vendors, contractors, or consultants. This includes disputes, claims, protests of award, source evaluation, or other matters of a contractual nature. 
Avoiding Conflicts of Interest
Partners shall avoid real or apparent organizational conflicts of interest and non-competitive practices among professional vendors, contractors, consultants, and grant writers with procurement supported by state funds. Anyone outside the applicant organization and partners involved in writing the grant application cannot be hired as a vendor, consultant, or a contractor. (This is an actual conflict of interest that creates an unfair competitive advantage over other bidders.) Board members of the applicant organization and partners cannot serve as consultants unless appropriate conflict of interest procedures are followed, documented and approved by the Grants Office prior to starting the procurement process.

Additional Guidance for Procurement Process:

Formal Notice and Bidding Process
The minimum elements of a formal notice and bidding process are:

1. Preparation of a Request for Proposal (RFP)

RFP is a solicitation document issued by the grantee to prospective contractors, vendors, or consultants. The RFP will outline the bidding process and contract terms, and provides guidance on how the bid should be formatted and presented.

2. Public Notice: Advertising the Request for Proposal (RFP)

This is a public announcement that public funds will be spent for a specific purpose and invites interested parties to submit proposals. Public notice may include, but is not limited to any of the following:
  • Published notice of the solicitation in publications, such as newspapers or professional or trade journals
  • Posting on a municipality’s or organization’s website
  • Posting with a Builder Exchange (if a construction project)
After placing the public notice, the organization may also direct mail informal solicitations to vendors whom they believe are capable and available to respond.

3. Bid proposal selection

Create a list of what criteria will be used to select the winning proposal.  Decide who should be involved in selecting the bid proposal.  Enter into a contract with the selected vendor, consultant, or contractor. 
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