Purchasing Cooperative of America

  • PCA Solicitation Process

    Get projects started sooner. Make purchases quicker. Free-up purchasing staff. Use PCA contracts!

    PCA performs all of the required steps of the solicitation process--developing the solicitation; issuing, advertising, and accepting vendor responses; evaluation and award--and provides the due diligence documentation to Members upon request, thus saving the agency 6-9 months and thousands of dollars.

    Developing the Solicitation:

    • PCA staff with contracting experience and cooperative expertise, along with consultants and/or industry-specific products/service experts, develop Requests for Proposal (RFP) and Requests for Qualifications (RFQ) on behalf of PCA Members.
    • Each solicitation clearly states the terms and conditions, instructions for response, evaluation criteria, and response due date and time.
    • Unique scopes, specifications, evaluation criteria, and pricing sections are written for each situation.
    • Solicitations include governing law to be in compliance with Texas contracting and purchasing statutes, and other states’ and the Federal Acquisition Regulation’s (FAR) contracting requirements.

    Issuing, Advertising & Accepting Vendor Responses:

    • Solicitations are fairly and competitively bid. HUB vendors are encouraged to participate.
    • Solicitations are advertised in a national publication and (a) local newspaper(s) for at least two (2) consecutive weeks, with responses due at least three (3) weeks later.
    • Solicitation notices are posted to the PCA website, the Region 3 ESC website, and the Texas Comptroller’s Electronic State Business Daily (ESBD) Call lists are generated to invite vendors to respond.
    • PCA provides approved vendors with an electronic link to the 3rd-party eProcurement system, Bonfire.
    • Vendors are encouraged to submit value add products and services.
    • A pre-proposal conference, if required, is held following the release of the solicitation.
    • Q&A period. Questions may be submitted up to five (5) business days before the due date; questions and answers are posted publicly on the eProcurement system for all vendors to access.
    • Contract addenda. If issued, the addendum clearly states what has changed. Vendors are required to sign and submit it along with their response to verify that they have read it and understand it.
    • Solicitation responses may be modified or withdrawn by the vendor prior to the due date and time.
    • Submissions are time/date stamped upon receipt and can only be accepted until the due date and The eProcurement system closes promptly; late submissions are rejected and cannot be reviewed.
    • If a public opening is held, the time and place of the public opening will be clearly stated in the solicitation. Only the names of responding vendors are read aloud at the public opening.

    Evaluation & Award:

    • Evaluation Committee members sign conflict of interest affidavits, evaluate responses, and make recommendations for contract awards to the Region 3 ESC Board of Directors.
    • Responses are evaluated in accordance with the evaluation criteria stated in the solicitation, including products and services offered, qualifications, references, performance capabilities, and best price.
    • Because PCA is a national cooperative, multiple contracts may be awarded to serve Members in all 50 states. Vendors must score at least a minimum score to be considered for a contract award.
    • R3ESC Board of Directors awards PCA contracts. R3ESC administers PCA and holds the contracts.
    • An Award Packet or Non-Award Letter is sent to each vendor submitting a response. Also, the awards are posted to the PCA website and to the Region 3 ESC website and advertised to PCA Members.
  • Learn more about PCA:

    Elaine Nichols
    PCA Director 

    Deanna Wigzell
    Region 3 Purchaser

    Houston Offices are located at 11811 North Freeway (I-45N), Suite 500, Houston 77060