IT Vendor Selection Process

The following process is provided as a guide to ensure that the needs are properly identified, the most qualified vendor is selected, and the process complies with CSU Procurement policies.

It is strongly recommended that you contact an IT Director familiar with your business practices to review your needs before embarking on a Vendor selection Process.

Please review CSU Monterey Bay Policies and Procedures regarding vendor selection for Information Resources Technology Contracts (ITR) based on the amount of the contract (e.g., $0 - $49,999, $50,000 - $499,999 and $500,000 and over). Go to, scroll down and open Policies and Procedures, then scroll down to Information Resources Technology Contracts (ITR).

Vendor Selection Process 

Assemble a team of people who have a vested interest in this particular vendor selection process. The first task that the vendor selection team needs to accomplish is to define, in writing, the product, material or service that they are searching for in a vendor. Next, define the technical and business requirements. Also, define the vendor requirements. 

Step 1: Define Business Requirements

  1. Assemble an Evaluation Team
  2. Define the Product, Material or Service
  3. Define the Technical and Business Requirements
  4. Define the Vendor Requirements
  5. Publish a Requirements Document for Approval​

Step 2: Review Potential Vendors 

  1. Compile a List of Possible Vendors
  2. Select Vendors to Request More Information From
  3. Write a Request for Information (RFI)
  4. Evaluate Responses and Create a "Short List" of Vendors​

Step 3: Determine Bidding Process 

  1. $0 and $50,000 - competitive bids are not required for acquisitions between $0 and $50,000 unless the campus determines that competition is necessary to develop sources, validate process, or for other sound business reasons.
  2. $50,000 and $500,000 - acquisitions costing between $50,000 and $500,000 shall be advertised in Fi$cal and Planetbids and may be subject to an informal bid process.
  3. Over $500,000 - formal bids (RFP) are required for acquisitions over $500,000.
  4. Reference: CSU Contracts and Procurement  

Step 4: RFP/RFQ

Once business requirements are defined and, a short list of vendors has been chosen for evaluation, write a Request for Proposal (RFP) or Request for Quote (RFQ). The  RFP or RFQ should contain the following sections:

  1. Submission Details
  2. Introduction and Executive Summary
  3. Business Overview and Background
  4. Detailed Specifications
  5. Assumptions and Constraints
  6. Terms and Conditions
  7. Selection Criteria

Step 5: Preliminary Review of All Vendor Proposals

Seek input from all stakeholders and use the following methodology to lead the team to a unified vendor selection decision:

  1. Record Business Requirements and Vendor Requirements
  2. Assign Importance Value for Each Requirement
  3. Assign a Performance Value for Each Requirement
  4. Calculate a Total Performance Score
  5. Select ​the High Scoring Vendor

Step 6: Contract Negotiation

  1. Establish Terms and Pricing
  2. Discuss with CIO and/or Procurement Office, if necessary, prior to submitting for Contract review

Step 7: Attachments Required for Contract Review

  • Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) - completed by Vendor
  • Vendor Quote - supplied by the Vendor
  • Software license/end user agreement - supplied by the Vendor


  1. The CSU Contract Store lists all existing Master Enabling Agreements (MEAs) between CSU campuses and various vendors. These contracts may be used if the business requirements are largely the same as the CSUMB business requirements. Using a vendor that has already been vetted may save considerable amount of time and possibly a better price. 
  2. Sample Business Requirements Template (in development)
  3. Sample Vendor Selection Scorecard (in development)


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Article ID: 51478
Wed 4/4/18 5:42 AM
Tue 6/4/24 10:23 AM

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Campus Departments submit this form for IT approval of all contracts or service agreements that involve Information Technology resources. The Procurement Office requires IT approval prior to finalizing any IT related service agreement or contract.