A Request for Information (RFI) is used to collect additional information about features and specifications of a product or service. This process is used when the department and the Office of Contracts and Procurement (CNP) do not have sufficient information to develop an appropriately detailed scope of work (SOW) to be used in a subsequent solicitation. The solicitation is open to all prospective vendors and is publically posted on the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Electronic State Business Daily (ESBD) website so that any supplier may submit a response. A supplier is not required to respond to the RFI in order to submit a proposal on a subsequent solicitation.
An RFI adds time to the overall solicitation process, but can be valuable in situations where:
- additional information about a product or service is necessary before a SOW can be developed for the project
- potential suppliers for the goods or services need to be identified
- The decision to used the RFI process is generally made through discussions between the department and CNP. Note: Since the RFI process does not conclude with a contract award, suppliers are not asked to provide pricing and delivery information.
- CNP staff and the department develop a general description of the product or service that is required. Suppliers are asked to submit full descriptions and specifications of the goods or services they provide.
- The department identifies the team of end users / subject matter experts to review supplier submissions. RFIs are not scored and evaluation team members are not required to sign Non-Disclosure / Conflict of Interest statements.
- The RFI is posted for a minimum of two (2) weeks.
- The department and CNP staff review the submissions and use the information to develop a SOW for the subsequent solicitation.
- When the RFI is concluded, UT System may or may not issue a solicitation.