PennBid Pennsylvania’s Electronic Document & Bid Management Program
Frequently Asked Questions
4/24/2014 1:38 PM Eastern   

FAQ Categories
1. General FAQs
2. Agency FAQs

FAQ by Category
1. General FAQs (top)
Q: A. What is PennBid™ and how will my agency benefit?
A: The PennBid™ program was designed through the collaborative efforts of 24 municipal agencies to streamline and significantly reduce the cost of bids and bid solicitations. PennBid™ is a secure internet based system for managing many aspects of the bid procurement process. Specifically, document distribution, notification and communications with vendors / bidders, addenda management, receipt and tabulation of the bids and awarding of contracts.
 
Q: B. Is electronic bidding and bid management allowed for Pa local governments?
A: Yes – Act 88 of 2006 amended local government procurement provisions by unanimous vote. (245-0) Details are outlined in Pa Legislator’s Municipal Deskbook.
 
Q: C. Does each agency manage their own bid proposals?
A: Absolutely. Each agency is given unique access to set-up and manage their proposals individually.
 
Q: D. Can all departments within our Agency use PennBid™?
A: Yes – PennBid™ can be used for any request-for-quotation or request-for-proposal, regardless of department. The same system can be used by Public Works, Engineering, Public Safety, Authorities, Admin., and School Systems.
 
Q: E. What types of proposals can be competitively bid using the PennBid™ Program?
A: A1 – PennBid™ can be used for any solicitation and request-for-proposals, ranging from construction project and equipment rental to office supplies and professional services. A2 – All forms of online bids are supported by PennBid™; Q&A, Lump Sum, Line Item, and combination.
 
Q: F. Does PennBid eliminate the need for public advertising?
A: No. Agencies must still publically advertise some bids, however, using PennBid™ allows the print ads to be much smaller, reducing newsprint costs by 50-75%.
 
Q: G. What is the expected savings using PennBid™?
A: Overall time and cost is reduced by 80% compared to paper solicitations. Typically agencies save around 6% of total bid value.
 
2. Agency FAQs (top)
Q: A. Can PennBid be used for both RFPs and RFQs?
A: Yes – PennBid can efficiently be used for proposals, lump sum, and line items bids.
 
Q: B. Can events such as a pre-bid meeting be scheduled using PennBid?
A: Yes – Pre-bid meetings, site walk downs, and any other event or meeting can be schedule in a matter of seconds using PennBid.
 
Q: C. How long does it take to post a solicitation for proposal or bid?
A: From start to finish, a full solicitation for proposal or bid can be posted in 15 minutes.
 
Q: D. What documents are available to the bidders?
A: All documents, such as specifications, bid forms, pre-qualifications, and plans posted by the Agency are available to the bidders.
 
Q: E. Can bidders provide documents to others?
A: Yes – bidders can download documents, send them to subcontractors and suppliers, and print out what is wanted.
 
Q: F. Can the Agency screen the bidders based on qualifications?
A: Yes – Agencies establish their own expectations and qualifications for bidders, exactly as they have in the past.
 
Q: G. Can Agencies select who they want to bid on their solicitation?
A: Yes – Agencies can select a “private” bid and invite specific bidders.
 
Q: H. If the agency used PennBid for a private bid, can other bidders see the solicitation?
A: No – Only invited bidders have access to these solicitations.
 
Q: I. Must the Agency monitor PennBid to receive questions from bidders?
A: No – When a bidder asks a question, the Agency manager receives an email containing the question.
 
Q: J. Does the Agency manager need to track bidder’s email, phone and fax numbers, etc?
A: No – PennBid tracks all pertinent information about every bidder.
 
Q: K. How are questions communicated with bidders?
A: Two ways – Every question and answer is emails directly to every bidder (with just two mouse clicks) and all Q&As are maintained within PennBid and available to bidders.
 
Q: L. How is addenda managed?
A: Addenda messages and attachments can be sent to every bidder with just a few mouse clicks.
 
Q: M. How is addenda acknowledged and tracked?
A: With a single mouse click, the Agency manager can request receipt acknowledgement of addenda and messages. PennBid date and time stamps when the bidder opens the email and any attachments.
 
Q: N. When are bid results displayed?
A: The Agency manager determines when and what information is displayed about the solicitation and award.
 
Q: O. Can awards be divided between multiple vendors?
A: Yes – Line item bids can be easily divided and awarded in multiple ways.
 



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