Pursuant to Board of Regent Policy 7.06 D. Vendor Appeals and Iowa State University Procurement Policy and Procedure Manual Section 10.5, should a supplier wish to file a complaint regarding a procurement action the following process must be followed:
10.5 Vendor Appeal/Complaints
The following procedures shall be used by any Vendor who wishes to file a complaint regarding a Procurement action with the exception of disputes involving the terms, conditions, obligations and interpretations of executed contracts or purchase orders; including, but not limited to, change orders. If an executed contract or purchase order contains a dispute resolution clause, that clause shall apply and not the procedure outlined in this section. The filing of a complaint shall not delay the award process if it is determined to be in the best interest of the institution. Failure to raise a timely complaint in accordance with the following procedure shall be deemed a waiver of the right to contest the matter further.
- Informal Dispute Resolution with the University Department
A Vendor who has a concern with a decision made by a Procurement Agent shall contact the Procurement Agent within five (5) working days of when the Vendor became aware, or reasonably should have become aware, of the decision or action which forms the basis of the concern. The Procurement Agent shall discuss the issue(s) with the Vendor in an attempt to resolve the dispute.
- Initiation of Complaint to University Administration
- Within five (5) working days of discussing the matter with the Procurement Agent, a Supplier (hereinafter “Complainant”) shall outline the concern in writing to the institutional Procurement Services Director.
- The complaint shall be in writing and shall include the following information:
- Name, address, and contact information of the Complainant;
- Identification of the procurement action forming the basis of the complaint, including the RFQ/RFP number if available;
- A detailed statement of the legal and factual grounds of the complaint, including copies of relevant documents;
- The specific relief requested; and
- Signature of the Complainant.
- Upon receipt of the complaint, the Procurement Services Director shall conduct a review of the complaint and render a decision within ten (10) working days. Where information needed for the decision must be obtained from sources outside the Procurement Services Department, the university’s response may be delayed up to ten (10) additional working days.
- The Procurement Services Director’s decision shall be in writing and shall contain the name and contact information of the individual to whom the decision may be appealed.
- The decision of the Procurement Services Director is final unless written appeal is filed with the individual identified in the written decision to receive the appeal. The appeal must be filed within five (5) working days of receipt of the Procurement Services Director’s written decision, and shall contain the specific grounds upon which appeal is made.
- Appeal to University Administration
- Upon receipt of the appeal, the institution’s Business Vice President, or his/her designee, shall conduct a review of the written record of the complaint and render a decision in writing within ten (10) working days.
- Copies of the decision of the institution’s Business Vice President, or his/her designee, shall be provided to the Complainant and the institution’s Procurement Services Director.
- The written decision of the institution’s Business Vice President shall be final unless written appeal is filed with the General Counsel for the Board of Regents.
- Should the complaint be affirmed at any stage of institutional review, the institutional representative responsible for reviewing the complaint may, in his/her discretion, grant the requested relief or fashion an alternate remedy as deemed appropriate. The issuance of a specific remedy shall not be subject to appeal under this procedure.
- Copies of any written complaint received by the institution and any decision rendered pursuant to this procedure shall be forwarded to the Office of the Board of Regents if there are inter-institutional implications.
- Appeal to the Board of Regents
- Written appeal to the Board of Regents must be filed with the General Counsel for the Board of Regents within five (5) working days of receipt of the final decision of the institution’s Business Vice President. The appeal must state the specific grounds on which appeal is made and include copies of all relevant documents and written institutional decisions.
- Upon receipt of an appeal to the Board of Regents, the Executive Director, or his/her designee, shall take steps to assist the Complainant and the Institution in resolving the issue(s)
- If the issue(s) remain unresolved, and in the opinion of the Executive Director the complaint involves serious questions of law or allegations of procedural error having a material impact on the award process, the appeal will be docketed for further review by the Board of Regents. If the appeal is docketed, the Executive Director shall notify the parties in writing of the date on which the appeal will be heard.
- If a right of review is granted, the parties may submit additional written argument for review by the Board of Regents. The Executive Director shall notify the parties of the deadline for submission of additional written materials. Oral argument before the Board of Regents shall not be permitted.
- Following review, the Board may affirm, reverse, modify or remand all or any part of the final institutional decision. The decision of the Board of Regents is considered final agency action.