Contract Liaison Services

Our contract liaisons provide expert-level assistance to state agencies and higher education institutions that engage in large or complex procurements.

Our contract liaisons can help agencies with analysis, strategic guidance and policy expertise to help manage risk. We’ve assisted with projects including Washington state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Program and the Department of Transportation’s Land Mobile Radio Project.

Our contract liaisons help agencies follow these guiding principles in contracts:

    • Competitiveness
    • Fairness
    • Best value
    • Ethics and accountability
    • Transparency
    • Cost-effectiveness
    • Timeliness
    • Flexibility
    • Simplification
    • Innovation
    • Small and diverse business promotion
    • Comply with state procurement laws and rules

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    Procurement tools and templates


    The purpose of this document is to provide an overview of the procurement process as well as a collection of tools and templates to assist State agencies in conducting successful procurements. The procurement process is described as phases and may include additional supporting documents that may be helpful in performing the steps for that phase of the process.

    Phase 1 – Planning

    Phase 1- Planning (4-6 weeks)

    Once a business need has been identified, this is the first step in the process where you begin strategizing and planning. This is where you spend most of your time in the solicitation process. Steps covered in this phase include:

    • Defining what it is that you want to purchase
    • Checking whether a master contract is available
    • Determining best method for procuring the goods and/or services. (i.e., competitive procurement, sole source, direct buy, etc.)
    • Checking Agency’s delegation of authority
    • Developing solicitation strategy
      • Collect signed confidentiality forms from solicitation development team members
      • Conduct request for information (if applicable)
      • Define solicitation schedule and scoring criteria
      • Identify any unique specifications or requirements, and/or cost factors
      • Determine the insurance requirements

    Tools and templates that can assist you in this phase:

    Phase 2 – Solicitation Development

    Phase 2- Solicitation Development (1-3 weeks)

    Once you have mostly finalized your procurement strategy in phase 1, you will begin drafting the solicitation documents based on your strategy. Steps covered in this phase include:

    • Begin drafting solicitation documents based on the strategy developed in the planning phase, focusing on:
      • The Competitive Solicitation/RFP
      • Exhibit B – Performance Requirements
      • Exhibit C – Bid Price/Cost Sheet
      • Exhibit D - Contract
    • Reviewing and signing off on final version
    • Small Business/ Vendor Research

    Tools and templates that can assist you in this phase:

    • Competitive Solicitation
      This document is designed to be a template for agencies to use when performing a competitive solicitation to procure the goods and/or services needed.
    • Exhibit A-1 – Bidder’s Certification
      This exhibit identifies information about the bidder and includes the required State certifications. Bidders complete and submit this exhibit as part of their bid in to constitute a responsive bid.
    • Exhibit A-2 – Bidder’s Profile
      This exhibit identifies information about the bidder. Bidders complete and submit this exhibit as part of their bid to constitute a responsive bid.
    • Exhibit B – Performance Requirements
      This exhibit outlines the required specifications/qualifications for the product and/or service that is the subject of the Competitive Solicitation. Bidders complete and submit this exhibit as part of their bid and agencies will use it to evaluate and compare the bids.
    • Exhibit C – Bid Price
      This exhibit is designed to obtain pricing information in a uniform manner. Bidders complete and submit this exhibit as part of their bid helping agencies compare and score bid costs. Following are a few examples of Bid Price documents available as a starting point and may be customize for your needs.
    • Exhibit D – Contract
      This contract example includes general terms as well as terms specifically for services such as IT professional services. In addition, Exhibit C of the Contract includes the minimum insurance coverage requirements for vendors executing a contract with Washington state. However additional insurance coverage may be necessary depending on what products or services you are contracting for. Following is a document listing insurance coverage and when you may want to include them in your contract.
    • Exhibit D-1 – Contract Issues List
      This exhibit is optional. Agencies may choose to include the exhibit or not as part of the solicitation documents. This exhibit can be used for bidders who have business concerns with the form of the contract to outline their issues and proposed resolution. Agencies always reserves the right not to modify the contract and to award the contract based on a bidder’s willingness to agree to the contract. It can also be helpful in identifying specific terms that may be inconsistent with the industry or trade.
    Phase 3 – Posting

    Phase 3- Posting Solicitation (4-6 weeks)

    During this phase, the procurement coordinator posts the final solicitation documents to WEBS, performs any additional outreach/communications to promote awareness, prepare for the pre-bid conference (if applicable), and begin evaluation preparations. Steps covered in this phase include:

    • Posting solicitation to WEBS
    • Sending public announcement or notification of bid opportunity using other communication channels (OMWBE, PTAC, etc.)
    • Preparing pre-bid conference presentation, if applicable
    • Monitoring and facilitating question and answer (Q&A) process and/or complaints
    • Posting responses to Q&A and amendments, if applicable
    • Identifying evaluation team, schedule calendars, reviewing evaluator guidelines with team, and collecting certification forms from evaluators

    Tools and templates that can assist you in this phase:

    • Bid Opportunity Advertisement template
      This document provides guidance as to how you can promote and advertise your solicitation in addition to posting it in WEBS.
    • Outreach Communication example
      An example of an email for personalized communication to an interested party informing them of a posted solicitation.
    • Pre-Bid Conference
      This PowerPoint template is a guide for conducting a pre-bid conference and may be customized accordingly.
    • Question & Answer Template
      This template is used to formalize the question-and-answer process. Included in the template is a table to list the question, the response, and note if any solicitation documents that may have changed as a result.
    • Solicitation Amendment Template
      This template is used to document and communicate the amendments made to a solicitation and is posted on WEBS.
    Phase 4 – Evaluation

    Phase 4- Evaluation (2-3 weeks, depending on complexity)

    Review and evaluate submitted bid proposals to determine the bidder(s) that will be deemed the Apparent Successful Bidder. Steps covered in this phase include:

    • Receiving and processing bids
    • Performing Responsiveness Check
    • Facilitating evaluation process
    • Notifying rejected bidders
    • Performing/Facilitating Contract Negotiations

    Tools and templates that can assist you in this phase:

    • Bid Tab Template
      This excel document is used to track and record the responsiveness and evaluation scores to help in determining Apparent Successful Bidder(s) (ASB)
    • Certification for Evaluation Team Members
      This form is signed by each person involved in the evaluation process. This is to affirm the evaluator understands their obligation as an evaluator, the confidential nature of the process, that bids will be evaluated in a fair and equitable manner and affirm they or a family member does not have a financial interest with any firm submitting a bid.
    • Evaluation guidelines
      This document provides directions on how to evaluate bids. It covers the core elements for evaluating and determining the successful bidder(s) including responsiveness, cost factors, non-cost factors, and responsibility.
    • Evaluator Instructions
      This document outlines the role and responsibilities of the evaluators.
    • Negotiation email template
      If applicable, this template can be used for initial negotiations with bidder(s) prior to ASB.
    • Presentation and Demonstration Templates/Examples
      In the event your evaluation process includes oral interviews, virtual presentations and/or demonstrations, below are a couple examples that may be customized to meet your needs.
    • Reference Check Form
      This form is designed to streamline the process of checking references and to help increase the likelihood of getting responses. Questions may be customized for your needs and then emailed to the contact listed for each reference.
    • Rejection Letter
      This document is a template used to notify bidders if their bid is rejected for non-responsiveness and informs the bidder the reasons why their bid was rejected.
    Phase 5 – ASB and Award

    Phase 5- Announce ASB and Award (1 week)

    Announce the Apparent Successful Bidder(s) based on the evaluation process in Phase 4. Following the protest period, Agency can then execute the contract. Steps covered in this phase include:

    • Announcing the Apparent Successful Bidder(s) (ASB) via WEBS
    • Conducting debriefs, if requested
    • Completing contract for ASB vendor
    • Obtaining vendor’s signature on contract
    • Facilitating Agency’s signing contract
    • Announcing the awarded vendor and updating WEBS

    Tools and templates that can assist you in this phase:

    • Announcing ASB
      This document outlines the process for announcement of the Apparent Successful Bidder (ASB).
    • Complaint and Protest Policy DES-170-00
      In addition to complaints and protests, this policy also addresses the topic of debrief conferences.
    • Debrief Guidelines
      This document is intended to provide guidance on how to conduct a debrief conference, if requested, after announcement of Apparent Successful Bidder (ASB).
    • Debrief Talking Points
      This document provides a sample of discussion points that may be helpful when conducting a debrief conference.
    Phase 6 – Administration

    Phase 6- Administration (Ongoing)

    This phase addresses the administration functions and record retention processes applicable to your agency. Steps covered in this phase include:

    • Sending copy of executed contract to vendor
    • Filing executed contract and procurement documents according to agency’s policies and procedures.

    Tools and templates that can assist you in this phase:

    Related links

    Related policies


    This policy applies whenever an agency purchases or leases goods and/or services under Chapter 39.26 RCW. The goal is to provide each agency with authority that is tailored to fulfill the agency’s mission.


    A competitive solicitation process must be used for all purchases of goods and services unless there is an exception listed under RCW 39.26.125. Direct buy purchases are one of the exceptions, which do not require a competitive process. Certain public purchases do not justify the administrative time and expenses necessary to conduct a competitive process.


    This policy applies whenever an agency intends to purchase or lease goods and/or services under Chapter 39.26 RCW that are only available from a single source as defined in RCW 39.26.010(23) or are exempt from competition.


    The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all procurement professionals and those with acquisition responsibilities use approved, legally compliant strategies that encourage and facilitate the purchase of goods and services from small, diverse, and veteran-owned businesses to the maximum extent possible. Agencies must take action to remove barriers that prevent small, diverse, and veteran-owned businesses from receiving equitable access to state goods and services procurements.

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    Contract liaison services