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State Procurement Manual Homepage
State Procurement Manual

Specifications

Number Section
PRO-B-6 Statewide Contracts and Standards
Effective Replaces Agencies Affected
8-1-91 10-1-88 All


Authority: Wis. Stats. 16.72(2) (a) & (b); 16.75(1)(a); 16.75(2)(a)

Scope:
  • to establish authority and policy for the preparation and use of specifications in the state procurement process
  • to define standard and nonstandard specifications
  • to identify key considerations in the writing of specifications
Content:

  1. Specifications presented to potential bidders define both the product or end result of the contract, and the time in which performance is to take place.

    1. Specifications are written in concise, measurable terms and measurement of the results to be achieved by the supplier must be provided for.

    2. Specifications presented to a potential bidder must relate to the specifications appearing in any resulting contract. Approvals granted on the basis of an original set of specifications will be voided if the specifications in the final contract vary seriously from the original set.

    3. Specifications should be prepared so as to preclude restrictive provisions and encourage competition.

    4. Specifications drawn for the purchase of equipment to be used by the state must contain sufficient reference to safety factors. These references are presented in generic form, excluding brand names. (See safety requirement language in PRO-E-7, Standard Terms and Conditions.)

  1. The State Bureau of Procurement prepares standard specifications, as far as possible, for all state purchases. A standard specification is prepared to describe in detail the article desired for purchase.

    1. Trade names are not used in writing standard specifications.

    2. On the formulation, adoption and modification of any standard specification, the State Bureau of Procurement may request and be afforded without cost the assistance of other state agencies.

    3. Each standard specification adopted satisfies, insofar as possible, the requirements of any and all agencies making common use of it.

    4. A file of standard specifications in current use is kept by the State Bureau of Procurement and revised as necessary. Where possible, such specifications are also on file with those suppliers who may wish to bid.

    5. The State Bureau of Procurement only may obtain bids based on standard specifications.

    6. The State Bureau of Procurement staff members preside at all standard specifications meetings with suppliers.

  1. The State Bureau of Procurement prepares or reviews specifications for all materials, supplies, equipment and contractual services not purchased under standard specifications. Nonstandard specifications may be generic or performance specifications, or both, prepared to describe in detail the article desired for purchase either by its physical properties or programmatic ability. Trade names are not used in writing nonstandard specifications unless this is determined to be inappropriate. When it is necessary to use trade names to communicate a level of quality, performance or compatibility, the specifications will give at least two, preferably three, examples of trade names of articles purchased in the past. It is unacceptable to state one trade name along with "or equal" unless only one is available. The rationale for using trade names will be documented in the bid file.

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