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Procurement Opportunities

The Department of General Services, Bureau of Procurement requires that all posting of bidding opportunities for goods and services be listed at the SRM portal for registered bidders and at the Department of General Services' portal for public notice. A link to the public notice location is given with this message. Please monitor these sites for information on opportunities to do business with the Commonwealth.

DGS Portal: PA eMarket Place

Bid Protest Procedure
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Department of Education
Deputy Secretary for Administration
Executive Office
Forum Building
607 South Drive
Harrisburg, PA  17120

This document describes the procedure for protesting or complaining about any procurement of services, materials or supplies by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). This bid protest procedure applies only to challenges to the awarding of bids or contracts by the PA Department of Education for Commonwealth projects.  This procedure does NOT apply to bidding opportunities offered by any other entity, including schools, school districts, intermediate units, colleges, etc.  For questions concerning bids or awards by such non-Commonwealth entities, it is recommended that the appropriate procurement official of the local issuing entity be contacted.

The procedures discussed herein were developed specifically for PDE and they supercede the procedures of the Department of General Services in its Procurement Handbook, Part I, Chapter 58, Bid Protests.

The Commonwealth Procurement Code, Act 1998-57, provides for the filing of a protest or complaint in three circumstances:

  1. By a party who did not submit a bid or proposal;
  2. By a party who has responded to an invitation for bids (IFB), a request for proposals (RFP) or a request for quotes (RFQ); or
  3. By a prospective contractor or bidder who is aggrieved in connection with the solicitation or award of a contract.

If the protesting party does not submit a bid or proposal (category #1 above), the protest must be submitted prior to the date of the bid opening for an IFB or prior to the date on which the proposal or quote is due to be received by PDE.   Any protests received after those dates will not be reviewed and considered and will be dismissed as untimely.

For those protestors who fall within categories #2 and 3, their protests must be filed within seven days after the protesting party knew or should have known of the facts giving rise to the protest.  However, no protest will be accepted that is filed more than seven days after the date the notice of award of the contract is posted at the Department of Education or Department of General Services' websites. Untimely protests will be dismissed.

The date of filing is the date the protest is received in PDE.  A protest must be in writing and must be sent to the Deputy Secretary for Administration, PA Department of Education, Executive Office, Forum Building, 607 South Drive, Harrisburg, PA, 17120.  A copy of the protest must also be sent to the PDE​ staff person or office that is responsible for the procurement, hereinafter referred to as the Issuing Office.

Each protest must specify the reasons the protesting party believes that the solicitation or award was improper.  Issues not raised in the written protest are deemed waived and may not be raised on appeal.  The protesting party may submit with the protest any documents or information deemed relevant.  If the contract has been awarded, the Issuing Office shall notify the successful bidder or contractor of the protest. If the protest is received before the contract is awarded and substantial issues are raised by the protest, all bidders and offerors who appear to have a substantial and reasonable prospect of winning the award shall be notified of the protest and the reasons for the protest and they may file their position on the issues with PDE, in writing, within five days after receipt of notice of the protest.

Upon the filing of a protest, further action on the solicitation or award shall be stayed, or if the protest is timely received after the award, performance of the contract should be suspended until the protest is resolved.  The Issuing Office may, however, petition the Deputy Secretary for Administration for a written determination that the protest is clearly without merit or that award of the contract without delay is necessary to protect the substantial interests of the Commonwealth. In such case, if the Deputy Secretary determines that the protest is clearly without merit or will substantially harm the Commonwealth and does not stay the procurement, he shall immediately issue the decision.

Within 15 days of the receipt of a protest, the Issuing Office must submit a written response to the Deputy Secretary for Administration. The response may include any documents or information that the contracting officer deems relevant to the protest.  Within 10 days of the date of the contracting officer response, the protesting party may file a written reply

The Deputy Secretary for Administration shall review the protest and any response or reply.  He may also request and review any additional documents or information deemed necessary to render a decision.

In his sole discretion, the Deputy Secretary may conduct a hearing.  If additional time is required to investigate the protest, he shall inform the protesting party of the additional time needed to render a determination and obtain the protesting party's consent.  Unless an extension of time has been agreed to, the Deputy Secretary shall issue a written determination stating the reasons for the decision within 60 days of the date the protest was filed.

If it is determined that the solicitation or award was contrary to law, the Deputy Secretary for Administration may, as part of his decision and order, cancel the solicitation; change the solicitation to comply with law; reject all bids or proposals or those parts of the bids or proposals which were affected by the violation; or change or cancel the award to comply with the law.

If the determination is made after execution of the contract and the contractor did not act fraudulently or in bad faith, (1) the contract may be ratified and affirmed provided it is determined by PDE, that to do so is in the best interest of the Commonwealth; (2) the contract may be modified to comply with the law with the consent of all parties; (3) the contract may be cancelled and the contractor compensated for the actual expenses reasonably incurred under the contract prior to termination where such compensation shall not include loss of anticipated profit, loss of use of money or administrative or overhead costs.

If it is determined the contractor has acted fraudulently or in bad faith, the contract may be (1) declared void; (2) modified to comply with law with the consent of all parties; or (3) ratified and affirmed, provided PDE determines that action is in the best interests of the Commonwealth and without prejudice to PDE's right to damages, as may be appropriate.

PDE shall send a copy of the decision to the protesting party and any other person determined to be affected by the decision. If the protest is denied, the decision shall inform the protesting party of its right to file an appeal in Commonwealth Court within 15 days of the mailing date of the decision.