22.1 Preparing and issuing an IFB

22.1.9 Bidder samples

Bidders generally shall not be required to furnish bid samples unless there are characteristics of a product that cannot be described adequately in the IFB's specifications. Bid samples will only be used to determine the responsiveness of the bid and will not be used to determine a bidder's ability to produce the required items. Samples may be requested to verify quality levels or to test equipment to determine conformance with the specifications stipulated in an IFB and/or to determine ability to interface with existing equipment. When bidders are requested by language included in the IFB or by request during the evaluation process to provide sample supplies or equipment or examples of work, they should be advised that it is at their own expense. Such requests shall fully describe the samples required; state the number of samples required; if appropriate, the size of the samples to be submitted; state that examination or testing will be conducted; and, list all the characteristics for which the samples will be examined or tested. All samples are subject to test. Submitted samples must clearly identify the bidder's name, the bid number and the item the sample represents in the bid.

Samples required in the IFB must be submitted prior to the bid opening date and be accompanied by a descriptive invoice indicating if bidder desires return of sample(s) not used or made useless through tests. Samples should be properly labeled, stored, and controlled by the receiving agency until disposal or return to the bidder. Failure to submit samples when requested may result in rejection of a bid. Bids will be rejected as non-responsive if the samples fail to conform to each of the characteristics listed in the invitation. Unsolicited samples submitted in response to an IFB will not be evaluated and the agency may dispose of these samples.

Return of submitted samples that are not destroyed in testing will be at bidder's risk and expense upon the bidder's request. Samples belonging to bidder(s) awarded a contract(s) may be retained by the procuring agency for comparison with deliveries until the completion of the contract(s). Samples not picked up by non-awarded bidders within 30 days of award will become the property of the purchasing body. If, after 60 days of award, non-awarded bidders have not picked up their samples or provided disposition instructions, samples may be offered to other agencies or internal operating departments for use. If the items have significant reusable utility value, they should be disposed of using established property disposal procedures.