Competitive Bidding Process

The DNR may choose to use a competitive process at any time, regardless of the estimated value of services. Whether utilizing formal or informal competition, the DNR shall provide a notice of competitive bidding opportunities on the targeted small business web page.

Formal Competition: According to the provisions of 11 Iowa Administrative Code 118.5(1), formal competition shall be used to procure services when the estimated annual value of the contract is equal to or greater than $50,000 or the estimated value of a multiyear service contract, including renewals, exceeds $150,000.00.

Formal competitive bidding opportunities for the DNR are made available through Request for Proposals (RFP) and notice of every formal competitive bidding opportunity is posted on the State of Iowa Bid Opportunities/Hosted Bids: http://bidopportunities.iowa.gov/.

Informal Competition: According to the provisions of 11 Iowa Administrative Code 118.5(2), when the estimated annual value of the contract is equal to or greater than $5,000 but less than $50,000 and the estimated value of a multiyear service contract, including renewals, does not exceed $150,000.00 informal or formal competition shall be used to procure services.

The DNR is not required to provide public notice of informal competitive bidding opportunities but is required to make an effort to contact at least three prospective service providers identified by the DNR as qualified to perform the work described in the respective informal competitive bidding opportunity "Description of Services and Scope of Work".

Informal competitive bidding opportunities are made available by the DNR through either an Informal Request for Proposals (Informal RFP) or a Request for Quotes (RFQ).



From the date of issuance of an competitive bidding opportunity until announcement of the successful Contractor, Service Providers may not contact any employee of the State of Iowa about the respective competition other than the DNR Issuing Officer named in the respective competitive document. If a Service Provider or someone acting on a Service Provider’s behalf attempts to discuss a competitive bidding opportunity orally or in writing with any members of the DNR, any employee of the State of Iowa, or any member of an evaluation team other than the named DNR Issuing Officer, then the Service Provider may be disqualified.

Acceptance of Attached Contract Terms and Conditions:
By submitting a response to a competitive bid solicitation, each Service Provider acknowledges its acceptance of the terms and conditions of the contract template “DNR Standard Contract Conditions” and “General Conditions” found below under the heading "Service Contract Templates".

If a Service Provider takes exception to a contract provision, then the Service Provider must state the specific exception and the reason for the exception, and must attach to its “Service Provider Cost Proposal” the specific contract language it proposes to include as an alternative to the provision. Contract provision exceptions that materially change the terms or the requirements of this informal bidding process may be deemed non-responsive by the DNR, as determined in its sole discretion, resulting in possible disqualification of the Service Provider’s quote. With regard to the “DNR Standard Contract Conditions,” DNR and the successful Service Provider may agree to modifications to the terms of the “DNR Standard Contract Conditions” as necessary to negotiate the terms of a contract. A Service Provider’s failure to state an exception to any contract provision and propose alternative language may be deemed by the DNR to constitute the Service Provider’s acceptance thereof. The State reserves the right to refuse to enter into a contract with the successful Service Provider for any reason, even after delivery of notice of selection or intent to award a contract.

Evaluation Criteria:
Selection of winning service providers, is subject to the final approval of the DNR. Each competitive bid solicitation has it's own evaluation criteria and more information on the criteria is available with each respective competitive bidding document.

If there is a tie for lowest priced quote and only one of the Service Providers is an Iowa business, the Iowa business shall be given preference over the out of state Service Providers.

Additional Information:

  • Costs of preparation and delivery of any competitive bidding opportunity in response to the DNR’s requests for providers is solely the responsibility of the Service Provider.
  • DNR reserves the right to reject any or all submitted responses, in whole or in part, to advertise a new solicitation, to abandon the need for such solicitation, and to cancel a solicitation RFQ opportunity at any time prior to the execution of a written contract.
  • All information submitted by a Service Provider may be treated as a public record by the DNR.
  • By submitting a response, a Service Provider agrees that it will not bring any claim or have any cause of action against DNR or the State of Iowa based on any misunderstanding concerning the information provided within the solicitation RFQ or concerning the DNR or the State of Iowa’s failure, negligent or otherwise, to provide the Service Provider with pertinent information as intended by a solicitation.
  • If the apparent successful Service Provider fails to negotiate and deliver an executed contract within a reasonable period of time following selection, then the DNR may, in its sole discretion, cancel the award and award the contract to the next highest ranked Service Provider.

The general purpose of a Request for Proposal (RFP) is to allow the Department of Natural Resources to obtain services costing $50,000 or more annually, or $150,000 or more for multiple years, from a provider based on factors beyond costs alone; typically this type of solicitation evaluates both costs and technical aspects, but at times may only evaluate technical aspects.

Please review the RFP for all guidance; a summary of the main process followed by the DNR when using an RFP is as follows:

  • Post notice of the solicitation opportunity on the TSB website 48 hours before solicitation is made public. Any TSB firm requesting an opportunity to submit a proposal will receive the RFP packet to submit a bid.
  • Post notice of every formal competitive bidding opportunity and proposal on the State of Iowa Bid Opportunities/Hosted Bids website.
  • Prospective service providers must respond to the bidding opportunity as identified in the respective RFP.  Absolutely no verbal responses are allowed.
  • Technical proposals and Cost proposals are to be submitted in separate envelopes but may be mailed together. RFPs are evaluated by a DNR evaluation committee in the following manner:
    • Document the time and date written responses are received (verify that due date and timeline were met);
    • All Technical Proposals will be evaluated to determine if they comply with the Mandatory Specifications and using previously established evaluation criteria, score technical proposals to determine which response most closely meets the requirements of the Informal RFP;
    • After all technical scoring has been completed, Cost Proposals are opened and scored using evaluation criteria for cost previously established;
    • Notice of Intent to Award will be sent by mail or email to all Service Providers submitting a timely proposal. The contract will be awarded to the responsible Service Provider submitting the best proposal. The lowest priced proposal is not necessarily the best proposal.

The general purpose of an Informal Request for Proposals (Informal RFP) is to allow the Department of Natural Resources to obtain services costing between $5,000 - $49,999 annually, or under $150,000 for multiple years, from a provider based on factors beyond costs alone; typically this type of solicitation evaluates both costs and technical aspects, but at times may only evaluate technical aspects.

Please review the Informal RFP for all guidance; a summary of the main process followed by the DNR when using an Informal RFP is as follows:

  • Locate the names and addresses of at least three firms or individuals that would be qualified to provide the service.
  • Post notice of the solicitation opportunity on the TSB website 48 hours before prospective service providers identified are contacted. Any TSB firm requesting an opportunity to submit a proposal will receive the Informal RFP packet to submit a bid.
  • Contact at least 3 prospective service providers (may include any TSB firms requesting the information). The DNR may contact prospective service providers to let them know about the Informal RFP in person, by telephone, fax, E–mail or letter. If the DNR so chooses, bidding opportunities may be posted on the State of Iowa Bid Opportunities/Hosted Bids website to encourage more providers to participate.
  • Prospective service providers must respond to the bidding opportunity as identified in the respective Informal RFP. Absolutely no verbal responses are allowed.
  • Informal RFPs will be evaluated by a DNR evaluation committee in the following manner:
    • Document the time and date written responses are received (verify that due date and timeline were met);
    • Verify all applicable minimum qualifications/equipment specifications have been met (this in part helps make the Service Provider "responsible");
    • Evaluate all "responsible" Service Provider's responses and using previously established evaluation criteria, score technical proposals to determine which response most closely meets the requirements of the Informal RFP;
    • Cost Proposals are scored after all technical scoring has been completed, using evaluation criteria for cost previously established;
    • Notice of Intent to Award will be sent by mail or email to all Service Providers submitting a timely proposal. The contract will be awarded to the responsible Service Provider submitting the best proposal. The lowest priced proposal is not necessarily the best proposal.

The general purpose of Request for Quotes (RFQ) is to allow the Department of Natural Resources to obtain services costing between $5,000 - $49,999 annually, or under $150,000 for multiple years, from a provider based on costs alone.  An RFQ is meant to be used only for specific services easily defined that DO NOT need any other requirements evaluated.

Please review the RFQ for all guidance; a summary of the main process followed by the DNR when using a RFQ is as follows:

  • Locate the names and addresses of at least three firms or individuals that would be qualified to provide the service.
  • Post notice of the solicitation opportunity on the TSB website 48 hours before prospective service providers identified are contacted. Any TSB firm requesting an opportunity to submit a proposal will receive the RFQ packet to submit a bid.
  • Contact at least 3 prospective service providers (may include any TSB firms requesting the information). The DNR may contact prospective service providers to let them know about the Informal RFP in person, by telephone, fax, E–mail or letter. If the DNR so chooses, bidding opportunities may be posted on the State of Iowa Bid Opportunities/Hosted Bids website to encourage more providers to participate.
  • Prospective service providers must respond to the bidding opportunity as identified in the respective RFQ - using the “Service Provider Cost Proposal” form attached to the respective RFQ. Absolutely no verbal responses are allowed.
  • RFQs will be evaluated by the DNR in the following manner:
    • Document the time and date written responses are received (verify that due date and timeline were met);
    • Verify all applicable minimum qualifications/equipment specifications have been met (this in part helps make the Service Provider "responsible");
    • Cost Proposals of “responsible” Service Providers are scored based on lowest price (the only factor evaluated);
    • Notice of Intent to Award will be sent by mail or email to all Service Providers submitting a timely proposal. The contract will be awarded to the responsible Service Provider submitting the lowest priced quote.


Service Contract Templates

DNR's formal Requests for Proposals (RFP), Informal Request for Proposals (Informal RFP) and Request for Quotes (RFQ) refers to the acceptance of terms and conditions of the following contract templates:


Additional DNR Contract Terms and Condition Templates
DNR Engineering Bureau - RFP & Bid Lettings

To achieve the goals set forth by the Department of Natural Resources to improve and maintain its infrastructure, the DNR Engineering Bureau is mandated to offer competitive bidding on such construction projects as deemed necessary.

Equipment Leases - All DNR

By submitting a proposal in response to a DNR Informal Competitive Solicitation for Leasing, each potential Equipment Vendor acknowledges its acceptance of the terms and conditions of DNR’s Standard Addendum to Equipment Lease Agreements.