Vendors and suppliers curious about how to do business with HISD got an overview Wednesday on how to fill out a “Request for Proposal,” the paperwork required for companies to bid on a project.
More than 45 people turned out for the workshop, sponsored by the district’s Office of Business Assistance. Leading the two-hour event was HISD procurement manager Robert B. Fazakerly, who covered topics such as how RFPs are evaluated and the importance of meeting all specified deadlines.
“We go by the time and date stamp at the board services office,” Fazakerly said. “If it’s late, we’re not even going to open the box.”
Fazakerly gave other tips:
- When an RFP includes a questionnaire, be sure to answer every question.
- Should a company anticipate additional expenses, be sure they’re disclosed in the proposal response.
- Remember that any information included in an RFP is public information and could be released, if requested, by media or competitors.
- Be sure to pay your property taxes, since the district won’t do business with delinquent companies.
- If you have access to legal counsel, get an attorney to review the paperwork prior to submission.
- Any pricing needs to be valid for 120 days.
Workshop participants asked questions about preferences and how the district weighs firms that are local or are minority or women-owned business enterprises.
State law allows the district to give points to firms that are Texas-based, so if two companies were otherwise equal but one was out of state, Fazakerly said that “could function as a tie breaker” for the Texas firm.
Companies can also get points for agreeing to comply with the district’s M/WBE policy, he said.
“We need to be transparent with you about how you’re evaluated,” he said. “That’s a given.”
The next Workshop Wednesday will be held March 6 from 3 to 5 p.m. at HISD CFS Operations, 1417 Houston Ave., Houston, TX 77007. The event will cover the district’s Procurement Department, including its organization.