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Invitation for Bids (IFB)

When to Send an IFB Request

We can assist in your Invitation for Bids (IFB) process to solicit quotes for non-construction commodities that fall under the following criteria:

  • One-time, open market purchases
  • Spending is expected to exceed $85,000
  • Products are not available from a preferred source or centralized contract
  • Requirements can be translated into exact specifications
  • Award to be made based on the lowest price among responsive & responsible vendors

The IFB Process

The Buy Desk provides these services:

The Buy Desk works with your agency to develop the Invitation for Bids (IFB) and performs the following services:  

  • Draft the solicitation document
  • Create a bidder solicitation list
  • Advertise in the New York State Contract Reporter
  • Administer the Q&A period and issue addenda
  • Conduct the bid opening
  • Evaluate bids and make an award recommendation
  • Research vendor responsibility
  • Send award/non-award letters to all vendors that submitted bid proposals
  • Create a contract requisition in SFS
  • Submit bid package to OSC for approval
  • Generate and issue a purchase order to the supplier


What we expect from the agency:

When the Buy Desk works with you to develop an Invitation for Bids (IFB), we ask agencies to:

  • Review and concur with the solicitation document
  • Provide answers to questions that were submitted during the Q&A period
  • Approve the contract requisition in SFS

Agency Tips for a Successful IFB

Is your agency considering an Invitation for Bids (IFB) for an upcoming procurement? Keep in mind the following: 

  • Allow ample time. The anticipated timeline to go through the IFB process is 3-5 months. 
  • Confirm that your specifications are detailed and clearly written. Specifications should contain pertinent information, meet program needs, be clear, unambiguous, and all-inclusive. 
  • List specific delivery requirements. 
  • List specific warranty requirements that reflect your actual need. 
  • Provide any supplier contact information (names, email addresses, phone numbers) that your agency wants to be included in the bidder solicitation list. 

Request IFB Services

Is your agency ready to begin the Invitation for Bids (IFB) process? To start the process, download, complete and submit the agency bid request form: 


Download the agency bid request form


Please note: You will need to gather and submit the following additional documentation with your request: 

  • Detailed specifications provided in a Word document
  • Division of the Budget (B-1184) Approval Notice
  • Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB) goals

Contact the Buy Desk

Still have questions? Try the BSC Help Center where you can send a question to our support team or search a database of FAQs.

Contact us by phone:

Contact us by email:

Mailing Address:

1220 Washington Avenue

Building 5, Floor 6

Albany, NY 12226