To contract with CalPERS, sign up for email alerts to receive added or updated online solicitation information. We offer the following ways to contract with us:

  • Small Business/Disabled Veterans Business Enterprise (DVBE) - This option allows us to avoid the lengthy formal bid process and contract with a certified small business or DVBE after obtaining price quotes from at least two small businesses or DVBEs. This option applies to consulting and professional services, goods procurement, and information technology products valued between $5,000.01 and $250,000.
  • Spring Fed Pool (SFP) - Our SFP saves CalPERS and bidders time by allowing us to enter into a contract with several firms at once. The SFP begins with a solicitation for bid process, where interested firms bid during a specified time. When applicable projects are identified, we engage a firm from the SFP through a Letter of Engagement. This simple process can be used over and over throughout the life of the contract.
  • Vendor Pool - This process is used to procure various products and services. Firms can apply to be included in the Vender Pool anytime - there's no need to wait for a solicitation to join. Those vendors with a current California Multiple Awards Schedule (CMAS) or General Services Administration (GSA) schedule, who meet the minimum qualifications and requirements, may be added to the Vendor Pool. For more information regarding the Vendor Pool, email us.

Types of Contracts

CalPERS uses a variety of contracts and procurement processes to meet our business needs.

CalPERS offers two types of contracts:

  • Consultant Services Contract - This is an agreement to provide a recommended course of action or personal expertise. The contract calls for a product of the mind rather than the rendition of mechanical skills, and could be for anything from answers to specific questions to the design of a system or plan.
  • Service Contract - This is an agreement to provide CalPERS with a duty or labor, as opposed to commodities or goods, which are done through a procurement process.

Generally, these services are obtained through a competitive bidding process. Refer to the Contract Solicitation Methods section below to learn more.

CalPERS obtains information technology-related services and products through a pool of prequalified vendors via our Vendor Pool Program. To be eligible, you must currently have a publicly bid contract with either the federal government General Services Administration Schedule (GSA) program or the Department of General Services (DGS).

To request a Vendor Pool Program application package, call (916) 795-2398 or email us. In addition to the required forms included in the package, you'll need to submit copies of your current DGS or GSA contract documents and your price list.

Contract Solicitation Methods

CalPERS uses several competitive bidding processes to award contracts. Based on the type of services needed, bids or proposals are made using one of the methods below.

This method can be used for complex services needing technical or professional skills and expertise. The solicitation document specifies a general business plan describing our needs and the minimum requirements to participate in the process.

In the CN process, CalPERS holds discussions with the highest scoring firms about alternative methods of approach and the cost or fee. A contract is negotiated that best meets the business needs at a fair and reasonable cost.

This method is used to secure services for routine personal or mechanical skills when work methods are standard or little discretion exists in terms of how the work is performed. A statement of work is clearly stated and bidders are generally told what, how, when, and where work and services are to be done. In the IFB process, the lowest responsive, responsible bidder is awarded the contract.

This method is used to secure complex services needing technical or professional skills and expertise. The RFP states qualification requirements, performance specifications, and time frames. Proposers are asked to recommend methods/approaches to meet the need and for how much.

There are two types of RFPs: primary and secondary. The type used depends on the needs or requirements of the service. Refer to the table below to know the difference between the RFPs.

  Primary Secondary
Services Required Services are complex. Services are complex, uncommon, or unique.
Scope of Work Services or functions needed are well-defined and include required time frames. Work needed is less precisely defined and may contain only needs, goals, or objectives that must be met.
Performance This requires varying methods or approaches, but not innovative or creative. This requires unusual or creative techniques, methods, and approaches.
Evaluation Proposals are reviewed, evaluated, and scored for compliance with format, content, and qualification requirements. Cost proposals are not scored. Proposals are reviewed, evaluated, and scored. Oral interviews may be conducted.
Contract Award The proposal that is most qualified at the lowest cost is awarded the contract. >The proposal that is most qualified and highest scored is awarded the contract.


Frequently Asked Questions