How to Contract With CalPERS
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.
|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.|
Doing Business With CalPERS
- California Secretary of State
- Department of General Services
- Public Record Requests
- U.S. General Services Administration
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I see what solicitation proposals CalPERS has received?
After the contract has been awarded, you may review proposals or request a copy. To review proposals, please contact our Contract Administrator at (916) 795-3020 to schedule an appointment. There are two ways to receive copies of solicitation proposals:
- Contact our Contracts Management staff. They will calculate the copy fee ($.10 per page) and provide you with the information necessary to submit a check for payment. Once payment is received, it takes approximately three weeks to provide copies by regular mail. Delivery can be expedited if you provide your overnight mail service account number.
- Make your own copies. You must provide your own copier and paper. Additional charges apply for anything CalPERS staff must provide, such as set up, space, etc.
- Do I have to go through the formal vendor proposal process if I already talked to someone at CalPERS who likes my idea?
Even if someone already expressed an interest in your idea, our review team of subject matter experts must ensure it's beneficial to CalPERS and the community we serve.
- How can I set up a meeting to discuss my proposal?
We're unable to set up a meeting until your proposal has been reviewed and accepted. At that time, we'll contact you to schedule a meeting.
- If I forgot to attach some materials to my proposal, what do I do?
You can email us any additional information as long as you're still within the 90-day review period.