Do We Have to Get Bids? Grant Purchasing Fundamentals for Program Specialists

Webinar • Wednesday, May 26, 2021 • 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET

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$249.00 Do We Have to Get Bids? Grant Purchasing Fundamentals for Program Specialists (05.26.21) (On-Demand Recording)
Webinar Details

Prerequisites: Some knowledge of federal grant management and audit requirements is helpful

Recommended Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge and Applications

Program Knowledge Level: Basic

Advanced Preparation: None

Do we have to get bids? It’s one of the most common questions asked by program personnel working on a grant-funded project. And, it usually sounds like you hope the answer is — “No.” That’s because you may be making assumptions about what burden and delay could be involved if the answer is — “Yes.”

Of course, the federal government doesn’t impose competitive purchasing standards on grant recipients and subrecipients simply so they can be inconvenienced. The intent is to assure that federally funded organizations shop around and obtain the best deals they can when using taxpayers’ money.

The important standards for federal grant purchases are “skeletal.” They provide only the basic structure for what has to be done, and use terminology and concepts that can seem overly technical and are often unfamiliar to many program managers. They also leave much of the important detail to be “fleshed out” by recipients and subrecipients themselves.

This webinar will provide grants program staff a basic understanding of what’s actually required by the federal government procurement standards for awardees and where organizational prerogatives show up. Participants will learn:

  • Procurement terminology — getting beyond the technical lingo
  • How to avoid conflicts of interest and gratuity violations
  • Sensible steps for planning a grant-funded purchase
  • How to help formulate clear invitations for bids and requests for proposals
  • Where to “cast a wide net” in order to maximize competition
  • How to fairly evaluate the offers you receive
  • How to screen potential contractors to establish “responsibility”
  • How to document selection of the successful contractor
  • What constitutes a sound contract, and what the required federal clauses mean
  • How to monitor performance and compliance, and get what you pay for

Sizable chunks of many federal grant budgets are spent on purchases of goods and services. Program managers don’t have to be purchasing experts but knowing the rules is essential to making those expenditures efficient, effective and impactful.


  • Anyone involved in purchasing goods and services using federal grant funds.

Hand-out Materials:

  • Attendees will receive presentation slides as well as access to background materials.

Allowable Charges

The costs of webinars sponsored by Federal Fund Management Advisor™ are allowable charges to your federal grants and subgrants. The cost principles issued by OMB under its uniform guidance (and applicable to all types of awardees) state, “The cost of training and education for employee development is allowable” (2 CFR 200.472).

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