Overview: How Do I Do Business with the State?
Overview of Government Contracting
Like the private sector, the state wants best value for its purchases. Using taxpayer funds, incurs additional requirements that sometimes lengthen the procurement process. State and county agencies must follow standardized statutes, rules and procedures in Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR) and Procurement Circulars. In addition, each department, division, or office may have internal procedures. Actions related to a procurement must be documented for auditing purposes, creating records for each solicitation, award and contract.
Below is a quick review of some of the key requirements and recommendations for vendors, contractors and service providers:
- Register in Hawaii Compliance Express. All awards may only be made to vendors who are compliant with state laws. State agencies must obtain proof of compliance prior to awarding. Acceptable verification is through Hawaii Compliance Express.
- Register in Hawaii eProcurement System (HePS). For solicitations conducted on HePS, vendors must respond in HePS. Only offers submitted in HePS may be considered.
- Check the Procurement Solicitation Notices website. Not all procurements are conducted in HePS.
- Review the solicitation thoroughly before responding and provide all items required in the specifications and administrative requirements. The offer must be in accordance with the solicitation. Vendors may not change offers after the submittal due date and time. In each solicitation are instructions, contact information and a timeline for asking questions.
- Obtain addenda. Sometimes, the state must amend specifications or administrative requirements for a solicitation. Changes are issued as addenda. The vendor is responsible for obtaining the addenda and adjust pricing as required. For HePS solicitations, addenda will be in HePS. For solicitations not on HePS, notice of addenda will be placed on the Procurement Solicitation Notices website.
- Submit offers in a timely manner. Do not wait until the last minute. A vendor experiencing computer/network problems connecting, or being stuck in traffic, are not reasons to accept late offers. Late responses are not accepted.