Solicitation/Purchasing Methods

General Information

CalSTRS uses various approaches to solicit and procure products and services. The type, scale and complexity of the required products or services determine the process used. Solicitation methods include:

Alternative Solicitation

The Alternative Solicitation method is utilized to support investment operations and the implementation of investment strategy. CalSTRS uses commonly available industry standard tools, databases and processes to identify candidates by specialty, specifically to secure external investment managers for CalSTRS Fixed Income and Global Equity classes.

The Investments Branch uses the Alternative Solicitation method when:

  • There are standard sources of information for identifying potentially qualified candidates.
  • The products and services needed are customary in the industry.

Sources of Qualified Candidates

CalSTRS uses commonly available, industry standard tools, databases, and processes to identify candidates by specialty.

Asset Classes Available For Alternative Solicitation

The Alternative Solicitation method is used to secure external investment managers for CalSTRS Fixed Income and Global Equity classes.

Notification of Available Alternative Solicitations

In addition to advertising Alternative Solicitations and other business partnership opportunities on this website, advertisements are posted on the State of California eProcurement website.

Alternative Solicitation Award

Notices of Intent to Award for all Alternative Solicitation procurements are posted on this website and are available at CalSTRS Headquarters.

Protesting an Alternative Solicitation Award

Solicitors may challenge the award if they believe the solicitation requirements are restrictive, unclear or believe they should have been selected for the award.

  • Protests must be filed during the five (5) business days following the date the Notice of Intent to Award is posted.
  • Within five (5) business days after filing a protest, the protesting party must file a full and complete written statement specifying the grounds for protest.
  • Protests must be made in writing and delivered to CalSTRS Contract Services at the address in the solicitation advertisement.

The protest process is the same as for other types of purchasing methods.

Invitation For Bid

The Invitation For Bid (IFB) method is for simple products or services requiring routine personal or mechanical skills, such as vending machine supply and servicing. These types of products and services are standard, allowing bidders little discretion in how to perform the work.

Leveraged Procurement Agreements

Leveraged Procurement Agreements allow departments to buy directly from suppliers through existing contracts and agreements.

Read more at Leveraged Procurement Agreements.

Request For Offer

The Request for Offer method is for products or services under existing California Multiple Award Schedules or Master Service Agreements. CalSTRS typically purchases information technology services, such as database administration, using this process.

  • California Multiple Awards Schedule
    Establishes agreements with firms to offer products and services under an already approved multiple-award schedule contract. An approved multiple-award schedule contract could be with a federal program or other government entity. Agreements cover a wide variety of commodities, non-IT services, and IT products and services.
  • Master Service Agreement
    State Master Service Agreements are the result of competitive procurements conducted by the California Department of General Services. They establish a pre-qualified list of vendors. These agreements may be used by multiple state agencies needing the same products and services.

Request For Proposal

The Request for Proposal method secures complex or uncommon products or services needing professional skills and expertise. Loan servicing for CalSTRS real estate holdings is a typical service. Bidders may be asked to recommend innovative methods and approaches to meet CalSTRS need.

Small Business/Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Request For Quote

California State Agencies and Departments may use a streamlined procurement process known as the SB/DVBE Option by contracting directly with a California-certified small business or Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise for goods, services and information technology valued between $5,000.01 and $249,999.99.

Read more at DGS SB/DVBE Programs.