MHEC Launches Safe Return to Campus RFP Effort
MHEC has a long history of helping its member states and the institutions in those states by developing group procurement contracts that save states and institutions* time and money while facilitating the acquisition of technology and insurance. Many of these contracts are now being used nationwide through agreements MHEC holds with the three similarly positioned compacts in the other regions of the country. Recently, MHEC has received a number of inquiries requesting assistance in the purchase of supplies that will help allow for the safe return to campus for students, faculty, and staff. Examples of such inquiries include requests for help in obtaining COVID tests, COVID antibody tests, cleaning supplies, sanitizers, and personal protective equipment (PPE).
As a statutorily-created interstate compact with a regional footprint, that has been given broad contracting authority to act on behalf of its member states, MHEC is well positioned with the infrastructure in place to support its states in their efforts to obtain these supplies. However, MHEC staff have very little expertise or experience in the procurement of these types of materials. Given the nature of the items being requested, and the already strong demand and competing interests that exist for such products, it is MHEC's belief that a knowledge and understanding of the industry and marketplace is essential for any effort like this to succeed.
MHEC recognizes the task is great, and time is limited. However, MHEC believes by working together many things can be achieved. The following survey will help MHEC prioritize and focus its efforts and subject-matter expertise and advice are welcomed.
*While MHEC’s focus is institutions of higher education (public and private not-for-profit) most contracts are available for use by K-12 districts and schools; cities, counties, local subdivisions; state government; and non-profit organizations (education-related only). For more information, please contact Jennifer Dahlquist, MHEC vice president.