Using the Bulletin

This guide explains how to use the Illinois Higher Ed Bulletin to find and bid on solicitations published by the participating institutions, as well as award notices published by buyers and general information published by the Chief Procurement Office.


Buyers can choose to allow vendors to electronically submit procurement documents in response to procurement opportunities. Whether or not e-bidding is allowed on a specific solicitation will be indicated in the notice itself. You must be signed up to e-bid.

How to Sign-Up for E-bidding

To use the e-bidding feature on the Bulletin, a vendor must have an Illinois Higher Ed Bulletin account and also be registered in the Illinois Procurement Gateway (IPG) and hold an IPG registration number that is in good standing.

Once you have registered with the IPG you can then sign up for e-bidding on the Bulletin by visiting the Company page under My Account. You will see a question that asks if you have an IPG number for your company. Answer "Yes" and enter the IPG number in the text box that appears and hit the "Look up Company" button. If your IPG number is valid it will pull up your company name and you will be asked to confirm this is your company. If the company displayed is not correct, double check your IPG number and then consult with the Illinois Procurement Gateway. Once you have confirmed your company, save your changes. You are now ready to e-bid.

A screen shot of the Company page under My Account. It shows that if user answer yes to the question 'Does your company have an active IPG Number?' then a new text box input will appear for entering the IPG number. Next to this new text box input is a button labeled 'Look up Company' which looks up and displays the company name when pressed. Under the displayed company name is a checkbox for confirming that the company name is correct and that you are authorized member of this company.

Start an E-bid

Not all solicitations will allow e-bidding. It is at the discretion of the buyer and institution associated with the procurement to determine if they want to allow vendors to e-bid.

You will know if a solicitation allows e-bidding if you see that sealed bids will be allowed via E-bidding in the solicitation information and an "E-bidding" box is present on the right side of notice under the Documents Box. If you are logged in and you've registered your IPG number, you can begin the e-bidding procedure by clicking the "Start E-bid" button in the "E-bidding" box.

The e-bidding information box that appears on a solicitation when the user is logged in and is signed up for e-bidding. It contains an explaination about e-bidding, a 'Start E-bid' button, as well as links to the 'My E-bids' page and the e-bidding section of this guide.

A modal window will open. You will be able to upload documents one at a time, identifying which kind of document it is for each file. You should consult the solicitation information to check what documents are required.

The e-bidding manage document modal. It contains a section to attach a document where you can select the type of document it is from one of the radio button options and then choose a file to upload, as well as a section for deleting documents you've already attached.

After uploading the documents, you may close the window. This does not submit the e-bid documents - you will be able to update your documents up until the deadline listed on the solicitation, at which that point they will be automatically pulled into the system by the buyer, and they will no longer be available for editing.

Managing E-bids

You can view all e-bids you've started that have not yet past their deadline on the My E-bids page. On this page you, or any other members of your company that are registered with the same IPG number on the Bulletin, may manage the documents of any e-bids up until the deadline time and date listed on the solicitation.

The My E-bids screen when user is logged in and signed up for e-bidding. It contains two sections - one for 'E-bids in Process' and one for 'Submitted E-bids Requiring Further Information'. The 'E-bids in Process' section has a table that contains all the solicitations the user has e-bid on, along with the deadline and a link to manage the documents for the e-bid. The 'Further Information' section also has a table, which lists any solicitations where the buyer has requested either clarification or a 'best and final offer' from the vendor. The table lists the solication's procurement number and description, the type of information being requested, a link to see the full request, the deadline for responding to the request and a link for managing your response documents.

Responding to Requests for More Information

Occasionally, buyers will require more information from vendors before making a decision. This may come in the form of clarification questions or the request for a "Best and Final Offer" (or "BAFO"). If this is the case, all vendors whose Bulletin account is connected to the IPG number in question will receive an email notifying them of this request, and they may visit "My E-bids" to view the requested information and upload their response documents. Like the e-bid documents, these documents will be editable until the response deadline set by the buyers, after which they will automatically be sent to the buyers.