ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BY VENDORS
PROCUREMENT COMMUNICATIONS REPORTING
PER SENATE BILL 51
Q1: Who decides if a communication needs to be reported to the
Procurement Policy Board?
A1: The statute contains language that establishes the criteria of
what communications need to be reported, however, it is the ethical
responsibility of the State employee involved in the communication
to determine if the communication meets that criteria and must
therefore be reported.
Q2: As a vendor, do I have to submit any report to the
Procurement Policy board when a communication I have had with an
IDOT employee has been determined to be reportable?
A2: Generally you will not have to make any report. It is the IDOT
employee’s responsibility to write and file the report. However, if
a person required to file with the secretary of State under the
Lobbyist Registration Act is a party to an oral communication, the
IDOT employee will instruct all parties of the communication to
prepare a written report of the communication and submit that report
to the IDOT employee.
Q3: What types of communications need to be reported?
A3: The statute covers all types of communications, including but
not limited to, face to face discussions, group meetings, letters,
reports, emails, teleconferences, and telephonic. However, the
communication must be material and must concern a request or
argument about a pending or potential procurement of IDOT.
Q4: What is considered material?
A4: A material communication is one that goes to the substance of
the procurement. It could be a question of the validity of the
quantities listed on a procurement solicitation or the type of
material specified. Questions about the process or procedures for
participating in competing for a procurement such as what forms are
needed to be filled out or the deadline for the submission of bids
are not considered material.
Q5: If I notice what I consider to be an error or omission on
an IDOT solicitation, may I contact someone at IDOT to get a
clarification before I submit my firm’s response to that
A5: You may do this, however, that communication is considered to be
a material argument and will be reported by the IDOT employee that
you communicate with on that subject.
Q6: May I inquire how to initiate business with IDOT and
introduce my firm to IDOT personnel?
A6: Of course you can do that. The information concerning how to do
business with IDOT would be communications about process and
procedures and would not be reportable by the IDOT employee.
Introducing your firm to IDOT employees may require IDOT employees
to file a report depending upon what you present and what is
Q7: May I contact IDOT employees about new products or
services that my firm has developed?
A7: Yes you may, however this communication will be reportable under
Q8: If an IDOT employee calls me to request information about
my firms products or services can I return that call with the
A8: Yes. It is one of the exceptions listed in the statute that
allows a communication that the IDOT employee does not have to
Q9: If I have a construction contract with IDOT and I
determine that I need to request a change in the scope of the work
due to previously unforeseen circumstances, how should I communicate
that to IDOT?
A9: You should continue to request changes of this nature as you
have in the past. The statute requires that these communications be
reported and it is the responsibility of the IDOT employee to make
Q10: Does it make any difference if I put information about my
firm’s capabilities and desire to work with IDOT in a letter as
opposed to a personal visit?
A10: It makes no difference. The statute covers both written and
Q11: May I invite IDOT employees to a presentation of my
firm’s products or services where other state agencies and/or
private citizens are in attendance?
A11: Yes you can do this and since you are making public statements
about your firm in a public forum, such a communication is not
reportable under the statute.
Q12: What is the purpose of these written reports that IDOT
employees will be filing with the Procurement Policy Board?
A12: The purpose of this section of the legislation is to be more
transparent in dealings between state employees and those in the
private sector that are attempting to do business with the state. A
material communication that concerns the substance of a procurement
or a potential procurement must be reported. These reports will be
listed on the Procurement policy Board website for the public to
review. They will very clearly inform the public about the details
of these communications that involve the expenditure of public
Q13: Is it permissible for a vendor to initiate a
written communication to an IDOT employee regarding a procurement
matter? Basically an unsolicited letter or e-mail that further
clarifies a potential vendor's qualifications? Would this need to be
reported and by whom?
A13: It is permissible for a vendor to contact an IDOT employee
about a procurement matter, however this would probably cause the
IDOT employee to have to file a report with the PPB. If the
communication was an unsolicited letter or email to further clarify
the qualifications of the potential vendor it would cause the IDOT
employee to file a report with the PPB. The vendor does not have to
ever file a report except the one situation where a lobbyist is
present during a reportable oral communication. In that case the
IDOT employee must file a report with the PPB and instruct all other
participants, vendor and lobbyist, to make a written report of the
communication and send it to the IDOT employee. The IDOT employee
will then be responsible to forward those reports on to the PPB.
This is a function of the system being designed by CMS.
Is there a dollar limit on the requirements for reporting
communications with vendors or potential vendors, such as $1000,
$5000, $10,000, etc.?
A14: Not at this time. If a communication fits the requirements to
be reported it must be reported regardless of the amount of money