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think it depends on the governance of your organization and the delegation of powers to the project manager.
I have seen many RfP processes run on both sides, and the sponsor was seldom involved beyond being informed thru reporting. It is not a sponsors subject matter expertise, but rather that of the procurement and legal groups.
On contrary, as a sponsor I would stay out of the process since it could be seen as trying to influence decisions.
If the sponsor is a program manager, they might decide to govern all procurement on program level, even then the sponsor need not be involved.
For your debate about the sponsor role, have you looked at APM's and GAPPS ideas about sponsors?
Interesting your question
Thanks for sharing
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My experience aligns with Thomas that a sponsor would usually be involved as a reviewer and sometime signatory on formal, written procurement documents, but outside of a burning "must have" item, they would usually not be directly involved in the preparation of procurement documents.
Of course, in very small companies which don't have a procurement department/role, the sponsor might "tag team" with the PM...
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