Your browser does not support JavaScript! Skip to main content
Skip to Content
VITA home

IT Procurement Manual (ITPM): Buy IT - Chapter 1-12

Table of Contents (2017)

[Chapter 1-12 | Chapter 13-25 | Chapter 26-37]

Click on chapter title below to show or hide content or click on [pdf] link to print/download entire Chapter.

Introduction by Philip Pippert, Director, Supply Chain Management

Chapter highlights

Purpose: This chapter outlines VITA's statutory procurement authority for information technology (IT) and telecommunications goods and services as well as VITA's responsibility to establish IT and telecommunications procurement policies, standards and guidelines.

Key points:

  • VITA has IT procurement authority for all executive branch agencies and institutions of higher education that are not specifically exempted from VITA's authority.
  • VITA has statutory governance/oversight responsibilities for certain Commonwealth IT projects and procurements.
  • Only VITA can establish statewide IT contracts.
  • Judicial, legislative branch and independent agencies are not subject to VITA's procurement authority.

1.0 Introduction

1.1 VITA's statutory IT procurement authority and responsibility

1.2 In-scope to VITA's IT procurement authority

1.3 Delegated IT procurement authority for executive branch agencies

1.4 Process for requesting an exception to a VITA's IT procurement policy or procedure

1.5 Procurements subject to VITA's IT procurement authority

1.5.1 Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act (PPEA)

1.5.2 Purchase of personal computers

1.5.3 Acquisition of Information technology including telecommunications goods and services

1.6 Procurements not subject to VITA's IT procurement authority

1.7 Authority to contract for IT goods and services

1.7.1 CIO's Authority to bind Commonwealth to an IT contract with other public bodies or states, PPEA contracts and IT services contracts

1.7.2 Authority to bind VITA to an IT contract

1.8 CIO approval required for certain IT procurements via the PGR process

1.8.1 CIO approval required for certain IT projects

1.8.2 Submission for approval

1.8.3 CIO recommendation for approval and termination of major IT projects

1.8.4 CIO approval for joint and cooperative procurement arrangements or purchases from another public body's contract

1.8.5 CIO approval for GSA schedule 70 procurements

1.8.6 CIO approval for public auction procurements

1.9 Enterprise cloud oversight (ECOS) policy and approvals

1.10 Commonwealth Compliance with Federal Security and Privacy Rules and Regulations

1.11 Exemptions from CIO approval or VITA's oversight pursuant to the Appropriations Act

Chapter highlights

Purpose: This chapter provides guidance on how the acquisition of information technology (IT) goods and services is different than the procurement of non-IT commodities and also provides guidance on the IT procurement process.

Key points:

  • IT sourcing is constantly changing and requires the application of specialized best practices.
  • Technology risks must be analyzed and mitigated during solicitation development and prior to contract execution.
  • Applying strategies and principles to technology procurement, positions the Commonwealth to maximize the benefits it receives from technology and reduces the risk of supplier and technology failures.

2.0 Introduction

2.1 The Commonwealth's dependence upon technology grows and evolves

2.2 Critical factors in IT procurement

Chapter highlights

Purpose: This chapter outlines VITA's Supply Chain Management's (SCM's) vision, mission, core values and guiding principles. It also discusses the services that SCM provides to the Commonwealth.

Key points:

  • SCM is the division of VITA charged with developing, implementing and leading the Commonwealth's technology procurement policies, standards and guidelines.
  • SCM is the central purchasing office for IT goods and services for the Commonwealth.
  • SCM seeks to achieve its mission of developing and managing supplier relationships to maximize the return on Commonwealth IT investments by integrating its customers' business needs with its strategic suppliers.

3.0 Introduction

3.1 SCM's vision, mission and core values

3.2 SCM's guiding principles

3.3 Who does SCM serve?

3.4 What services does SCM offer?

3.5 What business functions does SCM provide?

3.6 SCM's ongoing IT procurement initiatives and improvements

3.7 SCM's desired future

Please contact VITA SCM Policy & Compliance if you have any questions in the meantime.

Chapter highlights

Purpose: This chapter sets forth background information and policy that should be followed by agencies and institutions. Adherence to this policy will ensure compliance with statutory regulations, protect the trust established between procurement officials and citizens of the Commonwealth, and establish fair and equal treatment of all suppliers who are interested in doing business with the Commonwealth.

Key points:

  • VITA is committed to developing procurement policies and maintaining procurement processes which are fair, ethical, non-biased and in strict compliance with the laws of the Commonwealth.
  • Procurement professionals have the responsibility to ensure that all information and documentation relative to the development of a solicitation or contractual document for a proposed procurement or anticipated contractual award remains confidential until successful completion of the procurement process.

5.0 Introduction

5.1 Responsibilities of Commonwealth procurement professionals and project team members involved in an IT procurement

5.1.1 Confidentiality

5.1.2 Ethics

5.1.3 Collusion awareness

5.2 Expectations of VITA's suppliers

5.3 Additional statutory prohibitions regarding contributions and gifts

5.3.1 Contributions and gifts prohibited during approval process

5.3.2 Return of gifts during approval process

5.3.3 Contributions and gifts prohibited during procurement process

5.3.4 Civil penalty and prohibited conduct

Chapter 5, Appendix A - VITA SCM Confidentiality & Conflict of Interest Statement

Chapter highlights

Purpose: This chapter includes procurement policies that ensure that IT procurement and contracting practices in the Commonwealth are consistently executed in a manner that promotes fair and open competition.

Key points:

  • VITA is committed to fair and open competition through the implementation of procurement policies and procedures that are transparent to the state, suppliers and the public.
  • Fair and open competition creates and drives value, reduces costs, and enables greater choices as increased supplier participation necessitates delivery of innovative solutions and improved supplier performance.

6.0 Introduction

6.1 VITA's competition principles

6.2 Promoting competition

6.3 Enabling competition

6.4 Aggregating or disaggregating IT procurements

6.5 When waiver of competition is necessary

6.6 Specific non-competitive actions prohibited by the Code of Virginia

6.7 Small Business Enhancement Program

Chapter highlights

Purpose: This chapter will set forth policies and guidelines that agencies and institutions shall follow to promote the Commonwealth's socio-economic goals while procuring information technology (IT).

Key points:

  • Executive Order 20 (2014) establishes a goal that the Commonwealth should make 42% of its purchases from small businesses including small businesses owned by women, minorities, service-disabled veterans and micro businesses.
  • Any state agency's goals under § 2.2-4310 of the Code of Virginia for participation by small businesses shall include within the goals a minimum of 3% participation by service disabled veteran businesses as defined in § 2.2-2001 when contracting for IT goods and services.
  • VITA has developed procurement policies and guidelines designed to encourage eligible contract users and state agencies to procure IT products and services which help to minimize the environmental impact from the use and disposal of those products.

7.0 Introduction

7.1 Small businesses, including small businesses owned by women, minorities and service disabled veterans and micro businesses.

7.1.1 Overview

7.1.2 Required agency small business plans

7.1.3 Removal of barriers

7.1.4 Ordering against optional use and mandatory use statewide IT contracts

7.1.5 Set-asides for small businesses

7.1.6 Award to other than the lowest price bidder or highest ranking offeror over $100,000

7.1.7 Small business enhancement program

7.1.8 Solicitation sizing to encourage small business participation

7.1.9 Consultation with the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (DSBSD) and the Department of Business Assistance (DBA)

7.1.10 Establishing mandatory use statewide IT contracts

7.1.11 Prime contractor requirements

7.2 Green procurement

7.2.1 Overview

7.2.2 Petitioning for less toxic goods or products

7.2.3 Procurement of recycled goods and products

7.2.4 Agency guidelines

7.3 Preferences

Appendix A VITA's ongoing SWAM initiatives

Appendix B VITA's green procurement objectives

Appendix C Supplier Procurement and Subcontracting Plan

Chapter highlights

Purpose: This chapter sets forth VITA's policies and guidance on preparing effective specifications and requirements for the procurement of information technology (IT) goods and services.

Key points:

  • By their nature, specifications set limits and thereby eliminate or restrict items that are outside the boundaries drawn. Technology specifications should be written to encourage, not discourage, competition consistent with seeking overall economy for the purpose and technology solution intended.
  • Specifications constitute the heart of a contract document that will govern the supplier of required goods or services in the performance of the contract as well as the basis for judging compliance.
  • Fixing a requirement error after delivery can cost up to 100 times the cost of fixing the implementation error.
  • The procurement requirements are the foundation for the solicitation's and contract's scope and statement of work.

8.0 Introduction

8.1 Information technology specifications

8.2 Characteristics of effective IT specifications

8.3 Standard specifications

8.4 Design specifications

8.5 Performance specifications

8.6 Brand name specifications

8.6.1 When to use brand name or equivalent specifications

8.6.2 Required characteristics of brand name specifications

8.6.3 Nonrestrictive use of brand name or equivalent specifications

8.6.4 Determination of equivalents

8.6.5 Specifications of equivalents required for bid/proposal submittal

8.6.6 Code references regarding brand names

8.7 Qualified products/suppliers specifications and lists

8.8 Analyzing and planning the IT procurement

8.9 Building IT requirements

8.9.1 Mandatory requirements

8.9.2 Functional requirements

8.9.3 Technical requirements

8.9.4 Performance requirements

8.9.5 Requirements quality control

8.9.6 Prohibition against wired requirements

8.9.7 Assistance by suppliers or potential suppliers in developing procurement specifications or requirements

Chapter highlights

Purpose: This chapter covers the process for determining a fair and reasonable price related to information technology (IT) procurements.

Key points:

  • All IT procurement professionals have a fiduciary responsibility to analyze the price or cost the Commonwealth pays for its IT goods and services.
  • A fair and reasonable price is characterized by factoring industry and market pricing with the expected value and quality of products, solutions and/or services to be received. Fair and reasonable does not necessarily mean the lowest offer.
  • Fair and reasonable pricing is determined by conducting either a price analysis or cost analysis.

9.0 Introduction

9.1 Fair and reasonable pricing

9.1.1 Fair pricing

9.1.2 Reasonable pricing

9.1.3 Determining a fair and reasonable price

9.2 Price or cost analysis requirement

9.2.1 Price analysis

9.2.2 Methods of price analysis

9.2.3 Cost analysis

9.2.4 When to perform a cost analysis

9.3 Other price evaluation factors

9.4 Evaluating warranty pricing

9.5 Price reasonableness determination documentation requirements

Appendix A Researching historical pricing data

Appendix B Price reasonableness determination form

Chapter highlights

Purpose: This chapter contains general policies applicable to the procurement of IT goods and services.

Key points:

  • Under Virginia law, the presumption is that all documents in the possession of any public body or public official and all meetings of state and local public bodies are open to citizens of the Commonwealth.
  • To the extent allowed by law, this public body does not discriminate against faith-based organizations in accordance with the Code of Virginia, § 2.2-4343.1 or against a bidder or offeror because of race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, political affiliation, or status as a service disabled veteran or any other basis prohibited by state law relating to discrimination in employment.
  • Placing multiple orders to one or more suppliers for the same, like or related goods or services in order to avoid having to utilize the appropriate method of procurement or to remain within delegated procurement authority or to avoid competition is prohibited.

10.0 Introduction

10.1 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

10.2 Confidentiality

10.3 Section 508

10.3.1 Overview

10.3.2 VITA's authority to promulgate regulations pertaining to Section 508

10.3.3 Section 508 standards

10.3.4 Defining requirements under Section 508

10.3.5 IT procurements not applicable to Section 508

10.3.6 Section 508 exception

10.3.7 Suggested solicitation language to ensure Section 508 compliance

10.3.8 Suggested contractual language to ensure Section 508 compliance

10.4 Technology access clause

10.4.1 Overview

10.4.2 Procurement requirements

10.4.3 Exceptions to nonvisual access standards

10.5 Commonwealth security requirements for IT solicitations and contracts

10.5.1 Discrimination prohibited

10.5.2 Small businesses owned by women, minorities, service disabled veterans and micro businesses

10.5.3 Small Business Enhancement Program

10.5.4 Ex-offenders

10.5.5 Faith based organizations

10.6 Posting IT solicitations and awards

10.7 Subsequent/additional bid or proposal for same procurement

10.8 Prohibited participation

10.9 Contract and purchase order modification restrictions

10.10 Contract pricing

10.11 Order splitting prohibition

10.12 Prohibited contracts

10.13 VITA's core terms and conditions for public contracts

10.14 Employment discrimination by contractor prohibited

10.14.1 Drug-free workplace to be maintained by contractor

10.14.2 Payment clauses

10.14.3 Insurance

10.15 Computer equipment performance specifications

10.16 Taxes

10.16.1 Excise tax

10.16.2 State sales ta

10.16.3 Sales and use tax for state government and political subdivisions

10.16.4 Sales and use tax for contractors

10.17 Commodity codes

10.18 Freight

10.19 Used equipment

10.20 Evaluation products and testing

10.21 Guarantees and warranties

10.22 Procurements which require FCC licensing

10.23 Unsolicited proposals

10.24 Use of brand names

10.25 Supplier advertising prohibition

10.26 Public-Private Education and Infrastructure Act (PPEA)

10.26.1 PPEA process

10.26.2 Fees for proposal review

10.26.3 Proposal format for submission of proposals

10.26.4 PPEA proposals and the Freedom of Information Act

10.26.5 Agreement on protection of confidential information

10.26.6 VITA's reservation of rights

10.26.7 Additional VITA provisions

10.26.8 When is a similar proposal a competing proposal?

10.26.9 PPEA proposal steps

10.26.10 Applicability of other laws

Chapter highlights

Purpose: This chapter discusses information technology (IT) procurement planning, which include efforts by all personnel responsible for significant aspects of an IT project to ensure that they are coordinated and integrated in a comprehensive manner.

Key points:

  • As an IT procurement best practice, comprehensive IT procurement planning is proven to provide multiple benefits to public procurement.
  • Market research is central to sound IT procurement planning and should be conducted and understood by the entire procurement project team.
  • Strategic procurement planning and sourcing helps the Commonwealth optimize performance, minimize price, increase achievement of socio-economic acquisition goals, evaluate total life cycle management costs, improve supplier access to business opportunities, and increase the value of each IT dollar.
  • VITA may have an existing mandatory-use or optional-use statewide contract that would serve your IT procurement need. Agencies subject to VITA's IT procurement authority must determine whether one is available as a first step in the planning process.

11.0 Introduction

11.1 Various IT procurement scenarios

11.2 IT procurement planning principles

11.3 Benefits of IT procurement planning

11.4 IT procurement planning roles and responsibilities

11.5 Market research

11.5.1 The purpose of market research

11.5.2 Methods of market research

11.6 Key steps and milestones of IT procurement planning

11.6.1 Define business objectives

11.6.2 Develop requirements

11.6.3 Issue and conduct solicitation

11.6.4 Manage and administer contract

11.7 Other considerations affecting the IT procurement planning process

11.7.1 Lease vs. buy analysis

11.7.2 Build vs. buy analysis

11.8 IT spend management

11.9 Outcomes of IT procurement planning

Chapter highlights

Purpose: This chapter covers the preparation of statement of scope and statement of work (SOW) documents used in the acquisition of information technology goods and services.

Key points:

  • The importance of complete, clear and well-developed requirements definition, scope statement, and statement of work documents for information technology (IT) solicitation and contract documents cannot be overstated.
  • Since the winning supplier will perform the contract following the SOW's requirements, it is critical to include and state all technical, functional, performance and project management requirements and expectations clearly and without ambiguity in the SOW.
  • The SOW content and detail will depend on the nature of the procurement and can range from extremely simple-buying packaged software-to extremely complex-procuring a solution or system design.

12.0 Introduction

12.1 Defining the IT procurement's scope

12.2 Preparing a quality IT statement of work (SOW)

12.3 Unique IT procurements

12.3.1 Solution-based and complex IT procurements

12.3.2 Performance-based IT procurements

12.4 Final quality check of the SOW


[Chapter 1-12 | Chapter 13-25 | Chapter 26-37]


VITA Customer Care Center (VCCC): (866) 637-8482
Virginia Information Technologies Agency
11751 Meadowville Lane Chester, VA 23836
Contact Us

© Commonwealth of Virginia 2016
Internet Privacy Policy Statement

VITA provides content in several formats that require software in addition to your browser to view. If you have problems accessing a file on this site, links to the needed software are below. All required software products (except the non-trial version of WinZip) are free to use.

Word Viewer (.doc) | Adobe Acrobat Reader (.pdf) | Excel Viewer (.xls) | PowerPoint Viewer (.ppt) | WinZip (.zip) | Windows Media Player (.wmv)

Level A conformance icon, W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 If you have difficulty reading or accessing documents, please contact our accessibility group for assistance.


Back to top