18.1 Requests for information (RFI)

18.1.0 Requests for information (RFI)

A request for information (RFI) is a standard business process to collect written information about the capabilities of various suppliers to provide identified IT solutions, services or products. The RFI acts as a formal inquiry to the marketplace to determine which suppliers and/or IT products, services or solutions are available in the market to solve an agency's IT business problem. The information obtained through an RFI may be used in developing a subsequent purchase requisition, invitation for bid (IFB) or request for proposal (RFP) after determining that IT suppliers or solutions are available which can satisfy the IT business problem. An RFI is not a procurement method and the results of an RFI cannot be made into a contract. Responses to an RFI will assist the agency in determining an appropriate course of action that may or may not involve a new procurement to solve their IT need. An RFI can be best described as a formal effort to seek ideas, perspectives and information on the proposed IT procurement from potential suppliers so that a formal project scope and set of requirements may be developed.