22.12 Negotiation with the lowest bidder

After the agency has evaluated the technology product or service for acceptability as set forth in the IFB, the bids are then evaluated to determine which bidders offer the lowest cost in accordance with the evaluation criteria set forth in the IFB. Only objectively measurable criteria that are set forth in the IFB shall be applied in determining the lowest bidder. Examples of such criteria include, but are not limited to, transportation cost and ownership or life-cycle cost formulas. Evaluation factors need not be precise predictors of actual future costs, but such evaluation factors shall be reasonable estimates based upon information the agency has available concerning future use and shall provide for the equitable treatment of all bids. Pricing for optional supplies or services or for renewal terms may not be considered, particularly when the pricing for such items or terms is unbalanced when compared to other pricing in the bid.

In accordance with the Code of Virginia§2.2-4318, unless canceled or rejected, a responsive bid from the lowest responsible bidder shall be accepted as submitted, except that if the bid from the lowest responsible bidder exceeds available funds, the public body may negotiate with the apparent low bidder to obtain a contract price within available funds. However, the negotiation may be undertaken only under conditions and procedures described in writing and approved by the public body prior to issuance of the IFB and summarized therein.