22.1 Preparing and issuing an IFB

22.1.3 Technical and functional requirements and specifications

The IT IFB may include special requirements including life-cycle costing, value analysis and other criteria such as testing, quality, workmanship, delivery and suitability for a particular purpose to help determine acceptability. These requirements should  be described accurately and completely. Unless the public body has provided for prequalification of bidders, the IT IFB shall also include any requisite qualifications of potential bidders. The following guidelines apply  when writing IFB technical and functional requirements:

  • Verify that the requirements/specifications accurately define the IT goods or services being procured. An error or omission can be costly, so it is important to validate them before the IFB is posted.
  • Perform a requirements/specifications validity check. Do the goods or services specified provide the functions which best support the business owner's needs?
  • Perform a requirements/specifications consistency check to ensure there are no conflicts.
  • Requirements and specifications should be checked for completeness. Are all functions required by the business owner included? Are all federal, Commonwealth or VITA IT requirements, standards or specifications included?
  • Perform a reality check. Can the requirements be implemented given the project's or business owner's available time, budget, resources and technology? Are the requirements realistically testable?
  • Are the requirements written so that they can be properly understood?
  • Can the requirements be changed without a large impact on other requirements?

An IFB for technology goods or services should include requirements that are broad enough to encourage free and open competition and that are compatible with industry-standard technology products and services. The bidder has a responsibility, however, to advise the procuring agency if the requirements restrict or limit the procurement to a single source. Such notification should be provided in writing at least five business days before the official bid opening date.