32.1 Overview of VITA’s protest policy

VITA's protest policy follows § 2.2-4364 of the Code of Virginia which states: "A bidder, offeror or contractor need not utilize administrative [including ADR] procedures meeting the standards of § 2.2-4365, if available, but if those procedures are invoked by the bidder, offeror or contractor, the procedures shall be exhausted prior to instituting legal action..." It is VITA's policy that once a supplier invokes alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to address a protest denial, ADR procedures must be exhausted prior to instituting legal action concerning the same procurement transaction unless the purchasing agency agrees to waive ADR. ADR shall be used for:

  • Appeals from a determination that the supplier is ineligible to participate in public contracts, e.g., debarment
  • Appeals from a denial of a request to withdraw a bid
  • Appeals from a determination of non-responsibility
  • Appeals from denial of a protest of a contract award

The following language is included in all VITA solicitation templates: "VITA's ADR process serves as its Administrative Appeals Procedure meeting the requirements of § 2.2-4365 of the Code of Virginia. More information regarding the ADR process can be found on the VITA website: Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedure. By responding to this RFP, Supplier agrees to submit any appeal of a protest denial to VITA’s alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process."

This language must be included in all VITA SCM solicitations. VITA encourages other Commonwealth agencies which have delegated IT procurement authority in accordance with the requirements set forth in Chapter 1 - VITA's Purpose and Scope of this manual to include this language in their solicitations. VITA’s delegated IT procurements are not subject to protest processes established by the Department of General Services’ Vendor’s Manual or Agency Procurement and Surplus Property Manual. Any reference to these publications in VITA delegated IT procurements should be removed from the solicitation documents. If such delegated agency does not have an established ADR process, contact: scminfo@vita.virginia.gov for assistance. VITA’s ADR process may be utilized by these agencies.