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Chapter 1 - VITA's Purpose and Scope

1.0 Introduction

The Commonwealth's Information Technology Procurement Manual (ITPM) is published by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) under the authority granted to it by § 2.2-2012 of the Code of Virginia. The ITPM complies with §2.2-2012(A) which provides as follows: "The CIO shall develop policies, standards, and guidelines for the procurement of information technology of every description." The Commonwealth's Chief Information Officer (CIO), appointed by the Governor, has assigned VITA's Supply Chain Management Division (SCM) with this duty.

Based on the foregoing, this manual establishes policies, standards and guidelines to be followed by every executive branch agency as defined in § 2.2-2006 of the Code of Virginia, within their delegated authority limits or such delegated authority as determined by VITA.

For the purposes of this manual, the following definitions taken from the Code of Virginia apply:

  • "Contract value" means the total of all considerations from all parties (public body, contractors and any third parties) for the initial period of the contract plus any possible renewal periods.

"Executive branch agency" or "agency" means any agency, institution, board, bureau, commission, council, public institution of higher education, or instrumentality of state government in the executive department listed in the appropriation act. However, "executive branch agency" or "agency" does not include the University of Virginia Medical Center, a public institution of higher education to the extent exempt from this chapter pursuant to the Restructured Higher Education Financial and Administrative Operations Act (§ 23.1-1000 et seq.) or other law, or the Virginia Port Authority.  

"Public body" means any legislative, executive or judicial body, agency, office, department, authority, post, commission, committee, institution, board or political subdivision created by law to exercise some sovereign power or to perform some governmental duty, and empowered by law to undertake the activities described in this chapter. "Public body" shall include (i) any independent agency of the Commonwealth, and (ii) any metropolitan planning organization or planning district commission which operates exclusively within the Commonwealth of Virginia."

"Information technology" means communications, telecommunications, automated data processing, applications, databases, data networks, the Internet, management information systems, and related information, equipment, goods, and services. The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed to hamper the pursuit of the missions of the institutions in instruction and research."

"Telecommunications" means any origination, transmission, emission, or reception of data, signs, signals, writings, images, and sounds or intelligence of any nature, by wire, radio, television, optical, or other electromagnetic systems.

All VITA procurement policies and procedures contained within this manual comply fully with § 2.2-4300 et seq. of the Code of Virginia, (The Virginia Public Procurement Act) (VPPA). Throughout this manual, appropriate references are made to those procurement requirements specifically required by the Code of Virginia and the VPPA.

The Virginia General Assembly established VITA as the statutory central procurement agency for IT to accomplish the following objectives:

  • Enable the Commonwealth to consolidate and leverage its purchasing power for technology products and services;
  • Embrace and implement innovative solutions and tools to meet the Commonwealth's technology and business needs;
  • Emphasize customer and  supplier involvement;
  • Increase the use and usefulness of statewide technology contracts by the Commonwealth's organizational entities;
  • Develop best practice procurement methodologies and processes for effective and timely IT procurements;
  • Reduce the risk to the Commonwealth from the dynamic changes in IT markets;
  • Plan, develop and solicit contracts for major information technology projects and enterprise applications and infrastructure services;
  • Monitor trends and advances in information technology;

In addition to complying with statutory requirements, the policies, standards and guidelines included in this manual are based on generally accepted government and industry best practices for the procurement of IT.

VITA is the Commonwealth's statutory central procurement agency
for IT goods and services.

The objective of this manual is to integrate the Virginia Public Procurement Act (VPPA) with VITA's procurement policies, standards and guidelines and the IT industry's best practice concepts, guidance and tools for these purposes:

  • to empower Commonwealth procurement professionals in IT acquisition, contractual risk mitigation and project complexities
  • to promote a consistent IT procurement approach across the Commonwealth
  • to encourage Commonwealth procurement professionals who participate in IT acquisitions to adopt VITA's key operating principles for IT procurement

VITA's key operating principles for IT procurement

  • Invite, promote and sustain positive customer and supplier relationships;
  • Strive for solution- not product- oriented procurements;
  • Develop business driven and managed acquisitions;
  • Think "enterprise-wise" to effectively leverage the Commonwealth's buying power;
  • Negotiate performance-based contract vehicles that are fair and effective;
  • Make best-value award decisions based on total cost of ownership throughout the technology life-cycle;
  • Invite and promote participation and relationships with DSBSD certified small, women-owned, minority-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned (SWaM) businesses, or micro businesses;
  • Take advantage of suppliers' expert IT knowledge to drive creative solutions and innovation;
  • Use procurement processes and contract vehicles to cultivate a common enterprise architecture;
  • Maintain and honor the integrity of the Commonwealth and the public procurement profession in every procurement;
  • Do all of the above while building and protecting public trust in accordance with the principles exemplified in the VPPA (§ 2.2-4300 (B) and (C) of the Code of Virginia).

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