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Chapter 24 - Requests for Proposals and Competitive Negotiations

24.14 Evaluation and scoring of proposals

24.14.6 Test/site visit/presentations

Upon request by the evaluation team, the SPOC may request suppliers on the short list to perform testing, supply a pilot project, allow site visits and make presentations or demonstrations to the ET as warranted in order to determine the best solutions from among the short list proposals. Determining whether presentations, demonstrations, testing, and/or site visits are warranted is based on the team's need to obtain additional information in order to arrive at a data driven decision.

The SME(s) will assist the ET in preparing the presentation/demonstration/site visit and/or testing requirements/scenarios. All short list suppliers should be afforded an equal opportunity for the presentations, demonstrations, site visits, test/pilots, etc. required by the ET at this evaluation stage. Before testing begins, the SME(s) might work with short list suppliers to identify a testing protocol that will deliver the desired results.

If necessary, the SPOC will update the evaluation documentation if the process has identified additional items critical to the success of the solution. The SPOC will also reach agreement with members of the evaluation team on the project/site visits and presentations and assess the evaluation results. If SMEs and non-team agency representatives or resources are involved in the testing or pilot, the SPOC will coordinate the testing plan and presentation schedule with these resources.

The SPOC may provide an evaluation/pilot form agreement or a script of what is expected in the pilot/presentation and what the team will validate to the short-list suppliers and lead the required negotiations to execute the defined testing protocol. The SPOC will assist the ET in documenting the evaluation criteria for the testing pilot or site visits and advise them regarding the need to keep test or site visit results confidential to protect the agency or Commonwealth's position in continued negotiations.

Selecting suppliers for a pilot does not imply that a final selection has been made. If the pilot suppliers fail to demonstrate the ability to meet the requirements during testing or site visits, the evaluation team needs to be well-positioned to pursue another pilot. The testing units, pilot and supplier labor are to be provided by supplier at no cost to the sourcing agency whenever possible.

After testing, site visits and/or presentations, the SPOC will document the review of the testing, site visits or presentations and the scoring for each supplier and prepare a written report, based upon scoring results of the proposed short-list supplier solutions that were shown to meet the requirements and can deliver a proven, qualified solution. It may be necessary to address whether testing, site visits and/or presentations raised new issues which need to be covered in the negotiation strategy.

If only one supplier is fully qualified the SPOC shall prepare a written determination of the facts supporting the decision to negotiate with that single supplier and retain it in the procurement file.

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