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Chapter 24 - Requests for Proposals and Competitive Negotiations

24.3 Pre-RFP activities

24.3.1 Putting together the procurement project team (PPT) and evaluation team (ET)

It is important to create PPTs and ETs of various stakeholders and perspectives when working on a complex IT procurement. These individuals bring input and guidance for developing a sound RFP; participate in the proposal evaluations and/or subsequent negotiation strategy planning. The table below sets forth VITA’s recommendations for the “key” PPT and ET members and their roles during the RFP process. There may be a need to have other participants (e.g., technical, functional, contractual, legal, financial subject matter experts) involved in the evaluation who may not be included in the actual procurement project team and vice versa. Depending on the type and complexity of the project, the Single Point of Contact for the procurement (SPOC) and business owner may choose not to include some procurement project team members in the evaluation process and/or negotiation. It is recommended, however, that these four corners of expertise be represented on the evaluation team: business area, technical area, legal area and financial area. 

Key Procurement Project Team (PPT) and Evaluation Team: 

Business owner (agency/customer): 

  • Responsible for the “why” justification for the project. 
  • Identifies the business or functional need(s) for products or services. 
  • Ensures compliance with VITA’s (Procurement Governance Review (PGR), project management and/or project governance processes and procedures, as applicable to the project’s complexity and dollar value. Refer to: As applicable, contact VITA Supply Chain Management Division sourcing staff to discuss engagement in project at:  
  • Documents background, scope and information related to the business need(s). 
  • Identifies contact names and potential resources available for the project. 
  • Identifies and documents overall objectives, significant events and time frames. 
  • Obtains sourcing project commitment, sponsorship and funding. 
  • Provides input and project accountability. 
  • Assists team with developing the functional and technical requirements and evaluation scorecard. 
  • Coordinates with VITA Enterprise Architecture, Data Standards, Security, Enterprise Cloud Oversight Services (ECOS), as applicable, and Project Management groups and their own information security officer (ISO) to include applicable IT standards and policies into the project/procurement’s mandatory requirements or facilitate any waiver or exception process. 
  • Participates as part of the evaluation team. 
  • Identifies negotiation objectives and participates in negotiations. 
  • Collaborates with the assigned procurement lead to ensure compliance with the Virginia Public Procurement Act, with VITA procurement policies and guidelines and any VITA review processes. 
  • Subject matter expert(s) (SMEs) 
  • Responsible for the “what” aspect of the sourcing decision. 
  • Develops and documents the RFP’s technical requirements and specifications. 
  • Assists sourcing staff in developing the evaluation criteria and determining the must haves or mandatory requirements. May participate in proposal evaluation and determining the short list of suppliers. 
  • SMEs who are Commonwealth employees may participate in the evaluation and supplier selection. Non-Commonwealth employee SMEs may provide information to the ET but cannot score. 
  • May assist business owner/customer in conducting evaluation-phase tests/pilot programs.   

Assigned agency procurement lead or sourcing specialist single-point-of- contact (SPOC): 

  • Responsible for the “who and how” aspect of the sourcing decision 
  • Leads the sourcing process. 
  • Facilitates required confidentiality, conflict of interest and/or non-disclosure compliance and documentation. 
  • Coordinates equal access to PPT and ET and gate-keeps data and information needed by suppliers prior to proposal submission. All suppliers communicate all information associated with RFP and all questions associated with RFP through SPOC. Executive steering committee communicates all information through SPOC. 
  • Provides pre-established tools and processes (i.e., RFI, RFP, contract, etc.) through the provision of templates, etc. 
  • Develops the Procurement Project Plan assisted by the business owner and the SMEs. 
  • Facilitates RFP development, assists with documenting requirements and evaluation criteria, ensures all statutory contract terms are included, and for agencies other than VITA, ensures completion of the SCM Minimum Requirements Matrix for Major and Delegated procurements. 
  • Completes the RFP package and issues/posts RFP in eVA. 
  • Updates the executive steering committee and/or PPT and ET on progress 
  • Facilitates the pre-proposal conference, if held. 
  • Facilitates the evaluation process to determine the short list of suppliers. 
  • Leads the negotiation process. 
  • Ensures compliance with ECOS policies, if applicable. 
  • Provides financial analysis and performance management support. 
  • Confirms and documents supplier pre-award compliance with pertinent statutory requirements, etc. 
  • The Supplier's responsibility to satisfactorily meet requirements of the Supplier Procurement and Subcontracting Plan, including Supplier’s variance from planned spend in the Supplier Procurement and Subcontracting Plan, Supplier's inability or refusal to certify compliance with the Plan – or for VITA statewide contracts, failure to report monthly spend information to VITA through the Supplier Reporting System (SRS) – during performance of the Contract. 
  • Maintains contract form agreements and, for VITA, coordinates contract issues with VITA’s SCM policy and governance and executive managers. 
  • Prepares contract for execution and updates contracts database. 
  • Conducts contract kick-off/orientation meeting. 
  • For VITA statewide contracts, VITA SPOC facilitates creation of eVA catalog. 

SCM contract risk management: 

  • Provides RFP review/approval and guidance on contractual issues. 
  • Responsible for compliance with Virginia law and VITA policy requirements. 
  • Responsible, as applicable to cloud procurements, for compliance with ECOS policy and processes. 
  • Responsible for the “compliance” aspect of the RFP process and related documents. 

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