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Chapter 5 - Ethics in Public Procurement

5.0 Introduction

VITA's Supply Chain Management (SCM) Division is responsible for establishing statewide contracts to meet agencies' needs for IT goods and services and for delegating procurement authority back to agencies, where appropriate. SCM is also responsible for developing policies, standards and guidelines for the procurement of information technology. Since information technology procurement involves the expenditure of significant tax dollars, a trust is created between procurement officials, suppliers and the citizens of the Commonwealth.

This chapter provides VITA's policy regarding behavior of procurement professionals and suppliers and other project team members involved in the procurement of information technology. Section 2.2-2006 of the Code of Virginia defines "information technology" (IT) as "communications, telecommunications, automated data processing, applications, databases, data networks, the Internet, management information systems, and related information, equipment, goods, and services."

The Code of Virginia dictates a higher standard of conduct for procurement officials than for other public employees due to the extraordinary trust and responsibility exercised by public officials conducting procurement transactions, and because of the expectation by the public that this trust and responsibility be exercised properly. Procurement professionals and suppliers, as well as IT project team members involved in any IT procurement, must be cognizant of these laws which include the Virginia Public Procurement Act, the State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act, and the Governmental Frauds Act. All personnel having official responsibility for procurement transactions should be familiar with Article 6, Code of Virginia, § 2.2-4367 et seq., entitled "Ethics in Public Contracting."

VITA expects all procurement professionals and project team members involved in any IT procurement to maintain the public trust by conducting themselves with integrity and in a manner above reproach, with complete impartiality and without preferential treatment. All procurement professionals should avoid acts which are improper, illegal, or give the appearance of impropriety and shall pursue a course of conduct that does not raise any appearance of impropriety or suspicion among the public or potential Commonwealth suppliers.

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