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Chapter 8 - Describing the Need - Specifications and Requirements

8.0 Introduction

The technology procurement process includes all activities from planning, preparation of requirements and processing of a requisition, solicitation, evaluation, award and contract formation, to receipt and acceptance of delivery, payment, inventory tracking and goods and services disposition. Regardless of whether the technology product or service required is processed by the agency under its delegated authority, purchased off a statewide contract or sent to VITA for procurement, the workflow is essentially the same.

Two preliminary and critical steps that need to be completed when preparing for any technology acquisition:

  • Identify the technology business need and the type of technology product or service that will best fulfill the technology need. Identify a technology solution, not a specific product, which would meet that technology need. Keeping in mind cost containment, what is the product or service that best fulfills the job requirements? This may require that the agency purchasing personnel or VITA personnel meet with end user(s) to identify needs, craft requirements and propose technology solutions.
  • Develop requirements and/or specifications that reflect the business objectives and describe the characteristics of the technology product, service or solution being sought. Consideration should be given to suitability and to overall cost effectiveness in addition to acceptability and initial price. Technology specifications should be written to encourage, not discourage, competition consistent with seeking overall economy for the purpose and technology solution intended. The goal is to invite maximum reasonable competition while procuring the best technology solution for the Commonwealth.

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