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Chapter 6 - Fair and Open Competition in IT Procurement

6.3 Enabling competition

VITA utilizes the following guidelines to promote competition and increase the number of participating suppliers willing to compete for the Commonwealth's IT spend:

  • Requesting source information from VITA SCM at: and conducting a search of VITA statewide contracts at:

  • Requesting source information about DSBSD-certified suppliers through eVA.

  • Consulting with suppliers during the procurement planning stage to understand the range of services and options available in the market and to learn of projects that have already been successfully delivered.

  • Issuing a Request for Information (RFI) when little market information exists or when unsure of what exactly is being procured but knowing the business objectives that need to be met.

  • Publicizing long-term IT project and expenditure plans and listening to feedback from suppliers on potential constraints.

  • Staggering, rather than delaying, work (or phases of a technology project) where IT suppliers may face delivery or capacity constraints. Staggering and/or phasing may remove performance barriers for overloaded suppliers who want to participate. When the actual value of future demand is uncertain, it is often helpful to clarify the nature and amount of that demand with potential suppliers who are already participating in that marketplace.

  • Developing solicitations that are designed to result in performance-based contracts where agency/project objectives are met, rather than those where detailed how-to requirements are provided. Solutions-based solicitations and performance-based contracts promote supplier innovation and limit constraints or barriers to suppliers.

  • Recruiting DSBSD-certified small businesses, including small businesses owned by women, minorities, and service-disabled veterans (SWaM), and micro businesses, to compete for state contracting opportunities.

  • Providing feedback to suppliers on their past performance, including why they were not selected for a particular award and what they need to do to increase their chances of future success. This will help to maintain interest among suppliers for future projects and increase the pool of competitive bidders.

  • Asking for objective feedback from suppliers on the state's performance as a client and learning lessons from this feedback.