West Virginia Purchasing DivisionWEST VIRGINIA PURCHASING DIVISION

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES HANDBOOK

SECTION 4:  ACQUISITION PLANNING


4.0 ACQUISITION PLANNING

4.1 General: The effective purchase of needed commodities and services begins with proper planning. The first step is to determine the commodity or service that is needed, the quantity, the quality level, delivery location and time frame.

When preparing for a purchase prior to the actual bidding process, the following steps should be taken:

  • Define need
  • Considering acquisition and delivery lead time
  • Create specifications for the commodity
  • Research the market
  • Exploring internal sources, considerations and approvals
  • Check mandatory resources
  • Preparation of the requisition
  • Identify possible vendors

4.2 Define Need: Determining the exact requirements for a commodity to perform a specific function is one of the most important tasks in the procurement process. The agency must take into consideration the problem to be resolved and what alternatives or options are available to satisfy the need.

4.3 Acquisition and Delivery Lead Time

4.3.1 Administrative Lead Time: Administrative lead time is required for all purchases. The average time required to prepare, solicit, evaluate, and make an award varies depending upon the dollar value, responsiveness of vendors offering the commodity, and the complexity of the requisition.

Agencies should always consider the expiration of funds when planning administrative lead time.

4.3.2 Delivery Lead Time: Order or ship time is the time after award that is required by suppliers to fill an order and deliver by designated means (truck, rail, or air) to the delivery point. These times vary widely by industry or commodity. Consideration must be given to market conditions which will affect delivery. Custom-made and complex items of equipment normally take longer to obtain than in-stock items.

4.4 Specifications: Specifications can either enhance or inhibit competition. In accordance with 5A-3-11 of the West Virginia Code, competition must be sought, whenever possible. This can be accomplished by describing products and services in a manner which meets the agency's needs and encourages competition.

A specification is a concise statement explaining the type of product or service, the quality level, special requirements in design, performance, delivery and usage. Specifications must not be restrictive (locking in a specific vendor and limiting competition), or be vague (allowing a vendor to provide a lower than acceptable quality level product or service).

A good specification is the following:

  • Clearly understandable to both the buyer and the seller
  • Complete
  • Concise
  • Identifiable wherever possible with some brand or specification already on the   market
  • Verifiable
  • Reasonable
  • Legible

4.4.1 Types of Specifications: There are three types of specifications used separately and/or in combination to communicate requirements for goods and services to the vendor:

4.4.1.1 A "Brand Name(s) or Equal" Specification is based upon one or more manufacturer’s commodity description(s), model number(s) and quality level. The manufacturer’s commodity numbers must be easily identified in a current publication that is available to most vendors. Commodity descriptions must be sufficiently detailed, and specify only the required features needed for the application.

4.4.1.2 A Performance Specification is based upon the specific performance needs of the purchaser. The performance specification is less structured as to how the product is made, and more structured as to how well it performs. Total ownership cost for operating and maintaining the product may be an element of the specification.

4.4.1.3 A Design Specification concentrates on the dimensional and other physical requirements of an item being purchased. The design specification is used when the commodity has to be specially made to meet the purchaser’s unique needs.

Combinations of the above may be used to communicate clear specifications to vendors. A performance specification may refer to a nationally accepted testing procedure for a commodity; a design specification may indicate the physical size and dimension of the commodity, and a brand name or equal specification may be used to indicate a desired quality level.

4.4.2 West Virginia Standard Specifications: According to 5A-3-5 of the West Virginia Code, the Purchasing Director shall promulgate and adopt standard specifications based on scientific and technical data for appropriate commodities, which shall establish the quality to which such commodities to be purchased and services to be contracted for by the state must conform. These standard specifications, which are prepared and adopted by the Purchasing Division for various products and services, are written with the input of state agencies and vendors for products and services that are used by many state agencies. By using standard specifications, the state is assured of an acceptable quality that meets the state’s needs.

4.4.3 Assistance in Preparing Specifications, Purchase Descriptions: Most state agencies have a procurement officer who is responsible and knowledgeable in state purchasing guidelines as well as their own agency policies and procedures. It is important to note that questions from agency personnel relating to purchasing issues should be directed first to the respective agency procurement officer rather than directly to the Purchasing Division. If the agency procurement officer needs assistance, they are encouraged to contact the appropriate state buyer in the Acquisition and Contract Administration Section of the Purchasing Division for assistance in preparing specifications. (See Appendix C).

4.4.4 Format: When preparing a Purchase Requisition (WV-35), a specification format should be used.

Item Number

When available from TEAM, the item number should be inserted on the Purchase Requisition under the heading "Item Number". Do not use Item Number Agreement for an agreement, rather use the 5-digit code in accordance with the services provided.

Quantity

The total quantity requisitioned and the unit of measure, such as cases, each, pounds, etc., must be shown in the appropriate column.

Type of Purchase

The type of purchase should be identified in capital letters as the heading of the description of the Purchase Requisition.

Description

If the item number from TEAM is entered, the description of the item will automatically be printed. If TEAM is not used, then brand name or equal specification, the general name of the items, e.g., air blowers, automobiles, etc., should be listed first; the manufacturer and model number of the item should follow immediately.

When using a brand name specification, the words "OR EQUAL" must be inserted to inform vendors that alternate bids will be considered. Literature should be requested to accompany any alternate bid which can verify that the alternate bid complies with the specifications. The description should contain the essential requirements that clarify the quality level or indicate the features that are important to the function of the item/service being purchased.

Make sure the paper Purchase Requisition and any attachments are in compliance with the following:

  • Legible for photocopying
  • Neatly typed
  • Free of typographical errors

The information entered on the requisition is a reflection on the agency and the State of West Virginia. Please insist on high quality work. Improperly completed requisitions or inferior quality will be returned to the agency for correction.

4.5 Research the Market: When preparing specifications, it may be necessary to research the market to gain a better understanding of equipment, its technology, compatibility and availability.

4.5.1 Request for Information (RFI): The Purchasing Division recognizes only one formal method for requesting written information from vendors for the purpose of developing a Request for Quotation (RFQ) or a Request for Proposal (RFP). That method is a Request for Information (RFI).

An RFI shall be used at the discretion of the agency or the Purchasing Division; it is not a mandatory prerequisite to the issuance of an RFQ or an RFP. An RFI should be used when appropriate expertise or information is lacking to develop adequate specifications for an RFQ or RFP. This process allows for the assistance of multiple vendors who have expertise and can provide information in the area of concern.

RFI’s can be processed at the agency delegated level ($10,000 or less) but most commonly by the Purchasing Division for high dollar procurements. RFI’s for commodities and services over $10,000 should be advertised by the Purchasing Division. An RFI shall not be used to make an award of a purchase order and/or contract.

4.5.2 Trade-In: The trade-in process, as with other methods of disposition, requires two steps: approval of the initial request and final approval after bids have been submitted (which is required before award.)

Before considering trading in existing equipment toward the purchase of new equipment, agencies must have the prior written consent of the West Virginia State Agency for Surplus Property (WVSASP) for any dollar amount. When soliciting bids, prices must be requested both with and without trade-in offers from the vendors to facilitate an accurate comparison by WVSASP, and also to establish a value for the new equipment for inventory purposes. For example:

Purchase Price Trade-in Value Total Price
$1,500 $500 $1,000
$1,200 N/A $1,200

It is important to note that the value of the new equipment without consideration of the trade-in allowance is the value to be used for determining the purchase process and also the value to be reflected on the agency’s fixed asset inventory. A trade-in allowance does not allow a state agency to alter or circumvent the purchasing process.

When agencies request to exchange existing equipment on a ‘trade-in’ basis when purchasing new equipment, value is a determining factor in processing the request. If the value of the new equipment is less than $10,000, and the original cost of the proposed trade-in item is more than $1,000, the buying agency must submit a WVFIMS cover sheet to WVSASP requesting authorization to trade a piece of equipment in on the purchase.

In addition to the WVFIMS cover sheet, three written bids supplied by vendors must also be attached. If approved by WVSASP, this approval will be electronically transmitted to the agency via the WVFIMS Fixed Asset system. Upon receipt by WVSASP of an awarded purchase order produced by the agency, WVSASP will approve the transaction by removing the items from the agency’s inventory.

If the original cost of the item to be traded in is less than $1,000, and is not listed on the WVFIMS Fixed Asset system, a WV-103 retirement form can be sent to WVSASP in lieu of the WVFIMS cover sheet.

If the value of the items to be purchased is greater than $10,000, a copy of the requisition which was submitted to the Acquisition and Contract Administration Section of the Purchasing Division should be supplied to WVSASP along with the proper form documenting retirement of the item requested to be used as trade-in. If the trade-in is approved, WVSASP will forward a signed copy of the WV-103 or WVFIMS cover sheet with a status of "AAP" to the buyer who will then award the purchase order. Upon receipt by WVSASP of this awarded purchase order from the agency requesting the trade-in, WVSASP will approve the transaction by removing the item from the agency’s inventory.

Only one-for-one trade-in will be considered, and items may be traded only for the same type of item. Trade-ins will not be authorized for items purchased from statewide contacts or sole source vendors, unless it is in the best interest of the state and approved by WVSASP. For additional information on trading in equipment, please see Appendix G.

4.6 Define Sources: In the planning process, it is important the review all internal sources and mandatory resources as detailed below.

4.6.1 Internal Sources, Considerations and Approvals

4.6.1.1 Surplus Property: Since the enactment of House Bill 202 which passed in 1949, the Surplus Property Program has been assisting thousands of organizations by offering good, usable property at a substantially reduced price. Public agencies and non-profit groups should turn to the West Virginia State Agency for Surplus Property as a solution to limited budgeted dollars. However, once realizing the true benefits of the program, eligible organizations return to the Surplus Property facility to obtain high quality new and used products even when dollars are available.

The West Virginia State Agency for Surplus Property operates a state and federal surplus property program. When a particular public agency no longer needs a piece of property, the Surplus Property Program extends the usage of that property by offering it to its many eligible program participants.

The State Property Program consists of property no longer needed within state government agencies which is made available to eligible public and nonprofit organizations. The property may also be made available to the public through competitive public auctions and sealed bids.

In addition to the State Property Program, a Federal Property Program is administered. Screening property at the federal government facilities provides us with a greater quantity and variety of items to make available to eligible organizations. The program serves all eligible organizations and acts as a clearinghouse by offering new and used equipment at reduced costs for acquisition. With the federal program, agencies may express their property needs and be placed on a "want list." Federal property screeners will then look for suitable property that may fulfill the agency’s needs. The foundation of the WV State Agency for Surplus Property is to extend the life and usage of state and federal property.

In addition to the availability of surplus property, another function of this program is to approve the disposal of property no longer needed by the agencies (including trade-ins against the purchase of new property).

Agencies do not have authority to dispose of any property regardless of value without written approval from the WV State Agency for Surplus Property. All methods of property disposal must be coordinated through Surplus Property.

State agencies are encouraged to refer to the West Virginia Surplus Property Program Reference Manual (see Appendix H) or visit its website at www.state.wv.us/admin/purchase/surplus.

Any questions concerning the disposal or sale of state surplus property should be directed to the WV State Agency for Surplus Property at the address below:

West Virginia State Agency for Surplus Property
2700 Charles Avenue
Dunbar, West Virginia 25064

(304) 766-2626

4.6.1.2 Commodities and Services Provided by Correctional Industries: In accordance with 28-5B-4 of the West Virginia Code, all state agencies must purchase commodities and services from Correctional Industries whenever possible. These commodities and services must meet certain quality and price standards which are comparable to open-market sources. Use of Correctional Industries does not require bidding.

Correctional Industries offer a wide variety of products and services to state agencies. In addition to being the preferred contractor for wooden furniture, they also provide chairs, janitorial supplies for flooring, signs, mattresses, soap, cloth materials (towels, sheets, pillow cases, wash and dish clothes, blankets), furniture refinishing and re-upholstery, and printing and quick copy services. Correctional Industries is the sole source supplier for all printing and quick copy services.

Correctional Industries offer a 100% guarantee on all products and services. They also offer delivery services to your specified destination. For specific information on available commodities and services, contact Correctional Industries at 558-6054.

4.6.1.3 Commodities and Services Provided by Sheltered Workshops: All state agencies are required by 5A-3-10 of the West Virginia Code to purchase commodities and services from sheltered workshops whenever such commodities and services are available and meet certain quality and price standards which are comparable to open-market sources. Use of sheltered workshops does not require bidding; however, all purchase orders must be issued in the name of the West Virginia Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (WVARF) to qualify for state use.

The West Virginia Association of Rehabilitation Facilities is the approved Central Nonprofit Agency designated by state law to develop, promote, market and manage the State Use Program in West Virginia. The types of products and services offered by the state’s 30 sheltered workshops include janitorial services, presort mail and data entry. For specific information on the sheltered workshops or the available commodities and services, contact WVARF at 766-4894.

4.6.1.4 Technology: Special considerations and approvals must be taken for technology purchases. In accordance with 5-1B-5 of the West Virginia Code, all requisitions for technology items (computer equipment, software and services, telecommunications, medical equipment) must be accompanied by written approval by the Governor’s Office of Technology and the Information Services and Communications Division.

All technology purchases $10,000 or less that are not on a statewide contract, require a copy of the agency purchase order to be sent to the Governor’s Office of Technology after award. Information Services and Communications (IS&C) Division maintains an electronic bulletin board which posts specifications for personal computers and peripherals, which agencies must use at any dollar amount. All specifications for telecommunications must be approved by IS&C prior to bidding, regardless of the estimated value.

4.6.1.5 Other Considerations: Depending upon the commodity, there are certain requirements to consider when preparing specifications.

If the contract requires a craft identified in the prevailing wage scale, a provision requiring payment of the prevailing wage rates should become a part of the specification. Other considerations should include the contractor’s license, certificate of insurance, and Workers’ Compensation, unemployment compensation, and bonds.

Required Attachments: A No Debt Affidavit is a required attachment on all written request for quotations (RFQ). In addition, the Resident Vendor Preference Certificate is attached to all RFQ’s with the exception of construction projects. (see Appendix B)

4.6.2 Mandatory Contracts

4.6.2.1 Statewide Contracts: West Virginia Code, 5A-3-5, authorizes the Purchasing Director to promulgate and adopt standard specifications based on scientific and technical data for appropriate commodities and services, which establishes the quality to which such commodities and services to be purchased and services to be contracted for by the state must conform. These standard specifications are used to establish statewide contracts for commodities that are needed on a repetitive basis and are established for the benefit of state spending units. (See Appendix E).

No agency may be exempt from using statewide contracts without prior written approval from the Purchasing Director.

Use of the State Purchasing Card shall not to be used to circumvent purchases from established contracts.

4.6.2.2 Agency Open-End Contracts (Over $10,000): Upon request by the state agency, the Purchasing Division establishes agency open-end contracts through competitive bid for commodities and services needed on a repetitive basis. Once established, the agency is required to use this contract.

Piggybacking on agency open-end contracts is not permitted, unless the contract(s) permit piggybacking.

4.6.2.3 Agency Delegated Contracts ($10,000 or Less): The agency is required to use its established contracts through the life of the contract. Piggybacking on agency delegated open-end contracts is not permitted.

4.6.3 Piggybacking Contracts: In accordance with 5A-3-19 of the West Virginia Code, the Purchasing Director "may, upon the recommendation of a state spending unit, make purchases from the federal government, from federal government contracts or from the University of West Virginia Board of Trustees or Board of Directors of the State College System contracts, if available and financially advantageous."

The following guidelines and requirements relate to these types of purchases:

  • Requests for commodities and/services that exceed $75,000 must be competitively bid following all Purchasing Division requirements. Exceptions based on overwhelming evidence must be submitted, in writing, to the Purchasing Division to be discussed with the Cabinet Secretary of the Department of Administration or his designee;
  • Requests may not be split or ‘strung out’ to circumvent the $75,000 limit;
  • Requests that fall between $10,000 and $75,000 must be submitted through the Purchasing Division as a Direct Purchase Order. The requests must contain a copy of the contract, an original price confirmation quotation from the vendor, and proof that the requested purchase is ‘financially advantageous’ as mandated by law. Additionally, the request must contain specific agency approvals (IS&C, CTO, etc.), if applicable;
  • Purchases less than $10,000 are delegated to state agencies. Documentation of the purchase must contain a copy of the contract, an original price confirmation quotation from the vendor, and proof that the requested purchase is ‘financially advantageous’ as mandated by law. Additionally, the request must contain specific agency approvals (IS&C, CTO, etc.), if applicable;
  • Trade-in of existing equipment as a deduction from the purchase price of new equipment from a federal contract or higher education contract is expressly prohibited;
  • State agencies are not authorized to obtain commodities and/or services from agency contracts, unless the contract(s) permits piggybacking.

4.7 Preparation of the Requisition

4.7.1 Types of Transactions: Identified below are six (6) types of purchases: one-time/single purchases; term contracts; professional service contracts; emergency purchases; lease and lease-purchases; and direct purchases.

4.7.1.1 One-Time/Single Purchase: This method is used to purchase commodities or services that are not considered repetitive. State agencies must submit a completed Purchase Requisition (WV-35) to the Purchasing Division and a completed WVFIMS cover sheet.

4.7.1.2 Open-End Contracts: The Purchasing Division issues both statewide contracts and agency open-end contracts. The Purchasing Division, at its discretion or upon request of any state agency, may establish a contract for specific commodities and services required. These open-end contracts are convenient for recurrent purchases. (For agency open-end contracts, the state agency determines its specific needs and submits a Purchase Requisition (WV-35) to the Purchasing Division for competitive bid.)

After the contract is established, a "release" is required to order commodities or services.

Releases

Requiring Purchasing Division Approval: Some contract releases require the advanced approval of the Purchasing Division. When this is a requirement, it will be stated in the ordering procedures contained in the open-end contract. A Purchase Requisition, WV-35, is used for this type of release order. The WV-35 should be clearly identified as a "Special Release Order". A WVFIMS coversheet must be submitted with the Purchase Requisition.

Not Requiring Purchasing Division Approval: Most releases do not require approval from the Purchasing Division. A Release Order, WV-39 or TEAM Purchase Order (See Appendix B) is usually used for commodity-type purchases. This form is submitted by the state agency directly to the vendor.

Agencies should always refer to the ordering procedures on all statewide contracts for proper instructions.

4.7.1.3 Professional Service Contracts: These contracts are used to obtain specific professional expertise which is not available within state government. Examples of professional services may be legal, architectural, medical, dental, engineering, and other consultant services.

All needs for professional services estimated to cost in excess of $10,000 must be bid through the Purchasing Division, unless specifically exempt. (See Section 9)

4.7.1.4 Emergency Purchases: In accordance with 5A-3-15 of the West Virginia Code, purchases may be necessary when unforeseen causes arise; however, emergency purchases are not used for hardship resulting from neglect, poor planning, or lack of organization by the spending unit.

An emergency purchase is a purchase which can be made only if and after the Purchasing Director, exercising sound judgment and discretion, concludes in good faith and upon reasonable and sufficient grounds that some unforeseen or unexpected circumstance has suddenly created a situation requiring that commodities or services be immediately purchased by a state spending unit and the Purchasing Director in writing authorizes such a purchase. A report of any such purchase, together with a record of competitive bids upon which it was based, is to be submitted to the Purchasing Director.

4.7.1.4.1 Emergency Purchases $10,000 or Less: A minimum of three bids, if possible, should be obtained. Original written bids and written agency justification shall be attached to the agency file. An Agency Purchase Order, WV-88, or a TEAM generated Purchase Order, is required if the purchase exceeds $1,000.

4.7.1.4.2 Emergency Purchases over $10,000: When an emergency situation occurs during normal business hours, verbal approval of the Purchasing Director or his or her designee must be obtained prior to making a purchase or execution of any work. A written explanation must be provided immediately. If an emergency occurs after business hours, on a holiday or weekend, the state agency may proceed with the emergency purchase and provide immediate written justification of the action to the Purchasing Director on the first working day following the emergency.

A minimum of three bids (if possible) shall be obtained. The awarded vendor must be property registered with the Purchasing Division. Original written bids shall be attached to the Purchase Requisition, and submitted to the Purchasing Division with a letter of justification or a copy of the Director's or designee's written approval along with the Purchase Requisition and a completed WVFIMS cover sheet.

4.7.1.5 Leases and Lease Purchases: Lease and lease purchase of equipment are methods by which a state agency may obtain equipment and make payments for the use of the equipment over a period of time.

Leases and lease purchases are subject to annual funding authority of the Legislature. The state agency must provide the required funding over the life of the agreement. A reduction in funds or an administrative freeze shall not be sufficient justification to cancel a lease or lease purchase agreement. No lease or lease purchase can be canceled without approval of the Purchasing Division.

State agencies may be authorized by the Purchasing Division to purchase equipment currently under lease if the Purchasing Division competitively bid the lease originally. Each request will be evaluated on its own merits by the Purchasing Division. Approval is required by the Purchasing Division.

The minimum purchase cost to consider a lease-purchase as an option is $100,000. Borrowing money is discouraged; however, if it is critical to the operation of the agency, a letter of justification must be prepared, signed by the agency head, and submitted to the Purchasing Division. A contract for financing is available to all agencies through the Finance Division of the Department of Administration.

4.7.1.6 Direct Purchases (Sole Source): In a direct purchase situation, competition is not available. The commodity or service is only available from one source.

Regardless of the dollar amount, written justification is required with the following criteria to be used by the Purchasing Division to determine validity of the request:

A. Requested vendor is the only known source, or;

B. The items are of a unique or special nature, and;

C. The request is not an attempt to circumvent the normal bidding procedures.

4.7.1.6.1 Direct Purchases $10,000 or Less: If an item is unique and possesses specific characteristics that are available from only one source, an Agency Purchase Order must be completed.

A written, signed quotation from the sole source vendor and written justification from the state agency for purchases over $1,000 must be obtained. Fax quotations are permitted. A specific description, terms, FOB point of shipment, and price must be included in the signed quotation. (A quotation may also be accepted on the vendor's letterhead).

4.7.1.6.2 Direct Purchases over $10,000: Whenever an item is unique and possesses specific characteristics that are available from only one source, a Purchase Requisition marked "Direct Purchase" must be completed and sent to the Purchasing Division.

An original, signed bid quotation from the sole source vendor must also be submitted with the completed Purchase Requisition (WV-35). A specific description, terms, FOB shipping point, and price must be included in the signed quotation. (The quotation may be on the vendor's letterhead).

Direct Purchases require a completed WVFIMS agency cover sheet; an original signed vendor quotation; a signed letter of justification from the agency and, if the vendor offers alternate terms and conditions, an Agreement Addendum (WV-96).

4.7.2 Terms and Conditions: Terms and conditions are included to express the intent of the state of West Virginia. General terms and conditions are a part of every written solicitation issued through the Purchasing Division. (See Appendix B). Information and assistance in the preparation or use of additional special terms and conditions not contained in this manual may be obtained by contacting the Purchasing Division.

4.7.3 Life of Contract: Contracts normally cover a 12-month period or cite a specific time for completion for the project or service. A solicitation for a contract that includes an option on the part of the state to extend or renew the contract for an additional period may be advantageous and may be considered. If price adjustments are permitted during the contract period, the conditions under which they are authorized must be specified in the original solicitation and resulting contract. All contracts should be reviewed during the contract period to determine if the need still exists for the commodities or services, if prices are fair and reasonable based on the current market conditions, and if performance is satisfactory.

4.7.4 Renewals: The standard terms and conditions used by the Purchasing indicate a specified date, on which the contract becomes effective, and extend for a period of one year or until such "reasonable time" thereafter as is necessary to obtain a new contract or renew the original contract. The "reasonable time" period shall not exceed twelve months. During this "reasonable" time, the vendor may terminate the contract for any reason upon giving the Purchasing Director 30 days written notice.

Unless specific provisions are stipulated in the contract document, the terms, conditions and pricing established are firm for the life of the contract.

Contracts that contain renewal provisions may be renewed upon the mutual written consent of the spending unit and vendor, submitted to the Purchasing Director 30 days prior to the expiration date. A letter of justification must also be included, stating pertinent reasons for its recommendation to renew the existing contract. These factors include, but are not limited to, vendor performance, market conditions and other analytical measures which indicate that renewing the contract is in the best interest of the state.

Renewals shall be in accordance with the terms and conditions of the original contract and are limited to two successive one year periods.

4.7.5 Contract Cancellation: The Purchasing Director reserves the right to cancel any contract or purchase order upon written notice to the vendor if the commodities and services supplied are of an inferior quality or do not conform with the specifications of the bid and contract.

4.7.6 Pre-Bid Conferences: When appropriate, the Purchasing Division recommends that agencies conduct "pre-bid conferences" on major acquisitions early in the solicitation cycle to provide an opportunity to emphasize and clarify critical aspects of the solicitation, eliminate misunderstandings and encourage vendor participation. These conferences are conducted by the state agency with potential bidders when solicitations for complex, large dollar requirements are specified. If time permits, the Purchasing Division may be represented to answer questions.

Attendance at conferences or on-site visits may be optional or mandatory. If mandatory attendance is required, only bids or proposals from those firms represented at the conference or on-site visits shall be accepted.

Sign-in sheets for mandatory pre-bid conferences must contain the following: name of company, person attending (signature and printed name), address, telephone number, facsimile number. The header information on the sheets should include the requisition number and the date and time of the pre-bid conference. The original sheet must be submitted to the Purchasing Division. No one individual may represent more than one firm. (See Appendix I).

It is recommended that pre-bid conferences be scheduled on Tuesdays through Thursdays, between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to encourage more participation.

A sample agenda for a pre-bid conference is as follows:

Purchasing Representative:

  • Provide the "sign in sheet".

  • Make available a few extra copies of the RFP.

  • Purchasing representative offers opening remarks. (Welcome attendees and introduce yourself.)

  • Remind all attendees to complete the "sign in" sheet. (Emphasize the importance of the "sign in" sheet.)

  • Identify the project by RFP number and generic scope of work.

  • Introduce the user agency representatives.

  • Review important general information items:

  • Inquiries

  • Vendor Registration

  • Oral Statements

  • Proposal submission process.

  • Schedule of events.

  • Bonding Requirements (Bid, performance, litigation, etc.

  • Introduce Agency Representative and explain that the agency will conduct the meeting through part two (2) and three (3) the technical specifications sections.

Agency Representatives:

Agency personnel will open for discussion item by item part two (2) and three (3) of the technical specifications for open discussion by all attendees. Items that all parties agree need to be amended by addendum will be recorded by the agency to aid in preparing the addendum. All questions that can not be addressed or the agency needs additional time to consider should be "deferred" until the addendum is issued. One the discussion of the technical specifications is concluded the agency representatives should turn the meeting back over the Purchasing representative to discuss "General Terms and Conditions", part 3, section 4 of the RFP.

Purchasing Representative:

Purchasing representative will discuss part the "General Terms & Conditions" (part 3.4 of the proposal) and then proceed to part four (4) of the RFP. (Format, evaluation, cost proposals and Minimum acceptable score (MAS) concept.)

Both Agency and Purchasing:

Review items to be included in the addendum if at all possible. Items "deferred" just remind attendees the information will be addressed in the addendum after management has had an opportunity to consider the issue.

Closing remarks and thank everyone for attending.

4.7.7 Response Time: When establishing an opening date and time, buyers and/or agency personnel should allow for holiday mail disruptions as well as time required for vendors to respond.

4.7.8 Evaluation Period: After bids are opened, a review and evaluation of the bids received is required. The time required for this function varies depending upon the complexity of the solicitation and the number of bids or proposals received.

4.8 Identify Possible Vendors: In order to achieve the goal of competitive bidding, a minimum of three bids is required, when possible.

Agency personnel are encouraged to use West Virginia vendors for delegated purchases, when possible, while maintaining compliance with state purchasing guidelines. The Purchasing Division has developed a variety of initiatives to enhance competition by increasing the number of West Virginia vendors, including annual vendor purchasing conferences (targeting only West Virginia vendors) and onsite visits.

Locating vendors selling a particular product or service can be performed in a number of ways, including:

Agencies are encouraged to suggest to the Purchasing Division buyer potential vendors who may be qualified to bid on the solicitation. It is important to offer the vendor’s name and mailing address.

4.9 Federal Funding Requirements: Any requisition utilizing federal funding which includes special requirements in addition to or different than normal purchasing requirements must be identified when submitted. All special requirements, particularly regarding advertising, must be provided in a separate memorandum and attached to the requisition.

Back to the Table of Contents