The procurement of certain commodities and services have limitations or require special procedures.

8.1 Architectural/Engineering

8.1.1 Projects Exceeding $250,000: In the procurement of architectural and engineering services (includes those professional services of an architectural or engineering nature) for projects estimated to exceed $250,000 (construction cost and architectural fees), an Expression of Interest shall be requested of interested firms by the Purchasing Division. Special procedures in the selection of architectural and engineering services are required in accordance with 5G of the West Virginia Code.

The expression of interest shall include a statement of qualifications and performance data, and may include anticipated concepts and proposed methods of approach to the project. The project must be announced by public notice.

An evaluation committee shall consist of three to five representatives of the agency. The committee shall:

(a) Evaluate the statements of qualifications and performance data and other material submitted;

(b) Develop a "short list" (minimum of three [3] firms) which, in their opinion, are best qualified to perform the desired service;

(c) Interview each firm on the "short list" and discuss anticipated concepts and proposed methods of approach to the assignment, including clarification of qualifications and performance data, the scope of services offered, and needed time to complete project.

The Committee will then rank no less than three (3) firms deemed to be the most highly qualified on the basis of the matters discussed during the interview, in order of preference, and present such list to the state agency and the Purchasing Division. The committee will then commence negotiations as to scope of service and price with the highest qualified firm. The committee will forward its recommendation to the Purchasing Division along with a written justification as to the selection of the firm. The justification must provide a score sheet with complete explanation of all points deducted to clearly indicate how the firms were ranked.

If the agency fails to negotiate a satisfactory contract with the highest qualified firm at a fee determined to be fair and reasonable, negotiations as to scope of services and price with the firm of second choice will commence. Failing that, negotiations as to scope of service and price will be undertaken with the third most qualified firm. In no situation, after negotiations have been terminated with a firm, will negotiations be reopened.

If the agency fails to negotiate a satisfactory contract with any of the selected firms, in order of their competence and qualifications, they will rebid.

8.1.2 Projects $250,000 or Less: In the procurement of architectural and engineering services for projects estimated to cost less than $250,000 (construction cost and architectural fee), competition shall be sought by the agency.

The agency shall conduct discussions with three (3) or more firms solicited on the basis of known or submitted qualifications for the assignment, scope of services and price prior to the awarding of any contract.

The agency and the initially selected firm shall develop the scope of services and price. If negotiations fail to result in a satisfactory contract, the agency may commence negotiations with the next ranked firm in the same manner, continuing until a satisfactory contract is negotiated.

If a judgement is made that special circumstances exist and that seeking competition is not practical, the agency may, with the prior approval of the Purchasing Director, select a firm on the basis of previous satisfactory performance and knowledge of the facilities and agency’s needs.

8.2 Capitol Improvements

8.2.1 State Capitol Complex: Pursuant to the West Virginia Code, 4-8-5, any contracts or purchase orders relating to renovations to any building within the Capitol Complex shall not be bid or executed until approval has been obtained by the General Services Division of the Department of Administration.

The Code requires the General Services Division to review and either approve or reject all plans recommending substantial physical changes inside or outside the state capitol building or surrounding complex, including the public meeting rooms, hallways and grounds which affect the appearance thereof. The surrounding complex shall include the governor’s mansion and other buildings used by the governor as part of his residence, the state science and cultural center, all state office buildings located in the immediate vicinity of the state capitol, and the roadways, structures and facilities which are incidental to such buildings. Substantial physical change means any permanent physical changes that alter the appearance of the public areas of the capitol building and surrounding complex.

The approval of the General Services Division is mandatory [1] before any contract may be bid for work requiring a substantial physical change, or [2] before changes are initiated if the work is not done under a contract.

8.2.2 State-Owned Office Buildings: Any agency that anticipates a large equipment acquisition requiring building alterations, including but not limited to, electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling, and renovation, shall have the prior approval of the General Services Division before submission of the requisition to the Purchasing Division.

8.3 Data Processing Equipment/Software: The West Virginia Code, 5-1B-4 (a)(3), requires that the Chief Technology Office (CTO), in conjunction with the Information Services & Communications Division (IS&C) of the Department of Administration, review and approve all data processing procurements for state agencies.

State agencies may process computer hardware, software and consulting services with an estimated value of less than $10,000 without CTO approval, but must provide copies of agency purchase orders to the CTO. All purchases of computer hardware, software and consulting services in excess of $10,000 must have prior approval of the CTO's office before it can be processed. Such proposed purchases must be submitted to IS&C for review and evaluation, and the results will be forwarded to the CTO's Office for final approval. Computer hardware and software standards are posted on the state web page. .

8.4 Design Services/Consultant: Any individual, corporation, or firm (except as provided by a statewide contract) paid to custom design or write specifications for a modular office system, computer system, construction or any other project or contract shall not be permitted to competitively bid to provide the product or service that was designed. This removes the possibility of the designer developing specifications that only the designer can meet or restrict another vendor from meeting. This also prevents the appearance of any impropriety, thereby protecting the integrity of the competitive bid process.

Agencies may call vendors for information or copies of specifications for consideration of a particular brand or manufacturer without jeopardizing the vendor's ability to compete in the bid process as long as the vendor does not receive compensation or any form of favoritism.

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

In a direct purchase situation, competition is not available; the products or services are only available from one known source. (This differs from a proprietary purchase where the products or services are manufactured or performed by one company, but are sold through distributors and competition can be obtained.)

Written justification must be provided with the Purchase Requisition. The following criteria will 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.

An original, signed bid quotation from the sole source vendor must also be submitted with the completed Purchase Requisition and agency justification. 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).

8.6 Emergency Purchases: In accordance with 5A-3-15 of the West Virginia Code, purchases may be necessary to be made 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.

When an emergency situation occurs during normal business hours, verbal approval of the Purchasing Director or his/her designee must be obtained prior to making a purchase or execution of any work. A written explanation must be provided immediately via facsimile which should include the estimated cost. 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. Original, signed 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.

8.7 Lease/Lease Purchase of Equipment: 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 price for this method should be $100,000. Borrowing money is discouraged; however, if it is critical to the operation to gain financial assistance, it is vital to prepare a letter of justification and submit to the Purchasing Division. A mandatory statewide contract for financing is available to all agencies.

8.8 Legal Services: Agencies should solicit competition pursuant to normal purchasing guidelines for legal services under $10,000. For such services over $10,000, agencies shall submit requests to the Purchasing Division. The Attorney General’s Office must approve all legal service contracts regardless of the amount prior to submission of the Agreement.

8.9 Maintenance

Software: All software maintenance shall be a direct purchase with the dollar limitations for the purchase determining the process used. (Under $10,000, the agency issues the Direct Purchase Order. Over $10,000, the Purchasing Division issues the Direct Purchase Order.) The Governor’s Office of Technology shall review software maintenance agreements or changes to existing agreements prior to submission to the Purchasing Division.

Equipment: If more than one factory authorized representative is available within the 50 mile radius, bids must be obtained according to the proper procedure. When only one factory authorized maintenance provider is available in the immediate area (within 50 miles of the user agency), a direct purchase can be requested with the current dollar limits dictating who executes the purchase order

8.10 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:

8.11 Prevailing Wage Rates: Prevailing wage rates are hourly labor and fringe benefit rates established annually by the West Virginia Division of Labor on a county by county basis to be paid for all work involving various crafts and labor. Prevailing wage rates must be mandated in all contracts where a particular craft or trade has been identified in the wage rate schedule.

8.12 Printing and Printing Equipment: All printing and binding services must be performed by Correctional Industries or a letter of refusal must be attached to the Purchase Requisition (over $10,000), or maintained with agency invoice/purchase order file ($10,000 or less). Correctional Industries must approve the purchase of copiers with a volume of 90+ copies per minute (cpm) and all color copiers.

8.13 Professional Services: Professional service contracts provide a mechanism to acquire specific professional expertise. Legal, architectural, medical, dental, engineering, and other consultant services are best suitable for such contracts. These services should provide a direct benefit to the overall operation of the state and the purchase orders are restricted to the use of the originating agency only.

8.13.1 Over $10,000: Professional services estimated to cost in excess of $10,000 must be processed through the Purchasing Division to assure adequate distribution, timely notification to the public, and assurance that proper criteria will be used for evaluation and award.

Some professional services are acquired by the Request for Proposal (RFP) method (See Section 7); however, other methods such as a Request for Quotation or Direct Purchase such as an Agreement may be used, if appropriate.

8.13.2 $10,000 or Less: Professional services $10,000 or less may be acquired through a variety of methods, including competitive bid (Request for Quotation) or Direct Purchase using an Agreement.

8.13.3 Forms: An agreement for professional or consulting services in any amount requires the Agreement, (WV-48). (See Appendix B). This form alleviates the need to create complicated legal forms depending upon the complexity of the project. By utilizing the form, whose content and format have previously been approved, the agency will aid in the prompt processing of the contract.

The Agreement Questionnaire, (WV-50), (See Appendix B) is required with the Agreement form when procuring professional services without formal bidding. The purpose of the questionnaire is to document the scope of the project, to explain the selection process and to project the results expected to be attained by forming this agreement.

8.14 Rentals: Rentals require an Agreement Addendum [WV-96] and shall not exceed 30 days.

8.15 Resale Items: Items that are acquired specifically for resale by the state agency to the general public shall be selected on the basis of quality and customer demand. Agencies are permitted to specify the only acceptable brand in order to provide maximum customer satisfaction and acceptability. Normal bidding procedures must be followed.

8.16 Telecommunications Systems: All telephone systems with a total cost (purchase price or total of lease purchase payments, including maintenance if selected by the agency at the time of award) over $10,000 must be bid through the Purchasing Division. Upgrading of existing systems may be considered a sole source purchase if the displaced equipment represents less than 50% of the present day dollar value of the existing equipment, and the equipment remains under the terms and conditions of its original maintenance agreement. Expansion of existing systems not involving an upgrade and/or added features may be considered sole source purchases if the equipment remains under the terms and conditions of its original maintenance agreement.

All telecommunications systems, upgrades, and expansions regardless of cost must be approved prior to bidding by the Information Services and Communications Division. All telecommunications purchase orders greater than $10,000 must be approved by the Chief Technology Officer of the Governor’s Office of Technology. Evaluation of bids will include installation, training and post-warranty maintenance. This policy is vitally important to maintain the integrity and compatibility of the state’s massive voice and data telecommunications system.

8.17 Vehicles: Approval by the Fleet Management Office is required to purchase vehicles, unless statutorily exempt. Any request to increase an agency’s fleet size or to obtain options requires a written justification and must be approved by the Purchasing Director. Vehicles ordered from the statewide contract, with options not included on the statewide contract, require a written quote (dealer cost) from the vendor, written agency justification, and approval of the Purchasing Director.

8.18 WVU/Marshall University Research Corporations: The WVU and Marshall University Research corporations are not-for-profit corporations designated by the respective universities to fulfill the provisions of the West Virginia Code pertaining to the role of public institutions to work in partnership with business, industry or government. They encourage the sharing of facilities, equipment and skilled personnel to promote and develop joint, applied research and development, technical assistance and instructional programs in West Virginia.

Requests by state agencies for projects to be performed by either of these corporations must be approved by the Purchasing Director prior to any work being performed. The research corporation involved must certify in writing that at least 75% of the dollars and 51% of the labor will be expended internally by the research corporation.

Back to the Table of Contents