2.1 Scope: When using this handbook, it is important to begin by defining various terms that are used in the state procurement process and in other programs administered by the Purchasing Division. Below are several of these terms and their definitions:

Agency - For the purpose of this handbook, “agency” has the same meaning as “spending unit.” This definition includes any department, bureau, division, office, board, commission, authority, agency, or institution of state government for which an appropriation is requested by the Governor, or to which an appropriation is made by the Legislature, unless a specific exemption from West Virginia Code §5A-1 is provided.

Agency Delegated Open-End Contract - A legal and binding instrument between the state agency and a vendor to exclusively provide a commodity which was competitively bid, evaluated, awarded and maintained by the state agency. This contract is for purchases under $25,000 annually and for commodities and services that are frequently purchased that are not on a statewide contract.

Agency Delegated Purchase Order - A transaction which may be used by an agency to procure items within its delegated small purchase authority.

Agency Open-End Contract - A legal and binding instrument between the state agency and a vendor to exclusively provide a commodity which was competitively bid, evaluated, and awarded by the Purchasing Division and maintained by the state agency. This contract may be for unlimited dollars and for commodities or services that are frequently purchased that are not on a statewide contract.

Award Date - For purchases over $25,000, the award date is the date of encumbrance by the Purchasing Division.

Best Value Procurement - Purchasing methods used in awarding a contract based on evaluating and comparing all established quality criteria where cost is not the sole determining factor in the award. This includes Request for Proposals (RFP) and Expression of Interest (EOI).

Bid – Anything that a vendor submits in response to a solicitation that constitutes an offer to the State and includes, but is not limited to, documents submitted in response to request for quotation, proposals submitted in response to a request for proposal, or proposals submitted in response to an expression of interest.

Bid Bond – A bond in which a third party agrees to be liable to pay a certain amount of money in the event a selected bidder fails to accept the contract as bid. This bond is usually five percent (5%) of the total bid amount.

Bid Opening - A firmly established date and time for the public opening of responses to a solicitation.

Buyer - An employee of the Purchasing Division whose primary assignment is purchasing commodities or services on behalf of the state.

Change Order - A document which is used when it becomes necessary to amend, clarify, change or cancel purchasing documents issued by the Purchasing Division.

Commodity - Supplies, materials, equipment, and any other articles or things used by or furnished to a department, agency or institution of state government.

Competitive Bidding - The process by which individuals or firms compete for an opportunity to supply specified commodities and services by submitting an offer in response to a solicitation.

Contract - An agreement between a state spending unit and a vendor relating to the procurement of commodities or services, or both.

Delivery Order - A written order to the contractor authorizing quantities of commodities and/or services to be delivered all in accordance with the terms, conditions, and prices stipulated in the original contract.

Electronic Transmission Any process of communication not directly involving the physical transfer of paper that is suitable for the retention, retrieval and reproduction of information by the recipient.

Emergency - A purchase made when unforeseen circumstances arise, including delays by contractors, delays in transportation and unanticipated volume of work. 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. Emergency purchases are not used for hardship resulting from neglect, poor planning or lack of organization by the spending unit. Failure to plan does not make it an emergency situation.

Encumbrance  - A process which ensures that funding is available for the payments relating to a specific purchase order or contract.

Evaluation of Bids - After the bid opening, the process of examining all offers in order to determine the bidder’s responsibility, responsiveness to requirements, conformance to specifications and other characteristics important to the recommendation or selection for award.

Expendable Commodities - Commodities which, when used in the ordinary course of business, will become consumed or of no market value within the period of one year or less.

Expression of Interest - A Best Value Procurement tool used  for architectural and engineering services which is defined in West Virginia Code §5G-1, as “those professional services of an architectural or engineering nature as well as incidental services that members of those professions and those in their employ may logically or justifiably perform.”

Fixed Assets - Reportable property with an acquisition cost of $1,000 or more and has a life of one (1) year or more.

General Terms and Conditions - Standard clauses and requirements developed by the Purchasing Division and incorporated into solicitations and resulting contracts .

Grant - The furnishing of assistance, financial or otherwise, to any person or entity to support a program authorized by law.

Labor and Materials Payment Bond - A bond submitted by the apparent successful vendor upon request of the state to ensure payment of labor and materials purchased or contracted for on behalf of the state in a construction project.

Lease - A written agreement between the owner of equipment (lessor) and a state agency (lessee) by which the owner agrees to give the agency permission to use the equipment for a predetermined fee (rental) for a period exceeding thirty (30) days. Title does not pass from the lessor to the lessee.

Lease Purchase - A written agreement in which the lease payments are applied, in whole or in part, as installment payments for equity or ownership upon completion of the agreement. Title transfers with the last installment payment to the lessee.

Maintenance Bond - A bond provided as a warranty of normally two (2) years, which is required on roofing projects.

Mandatory Terms - All terms and conditions in the written specification which are absolute and the compliance with cannot be waived. Failure to comply with mandatory terms shall require the vendor to be disqualified. Mandatory terms are indicated by the use of the terms shall, will or must.

Non-Mandatory Terms - All terms and conditions in the written specification which are not absolute. Non-mandatory terms are indicated by the use of the terms may, should, preferred or could, and are understood to be permissive and shall not be used to disqualify any vendor.

Non-profit Workshops - An establishment where manufacture or handiwork is carried on, which is operated either by a public agency, a cooperative, a nonprofit private corporation, or non-profit association, in which no part of the net earning inures, or may lawfully inure, to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. It is operated for the primary purpose of providing remunerative employment to blind or severely disabled persons who cannot be absorbed into the competitive labor market and which shall be approved, as evidenced by a certificate of approval, by the State Board of Vocational Education, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Notice to Proceed - A formal written communication most often used in construction contracts to establish the date for work to commence and determines the date for completion.

Open-End Contract - A generic term used for a contract that covers a period of time in which all terms, conditions and prices are specified with the exception of quantity.

Performance Bond – A bond in which a surety agrees to be liable to pay a certain amount of money in the event a vendor fails to perform a contract as bid. This bond is usually for the full amount of the contract.

Piggybacking - Utilizing any existing open-end contract of the federal government, agencies of other states, other public bodies or other state agencies to which the requesting agency was not an original party. Piggybacking requires prior approval by the Purchasing Director.

Pre-bid Conference - A meeting between vendors and agency personnel which offers an opportunity to emphasize and clarify critical aspects of a solicitation, eliminates misunderstanding and permits vendor input. Vendor attendance may be mandatory or voluntary as specified in the bid document.

Printing - Services including printing, binding, ruling, lithographing, engraving and other similar services.

Procurement - The buying, purchasing, renting, leasing or otherwise obtaining of commodities or services.

Protest - A formal, written complaint filed by a vendor regarding specifications or an award

Public funds - Funds of any character, including federal moneys, belonging to or in the custody of any state spending unit.

Purchase Order - A document issued by the Purchasing Division used to execute a purchase transaction with a vendor. It serves as notice to a vendor that an award has been made.

Purchasing Affidavit - A form required to be completed by all vendors prior to the award of a contract. In accordance with West Virginia Code, 5A-3-10A, no contract or renewal of any contract may be awarded by the state or any of its political subdivisions to any vendor or prospective vendor when the vendor is a debtor and the debt owed is an amount greater than $1,000 in the aggregate.

Purchasing Bulletin – An electronic publication made available on the Vendor Self-Service portal (VSS) as part of the wvOASIS system used to advertise purchases expected to exceed $5,000 for most agencies in West Virginia’s state government.

Removable Property - Any personal property not permanently affixed to or forming a part of real estate.

Renewal -When an existing contract is renewed for an additional time period in accordance with the terms and conditions of the original contract.

Rental - Temporary compensation or fee paid for the use of any equipment usually for a period of less than thirty (30) days.

Request for Information (RFI) - A document used to solicit information to assist in preparing specifications for a Request for Quotation (RFQ) or Request for Proposal (RFP). No award can be made from an RFI.

Request for Quotation (RFQ) - A document, containing the specifications or scope of work and all contractual terms and conditions, which is used to solicit written bids. Conformity to specifications and price are the only factors used in the evaluation process.

Request for Proposals (RFP) - A Best Value Procurement tool used to acquire professional and other services where the scope of work may not be well defined and cost is not the sole factor in determining the award. All criteria by which the bidders will be evaluated must be contained within the bid document.

Requisition - An electronic request in wvOASIS by an agency for the purchase of commodities and services.

Services - The furnishing of labor, time, expertise or effort, not involving the delivery of a specific end commodity or product other than one that may be incidental to the required performance.

Sole Source Purchase - A procurement method that allows for the direct purchase of commodities or services from a vendor when only one vendor can supply the needed commodity or service.

Solicitation - A written or oral attempt made by the state to obtain bids or proposals for the purpose of entering into a contract. Requests for Quotation (RFQ), Requests for Proposal (RFP), telephone calls or other documents may be used.

Spending Unit - A department, bureau, division, office, board, commission, authority, agency or institution of state government for which an appropriation is requested by the Governor, or to which an appropriation is made by the Legislature, unless a specific exemption from West Virginia Code §5A-1 is provided.

Statewide Contract – An open-end contract issued by the Purchasing Division and made available to all state agencies to purchase frequently used commodities and services.

Stringing - Issuing a series of requisitions or dividing or planning procurements to circumvent the twenty-five thousand dollar threshold or otherwise avoid the use of sealed bids. 

Tie Bid - When two (2) or more bids of equal terms and amount or score are received in response to a solicitation.

Unit Price - The cost per unit of the commodity or service.

Vendor -.Any person or entity that may, through contract or other means, supply the state or its subdivisions with commodities and services, and lessors of real property.

Vendor Self-Service (VSS) Portal This feature incorporates the vendor registration function as well as the West Virginia Purchasing Bulletin, which includes commodities and services currently out for bid. The VSS portal also allows vendors to receive solicitation notifications by e-mail based on commodities and services noted at the time of registration; review awarded contracts; perform inquiries pertaining to awards; view payment status and update company contact information, including mail and e-mail addresses.

Vendor Preference - A numerical preference used during the evaluation of bids when comparing in-state and out-of-state bidders, pursuant to West Virginia Code

wvOASIS An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system used by the state of West Virginia to process all financial transactions, including procurement.

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