WEST VIRGINIA PURCHASING DIVISION
SECTION 7: SPECIAL ACQUISITION
7.0 SPECIAL ACQUISITIONS
The procurement of certain commodities and services has limitations or require special procedures.
7.1 Architectural and Engineering
7.1.1 Projects Exceeding $250,000: In the procurement of architectural and engineering services, including 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 Chapter 5G of the West Virginia Code. Agencies must use the standard EOI format for projects expected to exceed $250,000.
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 (3) to five (5) representatives of the agency.
The agency may invite individuals to serve as advisors who are subject matter experts, knowledgeable in the area of discussion. The advisors may assist the evaluation committee members (referred to as evaluators) in the evaluation process. The agency will identify and justify the evaluation committee members and advisors to the Purchasing Division prior to the release of the EOI.
The agency procurement officer or a member of the agency procurement staff, who is skilled in purchasing techniques and procedures, shall be present at evaluation committee meetings and serve on the evaluation committee as a full voting member unless the agency can provide written justification detailing the reason(s) why this requirement cannot be met. Such request must be approved by the Purchasing Division. (The Purchasing Division reserves the right to accept or reject agency appointed committee members and/or to appoint committee members directly to provide proper representation. A non-state employee shall not serve as voting member of the evaluation committee.) To ensure there is no conflict or influence on the committee members' decision process, the evaluation should take place with only the designated evaluators and advisors present.
The committee shall:
(a) Evaluate the statements of qualifications and performance data and other material submitted;
(b) Develop a “short list” (minimum of three  firms) which, in their opinion, are best qualified to perform the desired service; and
(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 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 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. The committee will then commence negotiations as to scope of service and price with the highest qualified firm.
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.
7.1.2 Projects $250,000 or Less: In the procurement of architectural and engineering services for projects estimated to cost less than $250,000 (which includes 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 and the scope of services prior to the awarding of any contract. The Purchasing Master Terms and Conditions must be included with the negotiated contract that is submitted to the Purchasing Division, so that all vendors are aware of the requirements of the potential contract.
Price may not be discussed prior to selecting the highest rated firm.
The agency and the initially selected firm shall further develop the scope of services and, at this time, discuss 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.
Once negotiations conclude with the selected vendor, the agency must send the negotiated contract to the Purchasing Division to be properly executed.
If a judgment 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.
Change order for projects estimated to cost less than $250,000 (which includes construction and architectural fee) that exceeds $250,000 may not be approved and may necessitate a rebid.
West Virginia Code § 5G-1-1, et seq. does not provide for a separate process for the procurement of architectural or engineering services estimated to cost $25,000 or less. An EOI anticipated costing $25,000 less would be processed in accordance with the laws, rules, and procedures applicable to EOI’s under $250,000.
7.1.3 Non-Conflict Requirement for Expressions of Interest: To ensure that there is no conflict of interest in evaluating Expressions of Interest (EOIs), To ensure that there is no conflict of interest, the evaluators and advisor(s) are required by the Purchasing Division to sign a Certification of Non-Conflict of Interest, in accordance with the West Virginia Code §5A-3-31 (see Appendix B).
The Purchasing Division also requires that the agency procurement officer sign this certification. By signing this certification, the evaluator(s), advisor(s) and agency procurement officer attest that: (1) his or her service on the evaluation committee is not in violation of West Virginia Code §5A-3-31, §6B-2-5, or any other relevant code section; (2) his or her service on the evaluation committee does not create a conflict of interest with any of the participating vendors; and (3) he or she has not had or will not have contact relating to the solicitation identified herein with any participating vendors between the time of the bid opening and the award recommendation without prior approval of the Purchasing Division.
Agency procurement officers should discuss the non-conflict of interest issue with potential committee members to ensure that individuals who may have a conflict are not chosen to participate as evaluation committee members. State agencies must submit the signed certification to the Purchasing Division prior to beginning the evaluation of an RFP or EOI.
7.2 Capitol Improvements
7.2.1 State Capitol Complex: Pursuant to the West Virginia Code §4-8-5, “No contract or contracts which will result in physical changes to the state Capitol or any approaches, structures or facilities incidental thereto shall be let, nor shall any physical changes be made not requiring a contract, until approval of the commission has been obtained.”
The Code requires the Capitol Building Commission to review and either approve or reject all plans recommending substantial physical changes inside or outside the state Capitol 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 and surrounding complex.
The approval of the Capitol Building Commission is mandatory before any contract may be bid for work requiring a substantial physical change, or before changes are initiated if the work is not done under a contract.
7.2.2 State-Owned Office Buildings: Pursuant to the West Virginia Code §4-8-4, “The Capitol Building Commission shall review and 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 approval of the commission is mandatory before a contract may be let for work which constitutes a substantial physical change, or before changes are started if the work is not done under a contract. As used in this article, 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.
As used in this article, substantial physical change shall include, but not be limited to, permanent physical changes that alter the appearance of the public areas of the capitol building and surrounding complex. The secretary of the department of administration shall promulgate rules and regulations, pursuant to the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, which rules and regulations shall be subject to the approval of the capitol building commission, to implement the provisions of this article.” In addition, West Virginia Code §4-8-4 states that no contract or contracts which will result in physical changes to the capitol building or any approaches, structures or facilities incidental thereto shall be let, nor shall any physical changes be made not requiring a contract, until approval of the commission has been obtained.
7.3 Data Processing Equipment or Software
West Virginia Code §5A-6-1, et seq., provides that the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) may evaluate and make recommendations on the design and suitability of Information Technology (IT) equipment and related services, and may review and make recommendations on the purchase, lease or acquisition of information equipment and contracts for related services, including temporary IT staffing by all state spending units.
All infrastructure technology equipment procurement requests, regardless of dollar value, that will connect to the state network requires CTO approval prior to submission of a request to the Purchasing Division, as the CTO may require changes by the agency. All state entities, with the exception of Constitutional Officers, Higher Education and K-12, shall request approval for, at a minimum, but not limited to, the purchase of servers, storage devices, computers, tablets, routers, wireless access points (WAPS), hubs, switches, firewalls, video conferencing and telephone equipment, including PBX system. The applicable information technology purchases also include software of all types, whether it is e-mail applications, anti-virus software or any other interoperability application, if the software will be used in systems that connect to the state network.
State agencies may procure IT consulting services with an estimated value of less than $10,000 without CTO approval.
7.4 Design Services or 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.
7.5 Equipment Leases: A lease is a method by which a state agency may obtain the right to use equipment and make payments for that use over a period of time. In pure lease procurements, ownership of the equipment remains with the vendor and the equipment is returned to the vendor at the expiration of the lease term.
Equipment leases will be obtained through requests for quotations.
An agency that desires to Purchase leased equipment, without a provision in the original solicitation to do so, either during or at the expiration of the lease term will be required issue a sole source procurement for the used equipment.
7.6 Lease Purchases: A lease purchase contract is a contract that includes periodic lease payments, and in some cases a final lump sum payment, with ownership of the equipment being vested in the agency immediately or at the lease term expiration. The minimum purchase cost to consider a lease-purchase as an option is $500,000.00, unless the Director of the Purchasing Division grants an exception to this minimum amount. A letter of justification must be prepared, signed by the agency head, and submitted to the Purchasing Division prior to any attempt to enter into a Lease Purchase.
The State has a statewide Master Lease Purchase Financing Agreement issued by the Finance Division of the Department of Administration. Any request to enter into a lease purchase agreement other than the Master Lease Purchasing Financing Agreement must be approved in advance by the Purchasing Division. The Master Lease Purchase Financing Agreement is administered as described below.
If the agency is approved to utilize the Master Lease Purchase
Financing Agreement, the agency will solicit bids for the equipment to be
financed through normal procurement methods. The agency must provide a copy of
letter of justification with its Requisition and note
that the resulting purchase will be financed under the Master Lease Purchase
Financing Agreement. This requisition must also be routed through the Finance
Division. Please note that no financial document will be generated for the
After the contract is prepared and approved as to form, by the Attorney General’s Office, the contract is held in the Purchasing Division while the release order is generated and approved. A copy of the unencumbered contract will be submitted to the Finance Division in order to execute the Appendix to the Master Lease. The agency will work directly with the Finance Division to facilitate the execution of the Lease Appendix. As time schedules are very sensitive in the execution of the Lease Appendix, the agency and the Finance Division should inform the Purchasing Division Buyer of any deadlines with issuing the documents.
7.7 Piggybacking Contracts: Piggybacking is a term utilized to describe an agency’s use of and/or adoption of an existing contract of another public entity. The West Virginia Code provides authority for this in §5A-3-19 and West Virginia Code of State Rules Section 148-1-7.8 provides further guidance and restrictions on the use of this procurement method.
The requirements contained in the Code and the Rules have been compiled into the Cooperative Purchasing Request, Justification and Approval form (WV-40). An agency desiring to utilize the piggybacking process must submit the WV-40 form to the Purchasing Division prior to entering into a binding contract. The WV-40 serves as a request that the Purchasing Director consider granting the state agency permission to purchase from one of the above contract categories. Contracts identified as mandatory do not require submissions of the WV-40 for each purchase. Failure to provide the information requested on the WV-40 form will result in the request being rejected.
Should a state agency receive approval through the WV-40 process from the Purchasing Division to piggyback an existing contract, the agency must submit a Requisition, attaching the WV-40, indicating a release to the approved contract. Please note that certain additional Purchasing Division forms, such as the) Agreement Addendum (WV-96, Purchasing Affidavit, Certificate of Non-Conflict, may be applicable.
The ability to piggyback a contract as described in this subsection has not been delegated to the agencies for procurements of $25,000 or less.
7.8 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 Requisition (over $25,000), or maintained with agency invoice or purchase order file ($25,000 or less).
7.9 Professional Services: Professional service contracts provide a mechanism to acquire specific professional expertise. Unless specifically covered in Section 9, professional services shall be competitively bid.
7.10 Rentals: Rentals require an Agreement Addendum [WV-96] and shall not exceed thirty (30) days.
7.11 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 $25,000 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 $25,000 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.
7.12 Vehicles: Approval by the Fleet Management Office is required to purchase vehicles, unless statutorily exempt. Any request under the authority of the Fleet Management Office to increase an agency’s fleet size must be approved by the Executive Director of the Fleet Management Office. 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. All vehicle purchases, regardless of dollar amount, must be processed through the Purchasing Division. Purchases of vehicles from Surplus Property are exempt from Purchasing Division approval, but still must obtain Fleet Management Office approval.
7.13 Used Property:
State agencies may purchase used property through the normal
competitive bid process after first checking the item availability with the West
Virginia State Agency for Surplus Property and documenting this contact in the
official file. In accordance with the West Virginia Code of State Rules,
7.14 Banking Goods and Services: The Office of the State Treasurer must approve the acquisition of any kind of banking goods or services, which includes accepting payments and receiving funds via electronic commerce. Agencies must submit a request to the Office of the State Treasurer before issuing any Request for Proposal (RFP) or Request for Quotation (RFQ) or entering into any contract with another entity for banking goods or services, in accordance with West Virginia Code §12-1-7 and §12-3A-6.
7.15 Radios and Microwave Equipment: In accordance with Governor’s Executive Order 2-11, any purchase by a state spending unit or state agency, including purchases on behalf of state agencies, of two-way radio, microwave or satellite equipment and related services, or purchases that utilize state or federal funds distributed to local entities by the state of West Virginia which are not listed on the Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee’s State Interoperable Radio Network (SIRN) Approved Compatibility Equipment List, shall obtain the prior written approval of the Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC) for any proposed purchase of goods and services. SWIC approval or verification that the equipment is on the Approved Compatibility Equipment List must be submitted with the Requisition to the Purchasing Division.
For a list of approved radios for use on the Statewide Interoperable Radio Network, visit:
All contractual documents for two-way radio, microwave or satellite equipment and related services, including, but not limited to, land or tower leases, memorandums of understanding/agreement, training contracts, agreements or services, and purchasing or service contracts related to two-way radio, microwave or satellite equipment and related services for any agency of the state of West Virginia, and all local entities of the state of West Virginia which utilize state or federal funds distributed by the state of West Virginia, must be reviewed and approved by the SWIC to ensure compatibility with the SIRN, to promote the best possible value in purchasing, and to ensure all agencies participating in the SIRN and needing equipment and related services are covered by contractual documents.
Questions may be directed to the Statewide Interoperability Coordinator at (304) 766-5899.7.16 Grants: In accordance with West Virginia Code §5A-3-11(i), a grant awarded by the state is exempt from the competitive bidding requirements, unless the grant is used to procure commodities or services that directly benefit a spending unit. If a grant awarded to the state requires the procurement of commodities or services that will directly benefit a spending unit, the procurement is not exempt from the competitive bidding requirements. If a grant awarded to the state requires the state to transfer some or all of the grant to an individual, entity or vendor as a sub-grant to accomplish a public purpose, and no contract for commodities or services directly benefitting a spending unit will result, the sub-grant is not subject to the competitive bidding requirements.
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