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Subject 665-2-1 GENERAL

Rule 665-2-1-.01 Forms, Terms and Conditions

The Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) shall prescribe forms, terms and conditions and advertisement requirements for acquiring goods and services related to information technology for agencies. The forms, terms and conditions, and advertisement requirements shall be established taking into consideration market volatility, trends and conditions, legal requirements, and any other factors determined to be in the state's best interest. These shall be made available to all agencies via the GTA IT procurement website.

Rule 665-2-1-.02 Definitions

The following definitions shall apply generally to all procurement rules and regulations of the Georgia Technology Authority:

(a) "Agency," "User Agency," or "Using Agency" is defined as every state department, agency, board, bureau, commission, and authority but shall not include any agency within the judicial branch of state government or the University System of Georgia and shall also not include any authority statutorily required to effectuate the provisions of Part 4 of Article 9 of Title 11, unless they voluntarily agree to be bound by these rules for the limited purpose of the Georgia Technology Authority conducting or coordinating a technology resource purchase or solicitation on their behalf.
(b) "Agency Decisionmaker" is defined for purposes of Rule 665-2-11-.07 as either:
1. The Procurement Director, or
2. Any other GTA official (other than the Executive Director, or the Protest Coordinator or Contracting Officer for the particular procurement that is the subject of the Protest, or any member of the Protest Panel hearing the Protest) selected and appointed in the sole discretion of the Procurement Director either as a permanent GTA position or on a case by case basis at any time after receipt of a Protest and prior to the appointment of a Protest Panel or a Third Party Hearing Officer with respect to a Protest.
(c) "Best value procurement" is defined as a procurement process that has as a fundamental objective the reduction of total cost of ownership as defined in these rules or generally the best value procurement methods set forth in Section 665-2-4-.02.
(d) "Business Day" is defined as any day other than Saturday, Sunday or a day that is a public and legal holiday in the State of Georgia under O.C.G.A. Section 1-4-1.
(e) "Clarification" is defined as limited exchanges between the state and offerors that may occur after receipt of offer. Offerors may be given the opportunity to resolve clerical errors.
(f) "Communications" are defined as exchanges between the state and offerors after receipt of offers to address issues of past performance, to enhance the state's understanding of offers, to allow reasonable interpretation of the offer, or to facilitate the state's evaluation process. Communications shall not be used to cure material omissions in the offer.
(g) Competition in purchasing exists when the available market for the goods or services to be acquired consists of more than one supplier that is technically qualified and willing to submit an offer. The public competitive process is the process followed by a public agency to solicit offers from multiple suppliers to provide the specified goods or services. The process must be conducted in a manner that attempts to ensure that all qualified suppliers who are willing to submit offers are treated equitably and are not placed at a disadvantage with respect to the process outcome.
(h) "Competitive Range" is defined as the range of all of the most highly rated offers, as determined by the evaluation committee. The range shall be used to determine the optimal best value solutions to address requirements of the solicitation document.
(i) "Contract Award" is defined as the GTA's written notice of award of a contract to the successful Respondent in a particular GTA procurement.
(j) "Contracting Officer" is defined as the GTA official authorized to manage a particular GTA procurement and to issue a Contract Award with respect thereto, as set forth in the applicable Solicitation Documents for such procurement.
(k) "Contract Value" is defined for the purposes of Rule 665-2-11-.07 as the actual Contract Award amount.
(l) "Deficiency" is defined as a failure to meet a stated requirement or a combination of weaknesses in an offer that increases the risk of unsuccessful contract performance.
(m) "Estimated Contract Value" is defined for the purposes of Rule 665-2-11-.07 as GTA's pre-award estimate of the amount that will be spent by the GTA or the applicable Agency or Agencies under any contract issued in connection with a particular procurement.
(n) "Executive Director" is defined as chief information officer of the State of Georgia and the Executive Director of the Authority provided for by Code Section 50-25-5.1.
(o) "Frivolous Protest" is defined as a Protest that, based on the Protest pleading as filed, and taking all allegations of the Protest as true, is without merit, is insufficient or raises no substantial factual or legal basis on which a Protest could be sustained; provided, however, that if any court of competent jurisdiction, in a final non-appealable order, overturns the Protest Decisionmaker's final determination that a Protest was a Frivolous Protest, such Protest shall not be considered a Frivolous Protest for purposes of Rule 655-2-11-.07(f)4.
(p) "Goods" are defined as any information technology commodities including equipment, materials, or supplies.
(q) "Interested Party" is defined for the purposes of Rule 665-2-11-.07 as:
1. With respect to any Protest filed on or before the Solicitation Response Date, any party with a direct economic interest in providing the goods or services sought in the procurement that is the subject of Solicitation Document in question, and
2. With respect to any Protest filed after the Solicitation Response Date, only those Respondents who actually filed a timely and responsive Solicitation Response that complies with the Solicitation Document in question.
(r) "Negotiation" is defined as exchanges in either a competitive or sole source environment between the state and offerors that are undertaken with the intent of allowing offerors to revise their offers. Revisions may apply to price, schedule, technical requirements, or other terms of the proposed contract. Negotiations are specific to each offer and shall be conducted to maximize the state's ability to obtain best value based on the evaluation factors set forth in the solicitation. The state may also give evaluation credit for technical solutions exceeding mandatory minimums or negotiate with offerors for increased performance beyond mandatory minimums.
(s) "Offer" is defined as a bid or proposal submitted in response to any solicitation document utilizing "Best Value" procurement methodology including Invitation for Bids (IFB), Request for Proposals (RFP), Request for Quotations (RFQ), negotiation, or other acquisition processes, as well as responses to Solution-Based Solicitations and Government-Vendor Partnerships.
(t) "Price" is defined as the amount paid by the state to a vendor for a good or service.
(u) "Procurement" is defined as acquisition of goods and services.
(v) "Procurement Director" is defined as the GTA official who supervises the procurement section of the GTA and to whom the Contracting Officer reports.
(w) "Protest" is defined as any protest, challenge or other claim, howsoever designated, to any aspect of a GTA procurement. Neither the Procurement Director's appointment of another GTA official as Agency Decisionmaker, nor the Executive Director's appointment of the Protest Panel or a Third Party Hearing Officer, shall be a basis for a Protest.
(x) "Protest Coordinator" is defined as the GTA Contracting Officer for the particular procurement that is the subject of the Protest. However, the Executive Director may request that another GTA employee (other than the Agency Decisionmaker or any member of the Protest Panel hearing the Protest) serve as the Protest Coordinator where, in the Executive Director's sole discretion, he determines that circumstances warrant such an action. The Protest Coordinator will be authorized to carry out the following duties with respect to a Protest:
1. Manage the submission of the Protest to the Protest Decisionmaker;
2. Evaluate compliance with this Procedure;
3. Issue summary dismissals in accordance with Rule 665-2-11-.07(e);
4. When necessary, request that the Executive Director appoint additional staff to assist the Protest Coordinator in performing the duties set forth herein; and
5. Any other authority delegated from time to time by the Executive Director.
(y) "Protest Decisionmaker" is defined as, with respect to each Protest, the person or panel authorized to hear, resolve or rule on that Protest, which may be the Agency Decisionmaker acting singly, the Protest Panel or the Third Party Hearing Officer as the case may be.
(z) "Protestor" is defined as an Interested Party who files a timely Protest in accordance with this Procedure.
(aa) "Protest Panel" is defined as a panel consisting of the Agency Decisionmaker and two (2) other individuals, which, when appointed in accordance with Rule 665-2-11-.07(d)2., will be authorized by the Executive Director to recommend a resolution or ruling on a Protest in lieu of the Agency Decisionmaker acting singly or a separate Third Party Hearing Officer.
(bb) "Respondent" is defined as an Interested Party that properly returns a Solicitation Response to a Solicitation Document, in accordance with the criteria set forth in such Solicitation Document.
(cc) "Rules of the GTA" is defined as the rules and regulations of the GTA at Chapter 665-1 et seq., as in effect from time to time. For purposes of this Procedure, the Rules of the GTA that are applicable to a Protest shall be the Rules of the GTA in effect at the time such Protest is filed.
(dd) "Services" are defined as any process of providing services requiring specialized knowledge, experience, expertise, professional qualifications, or similar capabilities for any aspect of information technology including, but not limited to, work or task performance, review, analysis, and advice in formulating or implementing improvements in programs or services.
(ee) "Solicitation Document" is defined as a written or electronic IFB, RFQ, RFP, Solution-Based Solicitation, Government-Vendor Partnership, Request for Information (RFI) document or other acquisition documents expressly used to invite offers or request information regarding the acquisition of goods and services.
(ff) "Solicitation Decision" is defined as, with respect to each Solicitation Document issued in connection with a particular GTA procurement, the GTA decision or award with respect to such GTA Solicitation Document.
(gg) "Solicitation Decision Date" is defined as, with respect to each Solicitation Document issued in connection with a particular GTA procurement, the date the GTA issues its Solicitation Decision with respect to such GTA Solicitation Document.
(hh) "Solicitation Response" is defined as the document submitted by a Respondent as a bid, response, offer or proposal in response to a Solicitation Document.
(ii) "Solicitation Response Date" is defined as, with respect to each Solicitation Document issued in connection with a particular GTA procurement, the date designated by the GTA for filing the Solicitation Response with the Contracting Officer, as set forth in the applicable Solicitation Document for such procurement.
(jj) "Third Party Hearing Officer" is defined for the purposes of Rule 665-2-11-.07 as an individual who is neither employed by nor affiliated with the GTA, an Interested Party or any Agency involved in the particular GTA procurement that is the subject of the Protest and who, if appointed in accordance with Rule 665-2-11-.07(d)3., will be authorized by the Executive Director to recommend a resolution or ruling on a Protest in lieu of the Agency Decisionmaker acting singly or a separate Protest Panel.
(kk) "Total Cost of Ownership" is defined as a summation of all purchase, operating, and related costs for a product or service. It includes, but is not limited to, purchase price, transportation, receiving and inspection, maintenance, operating costs, downtime, energy costs, and disposal costs.
(ll) "Weakness" is defined as a flaw in the offer that increases the risk of unsuccessful contract performance.
(mm) "Reverse Auction" is defined as a competitive process where the lowest offered price is disclosed to the bidders and the bidders are given an opportunity to offer a lower price until the auction is closed.
(nn) "Purchaser" is defined as the agency or using agency soliciting offers to acquire goods or services.

Rule 665-2-1-.03 General Delegation

All agencies shall contract through GTA for any technology resource purchase of such agency exceeding $100,000, subject to the provisions of O.C.G.A. 50-25-7.2. Therefore, the State Chief Information Officer (CIO) establishes a general delegation of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) for each agency's technology purchases. The CIO or his designee may elect to increase or decrease this general delegation on an agency-by- agency basis or a case-by-case basis without modification of these rules. Regardless of this general delegation, agency technology procurements must adhere to all statewide technology policy standards set forth by GTA, unless expressly waived.