Subject 665-2-4 PROCUREMENT AUTHORIZATION AND PROCEDURES
All technology purchases involving the expenditure of public funds by agencies or GTA shall be in conformity with the "Best Value" information technology procurement requirements set forth in these rules. Exemptions may be granted by GTA where a waiver, special delegation, exemption or an emergency or pressing need purchase is permitted by rule. Information technology procurements not covered by statewide firm, convenience or service contracts issued by GTA shall comply with the following delegations and procedures:
|(a)||Small Purchases: A small purchase is defined as the purchase of goods and services, where the expenditure of public funds is twenty-five hundred dollars ($2,500) or less. If the needed technology resource can reasonably be expected to be acquired for less than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) and are not available on state contracts or through statutorily required sources, the purchase may be effectuated without competitive bidding. Nothing in this rule shall apply to, or effect the laws, rules and regulations governing emergency purchases. The using agency or GTA shall award contracts for small purchases.|
|(b)|| Purchases Governed by General Delegation:
|(c)|| Procurement Procedure: Where the total
requirements for goods or services involve an expenditure of public funds that
exceed the general delegation established by the CIO, offers shall be solicited
Competitive source selection may be conducted in accordance with the following best value methods.
|(a)|| The following steps may be employed in
the application of the best value procurement methodology:
|(b)|| A trade
off method of source selection may be utilized when the best value is expected
to result from selection of other than the lowest priced offer or other than
the highest technically qualified offer. For a solicitation using a trade off
source selection method, the following shall apply:
|(c)|| The lowest price technically acceptable
source selection method may be used when best value is expected to result from
selection of the technically acceptable offer with the lowest evaluated price.
When using the lowest price technically acceptable method, the following shall
|(d)||Any source selection process may incorporate the pre-qualification of contractors (Request for Qualified Contractors or RFQC) prior to the issuance of a RFQ or RFP when deemed advantageous by the CIO. If the source selection process anticipates negotiations then all confidentiality provisions of this Chapter shall be in full force and effect from the issuance of the RFQC to the award of the contract.|
|(e)||GTA may employ the use of on-line reverse auctions to arrive at the lowest price. This solicitation method will satisfy any requirement necessitating a competitive sealed bidding. The names of the bidders may be held in confidence until the award of the contract.|
|(f)||Other competitive best value source selection methodologies may be used if they are determined to be advantageous to the state and are approved for use by the CIO or his designee.|
At the discretion of the CIO, GTA and agencies may accept electronic, facsimile, and telephone offers in response to solicitation documents that are required to be sealed, if specified in the solicitation documents or by general rule.
An authorized agent of a company may recall an offer prior to opening, through a signed request.
|(1)||GTA and agencies shall publicly open advertised sealed procurements using the lowest price technically acceptable source selection method at the time, date, and place identified in the solicitation document. At the time of opening, the names of the bidders shall become public record after compliance with all the requirements of the GTA sealed procurement process as in Rule 665-2-4-.02 of this Section.|
|(2)||Under a two-step process, only those offerors that the agency that issued the solicitation determines to have acceptable technical offers shall be invited to submit price offers. The price offers shall be publicly opened and the offeror(s) with the acceptable technical offer(s) notified of the time and place for the opening. After opening, the price offer(s) shall become public record if no negotiation is permitted. At least two agency working days shall be given prior to the opening. There shall be at least two agency employees present at the opening.|
|(3)||Under the two-step process where negotiations are anticipated, only those offerors determined by the agency that issued the solicitation to have acceptable technical offers shall be invited to submit price offer(s). The price offers shall be publicly opened and the offeror(s) with the acceptable technical offer(s) notified of the time and place of the opening. The price offer(s) shall become public record upon point of award.|
In general the agency or GTA will not consider late offers, modifications, or withdrawals unless these would be timely except for the action or inaction of agency or GTA personnel directly serving the procurement process. Offerors shall deliver all offers on time, regardless of the mode of delivery used. However, the state CIO or agency head may elect to accept any late offer if it is determined that such acceptance did not compromise the integrity of the competitive process and it is determined to be in the best interest of the state.
When the agency or GTA determines that an offer appears to contain an obvious error or otherwise where an error is suspected, the agency or GTA may investigate or act upon the circumstances. Any action taken shall not prejudice the rights of the public or other offering companies. Where offers are submitted substantially in accordance with the solicitation document but are not entirely clear as to intent or to some particular fact or where there are other ambiguities, the agency or GTA may seek and accept clarifications or may open communications.
When the agency or GTA determines it is in the public interest, the agency or GTA may request that the offerors extend the time offered for the acceptance of offers.
|(1)||In determining the award of contracts, the agency or GTA shall consider and evaluate bona fide offers as provided by statute and applicable rules. The agency or GTA shall identify in the solicitation document the evaluation criteria to be used in determining the award of contract.|
|(2)||Unsigned offers shall be rejected by the awarding agency.|
|(3)||During the period of evaluation and prior to award, only the information provided in the tabulation is public record. Only persons in the agency who are responsible for handling the offers and accompanying information, and others determined necessary by the agency that issued the solicitation document, shall possess offers, including any accompanying information submitted with the offers for the purpose of evaluation and award of contract. Any communication with an offeror that may be necessary for purpose of clarification of its offer shall be conducted by the agency that issued the solicitation document. Further offeror participation in the evaluation process shall not be permitted except as deemed necessary by the CIO or his designee to effectively conclude the award process or as otherwise permitted under these rules. After award of the contract or when the need for the item or service is canceled, the complete file shall be available to any interested party with the exception of information excluded from disclosure under the Georgia Open Records Act.|
If a solicitation is required to be advertised, then notice of the resulting contract award shall be posted via the Georgia Procurement Registry website or otherwise made publicly available by the agency issuing the solicitation document. After contract award, successful companies shall be notified in writing or electronically by the agency issuing the solicitation document.
The agency and GTA shall make every effort to maximize competition. Where only a single offer or a single acceptable offer is received, the agency shall ascertain the reason and make it a matter of record.
An agency or GTA shall use a solicitation document when soliciting offers on contracts valued over two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) unless the CIO or his designee waives the requirement pursuant to rule. In their solicitation documents, the agencies and GTA shall require offerors to certify that each offer is submitted without collusion and the proposed price is independently determined.
An agency or GTA shall not divide requirements to keep the expenditure under GTA's general delegation and thereby avoid following the appropriate contracting requirement. In the case of similar and related items and services and groups of items, the dollar limits apply to the total cost rather than the cost of any single item.
|(1)|| All advertisements required by rule shall
be through the Georgia Procurement Registry website. Solicitations required by
rule shall be advertised continuously and at least 15 days prior to the date
designated for opening unless the CIO or his designee waives advertising
requirements. Conditions permitting waiver of advertising requirements shall
include, but not be limited to the following:
|(2)|| This Rule does not prevent solicitation
of offers by additional direct mailings or additional advertisement by an
|(1)||When a solicitation requires potential offerors to attend a mandatory conference or mandatory site visit, the date, time, location, and other pertinent details of the conference or site visit shall be given in the solitation document and in the advertisement.|
|(2)||If only one potential offeror attends the mandatory conference or mandatory site visit, the conference or site visit may be conducted, but the agency shall investigate why only one potential offeror was in attendance and ascertain if there is any competition available. If it is determined that competition is available, time permitting, the agency may schedule another conference or site visit, if deemed to be to the advantage of the state. If it is determined that there is no competition available, then the procurement may be handled as a waiver as permitted by rule.|
|(3)||Any and all questions by a potential offeror regarding a solicitation document shall be addressed to the purchaser named on the document. Any and all revisions to the solicitation document shall be made only by written addendum from the purchaser. Verbal communications from whatever source are of no effect.|