Replaces previously released version in its entirety


4.8. What Contacts does the Law allow between Offerers and public officials and court officials during the preparation of specifications, bid documents, Requests for Proposals (RFPs), Invitations for Bids (IFBs), or other solicitations, prior to the Restricted Period defined in the statute? (Last Updated: 7/19/2023)

A:  The new State Finance Law states that contacts between the Governmental Entity (public officials and court officials included) and an Offerer are restricted from the earliest posting, on a Governmental Entity’s website, in a newspaper of general circulation, or in the procurement opportunities newsletter in accordance with article four-C of the economic development law of written notice, advertisement or solicitation of a RFP, IFB or solicitation of proposals, or any other method provided for by law or regulation for solicitating a response from Offerers intending to result in a Procurement Contract.  See State Finance Law § 139-j(1)(f).  As such, the Law does not restrict Contacts between Offerers and the Governmental Entity prior to the Restricted Period of a Governmental Procurement.  Therefore, communications between Offerers and the Governmental Entity during the preparation of specifications, bid documents, RFPs, IFBs, are not governed by State Finance Law §§ 139-j and 139-k.  Communications at this stage, however, are governed by the provisions set forth at State Finance Law §§ 163 and 163-a and other applicable law, including registration and reporting requirements of the Lobbying Act.

      It is also important to note here that the Law specifically allows Offerers and a Governmental Entity to communicate prior to the Restricted Period in the form of a RFI by the Governmental Entity and the response thereto by the Offerer.  RFIs are generally used as a means to collect information upon which to base a decision by a Governmental Entity to proceed with a Governmental Procurement; they are not a tool employed to award a Procurement Contract.


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