PROCUREMENT LOBBYING LAW
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
Replaces previously released version in its entirety
8.12. State Finance Law §139-j(3)(a) lists nine circumstances when an Offerer is permitted to communicate with someone other than the Designated Contact. While these categories appear to address common steps in the procurement process, several other common steps that may involve someone other than the Designated Contact(s) were omitted. Can you provide additional guidance regarding the process to follow for the following procurement steps?
- Interview Scheduling
- Oral presentations by individual Offerers which are usually held before the Governmental Entity's evaluation committee
- Correspondence initiated by the Governmental Entity's evaluation committee requesting clarifications from the Offerer
- Reference checks/interviews with an Offerer's staff members (Last Updated: 6/14/2010)
The State Finance Law requirements only apply to Contacts. Interview scheduling is not ordinarily an activity that a reasonable person would infer was intended to influence the governmental procurement. Accordingly, interview scheduling would not be a Contact and the requirements of State Finance Law §§139-j and k would not be applicable. See also FAQ 7.9.
Second, the State Finance Law provisions provide a Governmental Entity with substantial flexibility regarding the determination of the appropriate Designated Contact(s). A Governmental Entity is free to designate additional Designated Contacts as it goes through the procurement process to ensure that all Contacts are either to a Designated Contact or within the scope of the permissible subject matter communications of State Finance Law § 139-j(3)(a)(1-9). Thus, a Governmental Entity should consider the advisability of naming additional Designated Contacts to cover those circumstances that do not fall within the scope of State Finance Law §139-j(3)(a)(1-9).
Additionally, FAQ 8.7 provides additional guidance on the requirements that apply to conferences and other means for exchanging information in a setting open to all potential bidders as provided for in the solicitation. The requirements of §§ 139-j and 139-k of the State Finance Law, including naming all staff involved in the interviews as designated contacts and documenting contacts for the Procurement Record, must be adhered to when a Governmental Entity is conducting interviews.