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"IT PROCUREMENT MADE SIMPLE"
For several years now, the Office of General Services (OGS) has developed many new technology contracts to meet customer needs in the ever changing information technology (IT) environment. Contract usage guidelines have undergone an evolutionary process with each new procurement initiative. Today, there are different guidelines for each group of contracts, usually resulting in the agency program and purchasing staff being confused about how to purchase technology solutions using OGS contracts.
This "IT Procurement Made Simple" guide is intended to provide state agency technology and purchasing staff with a simple, easy to understand overview and reference tool to simplify the maze of contract usage guidelines.
This guide is not intended as a replacement for OGS, Office for Technology (OFT) and/or Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) guidelines or specific guidelines in specific contracts. It is intended to be a useful "quick reference tool" to facilitate State agency IT purchasing efforts.
Terminology used in this guide is consistent with the definitions on this web site (see Definitions).
III. GUIDING PRINCIPLES
OGS technology contracts are usually IDIQ (Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity) contracts, which means OGS cannot make the guarantees that a vendor might otherwise require to be able to offer its very best pricing. Authorized Users must do their part to ensure that they are getting the best deal possible. Examples include consolidation of purchases across the agency; placing large volume orders, aggregating purchases across several agencies (or through OFT), trading in old equipment, obtaining competition among resellers where possible or taking advantage of "year-end" or "quarter end" deals when negotiating.
IV. HOW TO PROCESS A REQUIREMENT FOR TECHNOLOGY
V. OVERVIEW OF IT CONTRACT AREAS AND REQUIREMENTS FOR STATE AGENCIES:
NOTE: Several of the contracts below contain what is commonly referred to as the "20% Rule." The 20% rule applies to technology contracts that include training and services in addition to the particular equipment or software provided for in the contract. As an example, for Networking Hardware and Software, agencies may obtain, without competition or prior OSC approval, services up to 20% of the value of the hardware and software and first year's maintenance being purchased. Above 20%, agencies are required to obtain competition for services by utilizing the OGS IT Services contracts (refer to item 5 below). However, if the required services are only available on a single or sole source basis, OSC will permit agencies to procure those services off of the particular OGS contract, provided prior approval is obtained from OSC. Special exemption from advertising in the Contract Reporter is not required if the purchase is off an OGS contract and OSC has approved the purchase in advance.
1. Microcomputers/PCs/, Printers, Software, Networking Hardware and Software, Assistive Technology, Interactive Voice Response Systems (IVR), and Video Conferencing Systems:
For purchases over $50,000, agencies are required to obtain pricing from at least three contractors or develop a single or sole source justification (or follow the agency's pre-approved plan for the procurement of PCs, for example, if previously filed with OSC), develop a procurement record and place the order on file with the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC). There is no OSC pre-approval requirement. The 20% rule above applies to training and services under these contracts.
In addition to the above guidelines, there are two alternative ways for agencies to acquire software.
2. Electronic Key Systems and Digital Centrex Systems:
Agencies must obtain a best and final offer among the three firms that hold the limited multiple award contracts. Competition is required above $50,000. Award is best value, but best value in this case is usually lowest cost. No OSC pre-approval is required.
3. Cabling, Purchase and Installation:
State agencies are required to notify OGS of its plans for cabling installations and work with OGS on implementation for any dollar amount where OGS owns and operates the building, or where OGS provides telephone services. No OSC pre-approval is required.
4. PBX Installations:
PBX contracts require a formal mini-bid process above $15,000 and require OSC pre-approval above $15,000.
5. IT Services
The IT Services backdrop Contracts provide agencies with a wide variety of pre-qualified contractors from among which agencies may acquire IT services ranging from small tasks to projects covering a complete system life cycle on a best value basis. State agencies must obtain OSC pre-approval for awards above 15,000..
The IT Services program has the following distinct procurement options. They are:
1. Solicit bids from a minimum of three Contractors under the applicable Services and categories.
2. Buy Direct if soliciting from NYS Certified SBE (small business enterprise) or M/WBE (minority or woman-owned business enterprise).