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SOFTWARE

The following guidelines apply to all software purchases from OGS contracts except for Microsoft and Curam. These contracts have special requirements and guidelines that are located in each Contract Award Notification.

The price list for each of the contracts will be available on the manufacturer's web site through a link from the OGS website, or the price list will be available directly on the OGS web site. The Contractors, or OGS, updates the price lists as changes in price and Product occur. For those contracts where the manufacturer hosts the contract at their web site, the web site is linked to the OGS web site for convenience.

We recommend you receive a written quote when making purchases. For Contractor hosted pricing at the Contractor's web site, the contract terms require the Contractor to make twelve months of historical contract pricing information available to contract users for auditing purposes.

State agencies are reminded that they must comply with all applicable control agency guidelines (e.g. Division of the Budget H-100, etc.) Specifically, State agencies are reminded that they must submit a Notification of Plan to Procure Technology Form (PTP) to the Office for Technology (OFT) for approval prior to purchasing specific dollar volumes of software, maintenance and related services. For additional information about the CIO/OFT’s PTP process, please visit the website at: http://www.oft.state.ny.us/Policy/NYS-P08-001.pdf

Procurement Procedures for State Agencies

The Office of General Services has established contracts for many brands of software and new brands may become available in the future. State agencies should carefully consider all alternatives and select the most cost effective (which can include lowest price or best value analysis) for their current and anticipated future needs.

It is recommended that each agency develop, for the Procurement Record, agency-wide procurement strategy(ies) for each type of software as applicable. Different policies may be developed for different types of software requirements. Whether the policy is to consider all contract offerings for software or to standardize on one or more specific brands, the policy should be supported by specific rationale expressed in terms of what represents best value to the agency. Because technology is constantly changing, it is recommended that the policies be reviewed annually and updated as necessary. There are a number of factors that should be taken into consideration when developing a procurement policy. These include but are not limited to:

  • Compatibility with existing systems and software
  • Past experience and expertise of contractor(s) and reseller(s)
  • Agency requirement(s) that justify the purchase of a specific developers software.

These and other relevant considerations must be fully documented in the Procurement Record.

In accordance with the guidelines for use of the technology contracts, it is recommended that for each type of software, the agency aggregate its requirements and make as few purchases a year as possible. Each purchase of software should be acquired in accordance with the agency's established policy. A Procurement Record must be established for any purchase that exceeds $50,000. Where the agency has not standardized on a particular developer, agencies will be required to solicit quotes from at least three Contractors (developer and/or resellers) for any new system or software installation requirement exceeding $50,000. Soliciting quotes from all contractors who market the type of equipment or software required is encouraged. Where the agency is doing moves, adds or changes (MACs) for an existing installation and the planned acquisition will exceed $50,000, agencies are required to negotiate the best deal possible with the contractor. See Justification for a Single or Sole Source Purchase.

When soliciting or negotiating best and final offers with Contractors, create a short description of the requirement, being as specific as possible. Be sure to include any required services such as consulting (analysis and/or design), configuration, installation and training. Finally, indicate whether the final selection will be based on lowest price or on a best value analysis. If a best value analysis will be used, indicate what factors besides cost will be considered. Note that consulting and training services may be acquired directly from the above contracts, provided such services do not exceed 20% of the value of Product (and First Year's Maintenance) being acquired. Where consulting and training services exceed twenty percent (20%) of the cost of the Product (and First Year's Maintenance) being acquired or where consulting and training services are being purchased alone (without Product),such services cannot be acquired under the above contracts unless the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) has first approved the purchase of such services on a single or sole source basis. In all other circumstances, consulting and training services must be procured competitively using the OGS IT Services contracts or other competitive process selected by the Authorized User.

The following procedures should be used when purchasing Product over $50,000:

  1. Determine if more than one software Contractor can provide the required software. If only one Contractor can fulfill the requirement, negotiate the best deal with this Contractor. The following points should be considered:

    a. When is the best time to negotiate with the Contractor (for example: market place conditions, company’s fiscal year end)? Note that this may be different for each contractor. End users should seek information that enables them to properly plan the best time to negotiate.

    b. What additional incentives would be most useful to the agency, extended warranty, training, trade in, etc. (OSC Bulletin No. G-68 is a good source for negotiation techniques).

A Procurement Record should be prepared for any order exceeding $50,000 to include:

  • The agency policy applicable to the purchase.
  • The list of Contractors/resellers solicited.
  • Copies of the offers received
  • A document detailing the evaluation and selection of the winning offer.

State agencies may then issue a purchase order directly to the Contractor (except for those situations where the agency is purchasing services only or is purchasing services which exceed 20% of the value of Product, and First Year's Maintenance, where applicable (the 20% Rule) and later file a copy of the order and Procurement Record with OSC to facilitate the payment process. For the purchase of services, as noted above, pre-approval of OSC is required before the order is placed with the contractor.

Non-state agencies must follow their own guidelines or legal requirements for competitive bidding and/or single/ sole source when services exceed the 20% Rule.