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Guidelines for Ensuring Best Value Procurement

Learn about a best value procurement

The Operational Services Division follows a best value procurement philosophy. This means it is in the best interest of the Commonwealth for solicitation evaluation criteria to measure factors beyond cost. No one wants to save money on unit cost while encountering higher costs due to factors such as inferior quality, poor reliability, or complex administrative processes. A best value procurement should:

  • Support required performance outcomes through a procurement process that obtains desired results in the most efficient and effective manner.
  • Generate the best quality and economic value by considering factors such as quality, options and incentives, or a longer life span. Even if the initial expenditure is higher, considering the total value over the life of the procurement may result in a better value and long-term investment of public funds.
  • Be timely by achieving results within the required timeframe. Best value is defeated if the procurement process is cumbersome and inefficient.
  • Minimize the burden on administrative resources of both procuring departments and contractors. A department should devote staff and administrative resources proportionate to the complexity, priority and cost of a procurement.
  • Expedite simple purchases that present little systemic risk by following expedited procedures, and allow eligible departments with the appropriate delegation authority to process all completed solicitations and contracts up to a specified dollar level without secondary transaction approvals.
  • Allow flexibility in developing alternative procurement and business relationships such as the use of buying groups or longer-term relationships with contractors, as in multi-year contracting.
  • Encourage competition and the positive benefits it achieves in pricing, quality, customer service and public benefit. Fostering healthy competition ensures that bidders will continue to strive for excellence in identifying and meeting department needs.
  • Encourage the participation of quality vendors to do business with the Commonwealth, including small, minority and women-owned business (M/WBE) enterprises, firms owned by socially, physically or economically disadvantaged individuals, and contractors who provide environmentally preferable products and services (EPPs). If procurements are seen as too costly or too restrictive, vendors may be deterred from bidding and competition could be decreased, shrinking the pool of available quality vendors.
  • Support Commonwealth and department procurement planning by seeking out the advice of OSD's Strategic Sourcing Services Teams to identify other departments with comparable needs or existing contracts.

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