The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, through its’ Operation Services Division (OSD), creates MSAs (master service agreements, also known informally as “state contracts”). OSD is the state’s procurement agency. MSAs result from a competitive procurement conducted by procurement teams usually led by OSD staff. Teams typically consist of representatives from state agencies and, occasionally, local government departments. OSD may also designate other agencies to conduct such procurements on their behalf. Any political subdivision of the Commonwealth may, unless the MSA specifically says otherwise, procure eligible goods and services through MSAs.
Established on July 1, 2019 and running for five years, one of these MSAs is ITS74. ITS74 has multiple categories of information technology services (for example software and systems development, systems integration and networking, and security); one of the categories is GIS Services. A member of the MassGIS staff was on the procurement team that resulted in the ITS74 MSA.
ITS74 companies providing GIS services
These companies were selected competitively based on evaluating their project experience, capacity, references, and experience. Through ITS74 these companies can provide an array of GIS services including GIS implementation planning; GIS data development and maintenance; geospatial software development (including technical support); and web map application hosting.
Implementation planning includes needs assessment, business process analysis, guidance on system implementation, business case development (which may include analysis of return on investment), strategic planning, and assistance with system deployment and configuration. GIS data development and maintenance includes scanning and vectorizing from source maps and related map feature attribute development, conversion from CAD formats to GIS data formats, editing and/or conflating data, creating related or derivative products from or classifying imagery and LiDAR data, GIS data maintenance (e.g., parcel mapping), GIS database design, master address list development and related services.
Geospatial software application development includes creating stand-alone applications as well as extensions or tools for use as part of an existing commercial product. These applications can be developed for use on desktop computers, smart phone or tablet computers, or in an Intra- or Internet browser. Applications can support accessing, viewing and querying GIS data as well as enabling data development and maintenance.
Procuring Services through ITS74
Because they were selected through a competitive procurement process, the companies listed above have been pre-qualified to provide the services summarized above. Therefore, any political subdivision of the Commonwealth can obtain GIS services under ITS74 without doing a request for responses (RFR) or request for proposals (RFP) process. For municipalities, this means they can do procurement without going through a “Chapter 30B” process. Instead, it is enough to send out a request for quotes (RFQ) that describes the services sought. The RFQ is sent only to the companies listed above. It is important to send an RFQ to enough companies so that there is a good likelihood of some competition (ideally you receive at least three quotes) in the responses to your RFQ. By taking this approach, you ensure that you receive more than one proposal from qualified companies and a competitive price.
In addition to the scope of work, your RFQ should provide information concerning schedule and, if appropriate, budget as well as information about how you will evaluate and score the proposals. Your RFQ should also, as appropriate, request quote responses that are full proposals. Your evaluation might be solely on price. More likely you will want to evaluate some, or all, of the following: proposed approach to your project, qualifications of the proposed team, schedule, and budget. You must let the recipients of your RFQ know that you are doing your procurement under ITS74. Once you have selected the winning response, you can commence work as soon as you create a purchase order. If you left room in your RFQ for choosing some optional services, be sure to document which services are being procured in your purchase order. You may optionally choose to execute a contract with your selected vendor; your original RFQ can serve as the scope of services for the contract, modified to reflect any optional items you selected, or any changes made during negotiations.
Finding full information on ITS74
You can find all the procurement details concerning ITS74 on the Commonwealth’s procurement web site (“CommBuys”)