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Information Technology Procurement

Policy Code: 
STD-ITD-001
Effective Date: 
January 12, 2004
Revision Number: 
1

Purpose

This standard is to provide agencies with the process to be followed for the procurement of Information Technology (IT) hardware, software, and services.  Technology procurements are reviewed prior to the actual purchase transaction to ensure compliance to IT standards, consistency with enterprise architecture, conformance to agency IT plans, and adherence to procurement best practices.

Standard

  1. ITD adopts OMB Central Services Division (CSD) purchasing procedures as defined in the State Procurement Manual as a standard for all technology purchases.
  2. IT Standards Verification: The originating agency shall be responsible to review its IT purchases, competitive bid solicitations, and contracts to verify that the technology being procured complies with state IT standards.
    1. For assistance with this analysis, the agency may request an architectural design review through the Enterprise Architecture webpage.
    2. Any IT procurement for information technology that does not comply with state IT standards must include a copy of the approved Enterprise Architecture Request for Exemption to Information Technology Standards and Policies (SFN 51687).
    3. Any IT Procurement that would be considered an exception to NDCC 54-59-05.2 or 54-59-22, required use of network services, electronic mail, file and print services, data base services, application and hosting services, must include a copy of the approved Request for Exemption to Information Technology Statutory Policies (SFN 58516).
    4. A written notice will be sent to the requesting agency with a copy to CSD if additional information is required or if the procurement is not approved.
  3. Purchase Approval Limits: Purchase approval limits for information technology procurement are established by the following categories. ITD approval is required if the purchase or contract value exceeds these limits or falls within the special conditions indicated in the footnotes. In most cases, ITD approval is not required for equipment, software, and services that are purchased off of approved State Term Contracts, with the exception of equipment, software, and services that are required to be provided by ITD (Table Note #1). Notwithstanding these requirements, an agency may request that ITD review information technology procurements that are within these limits.
    ITD Review of IT Procurements
    Limits Category Definition
    $25,000 Equipment (Table Note #1) Includes any type of information technology hardware and supporting infrastructure.
    $25,000 Software/Licensing Licensing agreements or other contracts used to procure software and ongoing maintenance/support.
    $25,000 Professional Services (Table Note #2) Professional services contracts for design, development, and related activities for implementation of information technology applications or systems, which may include both hardware and software components and ongoing maintenance/support.
    N/A Hosting Services (Table Note #1) All agreements with outside entities to host information technology hardware, supporting infrastructure, applications, or operational functions relating to hosting must be approved by ITD.

     
    Table Note #1: All procurements, regardless of cost, for acquisition of equipment related to network services (data, voice, video), servers (applications, electronic mail, file and print, database, server storage), or for hosting services outside of ITD must be reviewed by ITD and must include a copy of an approved Exception to Information Technology Standards form.
    Table Note #2: All open-ended or hourly IT contracts without a guaranteed maximum payment or 'not to exceed' amount must be reviewed by ITD. 

  4. Competitive Bid Solicitations/Alternate Procurement Purchase Review: Competitive solicitations, including invitation for bids (IFB) and request for proposals (RFP), and alternate procurement (AP) purchase requests, where the anticipated procurement cost will exceed the limits as stated in the Purchase Approval Limits section of this standard shall be sent to the Enterprise System's Procurement Division of ITD for review prior to issuing the bid solicitation or alternate procurement purchase request.
    1. Include an explaination how the goods or services requested fit into the agency’s information technology plan. In cases where the procurement does not align with the agency’s IT plan, the agency shall include justification for the departure from their plan.  A copy of the bid solicitation or alternate procurement purchase request shall be included with the letter.
    2. If not previously requested by the originating agency, the technology specifications for the procurement may be submitted to the Enterprise Architecture process for an architectural design review.
  5. Approval of IT Purchases and Contracts Prior to Award: After obtaining competitive bids or approval of an alternate procurement purchase where the procurement cost exceeds the limits as stated in the Purchase Approval Limits section of this standard, the agency shall send a copy of the proposed contract or purchase order to the Enterprise System's Procurement Division of ITD for approval.
    1. If not previously submitted, the technology specifications may be submitted to the Enterprise Architecture process for an architectural design review.
    2. Approval must be obtained from ITD before issuing the purchase order or signing the contract.
    3. ITD will also review contracts for adherence to best practices as documented in the Information Technology Contract Guidelines and provide recommendations for any changes to the contract based on best practices.

Policy

54-59-05 Information Technology Department - Powers and duties.

Each executive branch agency or institution, excluding the institutions under the control of the board of higher education, shall submit to the department, in accordance with guidelines established by the department, a written request for the lease, purchase, or other contractual acquisition of information technology. The department shall review requests for conformance with the requesting entity's information technology plan and compliance with statewide policies and standards.  If the request is not in conformance or compliance, the department may disapprove the request or require justification for the departure from the plan or statewide policy or standard.

Applicability

This standard applies to all executive branch state agencies and institutions, excluding the institutions under the control of the board of higher education.

Definition

Information Technology
Citing ND Century Code (Chapter 54-59-01.3), "'Information technology' means the use of hardware, software, services, and supporting infrastructure to manage and deliver information using voice, data, and video." ITD further defined this in its Definition of Information Technology.
State Term Contracts
The State Procurement Office has established term contracts for commodities commonly used by the state. Term contracts establish a supplier for specific commodities for a fixed period of time.  Examples are term contracts for desktop computer equipment and printer equipment.
Invitation for Bid (IFB)
The Invitation for Bid (IFB), solicitation is used to request competitive sealed responses. The document includes or incorporates by reference a description of the needed commodity, specifications or scope of work, bidders’ instructions, contractual terms and conditions, evaluation criteria, price sheets for vendors to submit prices, and offer and acceptance sheet.
Request for Proposal (RFP)
The Request for Proposal (RFP) solicitation is used to request competitive sealed responses when award will be based on factors in addition to price, and when it is expected that any aspect of the requirements will need to be negotiated with respondents as part of the selection process and contract award.
Alternate Procurement (AP)
The Alternate Procurement (AP) request is used when a non-competitive procurement, limited competitive procurement, or purchase from another government entitiy's contract is sought.

Non-Compliance

Non-compliance with this standard shall be reported to the Office of the State Auditor.

Non-compliance to this standard represents a violation of state law.  This standard communicates guidance for actions to be taken by agencies to remain in compliance.

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