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An Overview of the Bidding Procedure in Virginia

The Virginia Public Procurement Act, its application to local governments, documents developed in Virginia localities ethics in public purchasing and the interconnection between the state procurement act and the state conflict of interests act are significant parts of the bidding method in Virginia.

 

The Virginia Public Procurement Act (VPPA) is the primary basis for the public procurement in Virginia. The Virginia Public Procurement Act (VPPA) was enacted by the Virginia General Assembly in 1981 to standardize the purchase of goods and services by state agencies and local governments (Virginia Code, §§2.2-4300 and following). The VPPA was written keeping the needs of state and local governments in mind. Its provisions include the 10-day period for a disappointed bidder to file a protest, and take into account the practical problems that are faced by the locality in purchasing goods and services. The VPPA has undergone minor amendments that have been made in the over the last 20 years.

 

 

  • Small Purchases:
  • Purchases of $1,000 or less- Purchases of $1,000 or less are assigned to the using department head or designees without obtaining quotations or keeping records. Such purchases can be accomplished through by utilizing a local supply order or the Visa/Purchasing Card. When purchasing at this level, it is advised that users compare the pricing and employ previous research.
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  • Purchases between $1,000.01 and $10,000- Purchases between $1,000.01 and $10,000 should be made on the open market on the basis of terms most beneficial to the Town. It should be finished through the use of at least two attempted telephone, written, catalog or electronic quotations. It is necessary that the using department obtains these quotations and forward to Purchasing for review and for the issuance of the purchase order.
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  • Purchases between $10,000.01 and $30,000- Purchases between $10,000.01 and $30,000 should be made on the open market on the basis of terms most profitable to the Town. It should be completed by using at least three attempted written or electronic quotations. The using department should obtain these quotations and forward them to Purchasing for review and to issue purchase order.
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  • Purchases between $30,000.01 and $50,000- Purchases between $30,000.01 and $50,000 should be made on the open market on the basis of terms most gainful to the Town. It shall be accomplished through the use of at least four written or electronic quotations. The Purchasing Division should obtain these quotations.

 

  • Large Purchases:
  • Purchases whereby supplies, construction, goods, and services are estimated to cost $50,000 and above and professional services over $30,000 are defined as Large Purchase. Such purchase requires a formal Invitation for Bid or Request for Proposal to be issued. This should be accomplished by soliciting interested bidders and those vendors on the Town’s bid list. A legal ad should also be published in the local newspaper or posted on a bulletin board which will be assessable to the general public. All Invitations for Bid and Requests for Proposals should be issued by the Purchasing Division.
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  • The Invitation for Bid and Request for Proposal are two distinctly different methods of procurement in the Purchasing Procedures. An Invitation for Bid contains specifications, a public bid opening, posted bid tabulations, and a firm price offer from a vendor that cannot be altered, unless the price is over the town’s budgeted amount. The Request for Proposal is a negotiated procurement. Offers are opened in private with no information regarding contents and prices being released until after the negotiation process.

 

An Overview of the Bidding Procedure in Virginia

 

There are exceptions to the above mentioned codes for purchases such as:

 

  • Contracts may be entered without competition when the purchase can qualify as:

 

  • A purchase from a sole source
  • A purchase of an emergency nature
  • A purchase from a vendor who has been awarded a State Contract
  • Insurance if purchased through an association of which the Town is a member if the association was formed for the purpose of promoting the interest and welfare of and developing close relationships with similar public bodies and the association has procured the insurance by use of competitive principles
  • A purchase for legal services or expert witnesses or other services associated with litigation or regulatory proceedings
  • A purchase from a nonprofit sheltered workshop
  • Professional services like accounting, architecture, medicine, land surveying, landscape architecture, law, actuarial services, optometry or professional engineering, whereby costs do not exceed $15,000 and only one source is available
  • Published books, periodicals, maps, and audio visual material related to training
  • A purchase from a state agency or other governing bodies.

 

The submission of bids include various steps like:

  • All bidders shall use the authentic Bid Form in submitting their bid prices. The Purchasing Office does not accept oral bids or bids received by telephone, or telegraph
  • All prices must be F.O.B. delivered and the County grants no allowance for boxing, crating, or delivery unless specifically provided
  • The Bid Form must be completed in blue or black ink or by typewriter. Discrepancies in the multiplication of units of work and the unit prices are resolved in favor of the correct multiplication of the unit prices. Discrepancies between the indicated sum of any column of figures and the correct sum thereof are resolved in favor of the correct sum
  • All additions, erasures, insertions and modifications made by the bidder to the Bid Form should be signed by the bidder. Bids containing any conditions, alterations, omissions, or items not called for in the bid, can be rejected by the Purchasing Office as being incomplete or nonresponsive
  • The Bid Form must be signed in order to be considered. If the bidder is a corporation, the bid must be submitted in the name of the corporation, and not in the corporation's trade name. Besides, the bidder must indicate the corporate title of the individual signing the bid
  • The Bid Form, the bid security, if any, and any other documents required, should be enclosed in a sealed opaque envelope. Any notation on the exterior of the envelope purporting to alter, amend, modify, or revise the bid contained within the envelope are disregarded
  • The envelope containing the bid should be sealed and marked in the lower left-hand corner with the bid request number, goods or services sought, hour and due date of the bid
  • The envelope containing the bid should be sealed and marked in the lower left-hand corner with the bid request number, goods or services sought, hour and due date of the bid
  • All bids that are received in the Purchasing Office by the deadline indicated are kept in a locked bid box until the time and date set for the opening of bids
  • All late bids are returned unopened to the sender.

 

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