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2512 George Mason Drive • P.O. Box 6038 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456-0038   757.263.1000 • 757.263.1240 TDD

Policies and Regulations

School Board of the City of Virginia Beach
Policy 3-38


Competitive Negotiations/Awards/Small Professional Service Contracts

A. Generally

  1. Definition of Competitive Negotiations

    Competitive negotiation is a method of source selection which involves individual discussions between the school board and the offeror on the basis of responses to the school board's request for proposals. The source selection method of competitive negotiation incorporates the applicable provisions of the Virginia Public Procurement Act, Virginia Code § 2.2-4300, et seq., in addition to the provisions outlined in this policy.

  2. Conditions for Use

    Upon a determination by the purchasing authority in writing that competitive sealed bidding is either not practicable or not advantageous to the school board, goods, services, insurance and, in specified instances permitted by
    § 2.2-4303 and § 2.2-4346 of the Virginia Public Procurement Act, construction may be procured by competitive negotiation. The writing shall document the basis for this determination.

  3. Request for Proposals

    Request for proposals shall be in writing and indicate in general terms that which is sought to be procured, specifying the factors which will be used in evaluating the proposal and containing or incorporating by reference the other applicable contractual terms and conditions, including any unique capabilities or qualifications which will be required of the contractor.

  4. Public Notice

    At least ten (10) days prior to the date set for receipt of proposals, public notice shall be given by posting in a public area normally used for posting of public notices and by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the area in which the contract is to be performed, or both. In addition, proposals may be solicited directly from potential contractors.

  5. Evaluation Factors and Award

    Selection shall be made of two or more offerors deemed to be fully qualified and best suited among those submitting proposals, on the basis of the factors involved in the request for proposals, including price, if so stated in the request for proposal. Negotiations shall then be conducted with each of the offerors so selected. Price shall be considered, but need not be the sole determining factor. After negotiations have been conducted with each offeror, the school board shall award the contract to the offeror which, in the Board's opinion, has made the best proposal. Should the school board determine in writing and in its sole discretion that only one offeror is clearly more highly qualified than the others under consideration, a contract may be negotiated and awarded to that offeror.

B. Contracting for Professional Services by Competitive Negotiation

  1. Generally

    Professional services (accounting, actuarial services, architecture, land surveying, landscape architecture, law, medicine, optometry, pharmacy or professional engineering) shall be procured by competitive negotiation in accordance with the Virginia Public Procurement Act, Virginia Code § 2.2-4300, et seq. in addition to the provisions outlined in this policy.

  2. Discussion and Award

    The purchasing authority shall engage in individual discussions with all offerors deemed fully qualified, responsible and suitable on the basis of initial responses and with emphasis on professional competence to provide the required services. Repetitive informal interviews shall be permissible. Such offerors shall be encouraged to elaborate on their qualifications and performance data or staff expertise pertinent to the proposed project as well as alternative concepts. These discussions may encompass nonbinding estimates of total project costs, including where appropriate, design, construction and life cycle costs. Methods to be utilized in arriving at price for services may also be discussed. Proprietary information from competing offerors shall not be disclosed to the public or to competitors. At the conclusion of discussion, outlined herein, on the basis of evaluation factors published in the request for proposal and all information developed in the selection process to this point, the purchasing authority shall select in the order of preference two or more offerors whose professional qualifications and proposed services are deemed most meritorious. Negotiations shall then be conducted beginning with the offeror ranked first. If a contract satisfactory and advantageous to the school board can be negotiated at a price considered fair and reasonable, the award shall be made to that offeror. Otherwise, negotiations with the offeror ranked first shall be formally terminated and negotiations conducted with the offeror ranked second, and so on until such a contract can be negotiated at a fair and reasonable price. Should the purchasing authority determine in writing and in his sole discretion that only one offeror is fully qualified, or that one offeror is clearly more highly qualified and suitable than the others under consideration, a contract may be negotiated and awarded to that offeror.

  3. Exemptions

    Single or term contracts for professional services shall not be subject to the requirement of competitive negotiation where the aggregate or the sum of all phases is not expected to exceed $ 30,000; however, the purchasing authority shall provide for competition wherever practicable.

Editor's Notes

For competitive sealed bidding/awards see school board policy 3-35.

For emergency/small/small professional service contracts/sole source purchases see School Board Policy 3-32.

For competitive negotiations and awards for the procurement of professional architectural awards and engineering services see school board policy 3-39.

Legal Reference:

Virginia Public Procurement Act, Virginia Code § 2.2-4300, et seq.

Adopted by School Board: February 16, 1993
Amended by School Board: August 2, 2000
Amended by School Board: September 3, 2002