Once a Sourcing Event is published and open for bidding, vendors have through the allotted time per the ‘Due Date’ to provide electronic responses to the solicitation. These responses are concealed from the Sourcing Agent until envelopes are opened once the ‘Due Date’ passes. During the time that an Event is open, vendors can ask questions, and Sourcing Agents can respond, if needed, by creating Addendums or even extending the timing of the Event. Although awarding the solicitation to the winning bidder does not happen within the Sourcing Tool, there are several steps supporting this process that do, such as seeking Clarifications and gaining NCDIT’s approval of the Award Recommendation.
For more detailed step-by-step information regarding this topic in a printable format, see the following job aid.
Even though they won’t be able to see the responses until after the ‘Due Date’ expires, Sourcing Agents can check the ‘Suppliers’ tab at any time to see which vendors have responded.
Sourcing Agents can provide answers to vendor questions – or make any other necessary updates to the Event – by posting an ‘Addendum’ in the Sourcing Event before responders submit their final bids.
Sourcing Project Owners have the ability to change the Due Date and Time on a published Sourcing Event if necessary. Although it is not advised to reduce the amount of time vendors have to respond, there might be some scenarios where the timing needs to be extended.
When the Event reaches the response due date, the event status becomes ‘Pending Selection.’ At this point the user can open the ‘Envelope’ to review the responses.
While reviewing the vendor responses, it may be necessary to seek clarification with certain vendors. NCDIT has provided templates for these requests in the NCDIT Sourcing Library, and communication will be handled via the Sourcing Event’s ‘Event Messages’ with select vendors.
After receiving and reviewing vendor responses, it may be necessary to request an exception from NCDIT. Three types of exceptions can be requested: ‘Procurement Exception (Form A),’ ‘Standards Exception (Form B),’ and ‘Security Exception (Form C).’ Each can be requested via their own ‘Task’ in ‘Phase 07’ and will operate just like the previous exception request ‘Task’ from ‘Phase 04.’ If no exceptions are needed, please skip ahead.
After posting the solicitation and conducting the Sourcing Event, the tasks in Phases 05 – 07 in conjunction with the “IT Procurement Process Playbook” will outline the steps required towards arriving at an Award Recommendation. The ‘Submit Award Recommendation and Leading Vendor Proposal(s) to NCDIT for Review’ task at the end of ‘Phase 07’ will give the Agency some initial feedback from NCDIT.
Following any final negotiations per Phase 08, proceed to Phase 09 to complete the ‘Gain NCDIT Approval of Final Award Recommendation’ task. This is the final required ‘Approval Task’ in the IT Sourcing process.
Once the solicitation has been officially awarded per the process outlined by NCDIT, and the Sourcing Agent is certain that no more communication between them and the responding vendors will be necessary, the status of both the Sourcing Event and Project should be marked ‘Complete’ for clarification purposes.