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Maryland Procurement Manual – 6. Review and Evaluation Process

6.1 Opening Vendors’ Sealed Responses
6.2 Conducting Initial Review
6.3 Vendor’s Revisions or Cures to Proposals
6.4 Technical Proposal Evaluation Process – Competitive Sealed Proposals Only
6.5 Offeror Discussions – Competitive Sealed Proposals Only
6.6 Final Technical Proposal Evaluation – Competitive Sealed Proposals Only
6.7 Opening of Financial Proposals – Competitive Sealed Proposals Only
6.8 Requests for Financial Best and Final Offers (BAFO) – Competitive Sealed Proposals Only
6.9 Final Evaluation – Determining Best Value – Competitive Sealed Proposals Only
6.10 State Finalizes Selection of Successful Vendor(s)
6.11 Unsuccessful Offer Debriefings – Competitive Sealed Proposals Only

 

6.1 Opening Vendors’ Sealed Responses

6.1.1 Invitation for Bids (IFB) – Public Bid Opening
All bids received by the bid due date and time must be opened publicly at the time, date and place specified in the IFB.  It is recommended that two State employees attend the public bid opening.  One employee can read the bids aloud and the second one can record and tabulate the bids on the bid abstract.  The opened bids shall be available for public inspection of the non-confidential portion of the bids at a reasonable time after bid opening.  The contract will be awarded to the lowest priced responsive bid from a responsible bidder after all required approvals.

6.1.2 Multi-Step Invitation for Bids (MS-IFB)
Technical Offers are opened in the presence of at least two State employees.  The procurement officer may request bidders to clarify elements of their technical offers through, for example, demonstrations or site visits.  After the technical offers have been determined to be acceptable or not acceptable, price bids of the accepted technical offers will be publicly opened.  The contract will be awarded to the lowest priced responsive bid from a responsible bidder after all required approvals.

6.1.3 Request for Proposals (RFP)
After the proposal due date, all technical proposals must be opened in the presence of at least two State employees.  A register of proposals shall be prepared that identifies each offeror.  The financial proposals should be stored by the procurement officer unopened in a secure location until the appropriate time to open (see Section 6.7).  After conducting an initial review of the technical submissions, the procurement officer should distribute the technical proposals to the evaluation committee.  If the procurement officer determines that a technical proposal is not reasonably susceptible of being selected for award or an offeror is not responsible, the procurement officer should so notify the offeror.  If the financial proposal was a paper submission, the procurement officer should return it unopened after the procurement has been concluded.  If the financial proposal was in electronic format, the procurement officer should not open it.

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6.2 Conducting Initial Review

6.2.1 Responsiveness of Bids (for IFBs only)
The responsiveness of the bid is determined by whether it conforms to the specifications.  A bid is not responsive and may not be considered for award when it contains a material deficiency, including one that affects price, quality, or quantity of goods or services as well as qualifications, deviations and exceptions.  A non-responsive bid cannot be cured.  (Also see Section 6.3.)

6.2.2 Verifying MBE and VSBE Forms for Accuracy
If the bidder or offeror has not identified the specific MBE commitment at the time of submission, the procurement officer must determine that the bid is not responsive or the proposal is not reasonably susceptible for award.

If the bidder or offeror has not identified the specific VSBE commitment at the time of submission, the procurement officer may determine that the bid is not responsive or the proposal is not reasonably susceptible for award.

In either case, if there is a potential issue with an MBE or VSBE form, the procurement officer should contact their MBE or VSBE Liaison officer and Assistant Attorney General.

6.2.3 Meeting Minimum Qualifications
If there are minimum qualifications in the solicitation, verify that the minimum qualifications have been met by the bidder or offeror.  If a minimum qualification has not been met and is considered a matter of responsibility, the procurement officer may seek clarification of the qualification.

6.2.4 Check Technical Proposals for Pricing Information and Exceptions
Technical proposals should not contain any pricing information or financial proposal documentation.  However, sometimes offerors include such information in the technical proposal despite being instructed not to.  If such information is included in the technical proposal, the procurement officer should remove or redact all such pricing information in the proposals before distributing packets to the evaluation committee members.  Common sections where this may occur are in the Economic Benefits section and in the MBE and VSBE Affidavits or Forms.  In addition, any exceptions taken by an offeror should be addressed as soon as possible.  Procurement officers should consult with their AAGs regarding any exceptions taken.

6.2.5 Responsibility of Bidders and Offerors
To be eligible to enter into a contract with the State, a bidder or offeror must be “responsible,” which is defined as having “the capability in all respects to perform fully the contract requirements, and the integrity and reliability that shall assure good faith performance.”52  A bidder or offeror (person or business) or its principals that have been debarred or suspended are prohibited from contracting with the State.53  A recommended awardee must be registered and in good standing with the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) and the Comptroller’s Office must certify that the recommended awardee is in good standing and current in payment of all taxes owed.54  In the absence of such registration and certification, a bidder or offeror may be deemed to be non-responsible.  (See Section 6.10.)

Types of information that may support the bidder or offeror’s responsibility include any required certification or licenses, financial statements, references, current or past litigation, etc.  The procurement officer may consult with subject matter experts to review and interpret the information, e.g., internal auditors reviewing financial statements.  Extremely low-priced bids or proposals may call into question the bidder or offeror’s capability or reliability to perform the contractual requirements.

The determination of responsibility is an ongoing evaluation that may include information obtained beyond the initial IFB or RFP submissions, such as public information searches.  Prior to making a determination of responsibility, the bidder or offeror should be given the opportunity to provide clarification or cure any alleged deficiencies.

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6.3 Vendor’s Revisions or Cures to Proposals

6.3.1 Some irregularities or mistakes in bids or proposals may be fatal and may not be corrected or cured, e.g., late submissions, errors in properly completing the MBE affidavit/forms, failure to submit a bid bond.  (Also see Section 6.10.2.)

6.3.2 A minor irregularity is “one which is merely a matter of form and not of substance or pertains to some immaterial or inconsequential defect or variation in a bid or proposal from the exact requirement of the solicitation, the correction or waiver of which would not be prejudicial to other bidders or offers.”  COMAR 21.06.02.04A.

“The defect or variation in the bid or proposal is immaterial and inconsequential when its significance as to price, quantity, quality or delivery is trivial or negligible when contrasted with the total cost or scope of the procurement.”  COMAR 21.06.03.04B.

In response to a minor irregularity, the procurement officer must allow the bidder or offeror to correct its bid or proposal, or in the alternative, may waive the deficiency.  COMAR 21.06.02.04C.

6.3.3 The procurement officer should notify a bidder or offeror of identified irregularities or mistakes as soon as possible.  It is within the procurement officer’s discretion to determine the amount of time for cure responses.

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6.4 Technical Proposal Evaluation Process – Competitive Sealed Proposals Only

6.4.1 Evaluation Overview
Technical and Financial proposals shall be evaluated independently.  The evaluation of the technical proposals must be based on the evaluation factors set forth in the RFP and in accord with the relative importance of each evaluation factor.55  Factors not specified in the RFP may not be considered.

6.4.2 Reviewing the Technical Proposals
After conducting the initial technical proposal review to verify the responsibility of the offeror and to ensure that all required items have been submitted with the technical proposal, the procurement officer and members of the evaluation committee should begin a more thorough review of each technical proposal.  Following are a list of general guidelines for evaluation committees in their review of technical proposals:

  • At the first evaluation committee meeting, the procurement officer should provide guidance to the evaluation committee members (evaluators) of their roles in the process and their commitment to attend all evaluation meetings, oral presentations, in order to make a final award recommendation.
  • The procurement officer should ensure that the evaluation committee has all materials needed to perform the evaluation (e.g., copies of all proposals, the RFP, RFP Amendments and Q&A’s) and should be available to answer any questions the committee may have.  During committee meetings, the procurement officer should provide guidance, control discussions, and provide real time direction regarding what the committee can and cannot consider and evaluate in its deliberations.  The committee’s focus must be on the RFP, the evaluation criteria, and the offerors’ proposals.
  • The procurement officer and allevaluators must read allproposals.  Evaluators cannot divide the proposals with each member reading certain ones and reporting his/her impressions back to the others.
  • The evaluators should base their evaluations on their first-hand observations and analyses of each proposal and independently identify strengths and deficiencies to rank each proposal.  A proposal that simply meets the RFP requirements generally has neither a strength nor a deficiency.  A strength may be something identified that exceeds the RFP requirements, while a deficiency may be a less desirable solution.
  • In making the final award recommendation, the procurement officer guides the evaluation committee to come to a consensus.

6.4.3 Methods of Evaluation
As the CSP process is focused on determining the best value for the State, there are subjective elements to the evaluation of technical proposals and the eventual recommendation of award (in comparison to CSB procurements in which award is based on the lowest-priced, responsive bid, requiring a more objective analysis).

The procurement officer may wish to consult with their supervisor and appropriate Control Agency for guidance on selecting the appropriate evaluation method for their procurement.

The procurement officer’s award recommendation memo should explain the basis for the recommendation along with the actual differences in technical proposal quality between the proposals, including a listing of the identified significant technical strengths and deficiencies for each proposal and the evaluation committee’s individual rankings and the final consensus rankings.

6.4.3.1 Numerical Rankings
Numerical ranking is the most widely used evaluation method in the State for CSP procurements.  Under this method, technical proposals are ranked individually for each of the technical criteria, based on identified strengths and deficiencies in each offeror’s technical proposal, up to the total number of proposals that remain reasonably susceptible of being selected for award.  So if three proposals remain, each proposal is ranked 1, 2, or 3 for each of the technical criteria,56 and then an overall consensus technical ranking of 1, 2, or 3 is identified for each proposal.

6.4.3.2 Adjectival Ratings
Adjectival rating is another evaluation method, where instead of a ranking number being assigned to the technical criteria and overall technical proposal rankings, a descriptive adjective or code is assigned.  An example could be a range of terms such as “Excellent,” “Good,” “Acceptable,” “Weak,” and “Unacceptable.”   Sometimes each of these terms includes a further description of how the term is to be applied when evaluating proposals (e.g., “Excellent = a thorough response that exceeds the RFP requirements in all ways and contains no deficiencies”).  Under this method, technical proposals are rated individually for each of the technical criteria based on identified significant strengths and deficiencies in each offeror’s technical proposal applying a descriptive rating term to each proposal.

6.4.3.3 Scoring/Points/Percentages
The use of points, scoring systems, or assigning of percentages for technical criteria and overall rankings is sometimes used in an attempt to remove subjectivity from the CSP evaluation and award recommendation process.  The rationale is usually that by letting a mathematical formula determine the award recommendation, subjectivity is minimized in the evaluation process, and evaluators and offerors are better able to determine the magnitude of technical differences between proposals.  However, the establishment of the particular mathematical formula to be used, the delegation of points to the technical and financial criteria, and the eventual assignment of points by the evaluation committee all still require subjective analysis and determination.  The RFP should define the mathematical formula to be used, the delegation of points per criteria, and describe how evaluators will assign points to these criteria (identifying particular sections of the RFP scope of work and proposal responses where points may be awarded).

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6.5 Offeror Discussions – Competitive Sealed Proposals Only

6.5.1 Discussions
Discussions57 include opportunities for qualified offerors to amend, supplement, or clarify their proposals (i.e. cures), oral presentations, as well as Best and Final Offer (BAFO) discussions.  Qualified offerors include only those offerors that are responsible and whose proposals are initially classified as being reasonably susceptible of being selected for award.  Qualified offerors shall be accorded fair and equal treatment with respect to any opportunity for discussions, negotiations, and clarification of proposals.

Note that for all discussions, the existence and identity of other offerors, or information from another offeror’s proposal may not be disclosed, and any oral clarification shall be confirmed in writing and become part of the offeror’s proposal.

6.5.2 Oral Presentations
As stated in the RFP, all offerors that remain reasonably susceptible of being selected for award after the initial review of proposals may be invited to provide an oral presentation to discuss their technical proposal.  Oral presentations are an opportunity for offerors to present their teams, provide demonstrations, highlight the strengths of their proposal, ask questions about the procurement process, and answer any questions the evaluation committee and procurement officer may have.  As noted above, any oral clarification or supplement provided by an offeror at an oral presentation should be confirmed in writing so as to be incorporated into the technical proposal.

These presentations will typically be scheduled after the evaluation committee and procurement officer have had time to perform a complete review of the technical proposals, noting any initial issues with the proposals that may need to be cured.  Any issues raised by the evaluation committee or procurement officer during an oral presentation should also be provided to the offeror in writing via a cure letter as detailed below.

6.5.3 Cure Letters
For any issues noted in an offeror’s technical proposal by the evaluation committee or procurement officer, including identification of technical proposal deficiencies, flaws, incomplete proposal elements, exceptions, responsibility concerns, or even proposal items that simply need to be clarified further, the procurement officer should send written notice to the offeror with the issues enumerated to obtain a cure for the deficiency or request further clarification or proposal supplementation.  These cure letters are an opportunity for offerors to revise and supplement their proposals and attempt to minimize identified proposal deficiencies.  Responses must be in writing and are incorporated into the offeror’s technical proposal.

Cure letters should identify each specific issue and deficiency to be addressed in an individual offeror’s proposal and provide the due date for the requested response.  The cure letter should not reference or include elements from another offeror’s proposal to request that this offeror propose a similar element.

6.5.4 Technical Best and Final Offers (Tech. BAFO)
The procurement officer may request a technical best and final offer58 (BAFO) from offerors to confirm in writing all substantive clarifications of, or changes in, their technical proposals made in the course of discussions.  The technical BAFO should be conducted prior to finalizing the evaluation of technical proposals and before opening financial proposals.  Each BAFO request after the first requires its own written determination explaining the need for the additional request, to be signed by the agency head or designee.

After cure letter responses or technical BAFOs are received, the procurement officer should consider rejecting any proposal deemed not reasonably susceptible of being selected for award, if any substantive requirement is still not met in the offeror’s technical proposal.  The procurement officer may also send a follow-up cure letter noting the continued proposal deficiency, or identifying additional deficiencies.  If after subsequent cure letters the offeror is still deemed not reasonably susceptible of being selected for award, then the offeror’s proposal should be rejected and the offeror notified of the reasons for the proposal rejection.

6.5.5 Amendments after Receipt of Proposals
If the State wishes to add or change a requirement to an RFP’s scope of work, based on information received during the proposal evaluation process, an RFP amendment should be issued to all offerors remaining in competition to allow those offerors to supplement their proposals to meet the new or changed requirement.  If the amendment would likely change the competitive landscape, then the State should consider cancelling the procurement and re-soliciting.

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6.6 Final Technical Proposal Evaluation – Competitive Sealed Proposals Only

6.6.1 Overall Technical Consensus
The final technical proposal evaluation meeting occurs after all:

  • Written proposals have been thoroughly reviewed;
  • Oral presentations, if requested, have been conducted; and
  • Cure letters have been issued and responses and any technical BAFOs have been received.

Once these actions have been completed, the procurement officer and the evaluation committee determine the rankings/ratings/scores based on the individual technical criteria, and then finalize the technical evaluation with an overall consensus ranking/rating/score for each technical proposal using the individual technical criteria weightings as described in the RFP.

6.6.2 Final Qualification of Proposals
After technically ranking/rating/scoring all proposals, the procurement officer and evaluation committee should consider the following questions in technically qualifying proposals and determining which proposals remain reasonably susceptible of being selected for award prior to opening the financial proposals:

  • If this offeror would perform the contract for free, would you select it?
  • If this were the only offeror, would you contract with it?

If the consensus answers to these questions are “no”, this proposal should be determined not qualified; either the proposal is not reasonably susceptible of being selected for award or the offeror is not responsible.  Accordingly, the proposal should be eliminated; the offeror notified; and the associated financial proposal should not be opened.

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6.7 Opening of Financial Proposals – Competitive Sealed Proposals Only

After the technical proposal evaluation is completed, all proposals classified as reasonably susceptible of being selected for award move on to the next procurement evaluation stage:  the opening of the financial proposals.

As with the opening of the technical proposals, any financial proposals that are opened shall be opened in the presence of at least two State employees.  It is recommended that the financial proposals be opened in the presence of the evaluation committee, and documented in the procurement file.

Evaluation and Ranking
The financial proposal evaluation and ranking is usually a quick and straightforward process where the RFP financial proposal model calculates a single, bottom-line total evaluated price.  Financial proposals that are complex may require expert analysis to assist with the financial evaluation.  The financial proposals are ranked according to their total evaluated price with the lowest price ranked highest and so on.

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6.8 Requests for Financial Best and Final Offers (BAFO) – Competitive Sealed Proposals Only

6.8.1 Discussions
As noted in Section 6.5, discussions59 include opportunities for qualified offerors to amend, supplement, or clarify their proposals through cures, oral presentations, as well as BAFO discussions in limited circumstances.  Qualified offerors include only those offerors that remain responsible and whose proposals are initially classified as being reasonably susceptible of being selected for award.  Qualified offerors shall be accorded fair and equal treatment with respect to any opportunity for discussions, negotiations, and clarification of proposals.

Note that for all discussions, the existence and identity of other offerors, or information from another offeror’s proposal may not be disclosed, and any oral clarification shall be confirmed in writing and become part of the offeror’s proposal.

6.8.2 Best and Final Offers (BAFOs)
When in the best interest of the State, the procurement officer may invite qualified offerors to revise their initial financial proposals by submitting BAFOs.60  The primary objective is to get better pricing after the initial financial proposals have been opened; however, a BAFO may also provide an opportunity to clarify any remaining uncertainties with the proposals and correct any mistakes or exceptions taken in the financial proposals.  Note that when the RFP has been amended in a manner that could affect the financial proposals, a BAFO opportunity should be extended to all qualified offerors.  In addition, an agency may request a BAFO to cure an error by one or more offerors on the financial proposal.  All offerors must be afforded the same opportunity for discussions and amendment of their proposals.

As discussed earlier, if before an award has been made, it appears that an offeror has made a mistake in its proposal, the offeror should be asked to confirm its proposal.  If the offeror is able to correct the mistake, it should be allowed to do so through the BAFO process.  Otherwise, reference COMAR 21.05.02.12 “Mistakes in Bids.”61

The procurement officer may determine that more than one round of BAFOs is in the best interest of the State.  Each BAFO request after the first requires its own written determination explaining the need for the additional request, to be signed by the agency head or designee.

Except for real property leases, any additional offeror discussions at this stage in the procurement, after opening of financial proposals and before award, require a BAFO request to all remaining qualified offerors.  Real property lease CSP procurements allow for further discussions and negotiations to obtain the best lease terms.

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6.9 Final Evaluation – Determining Best Value – Competitive Sealed Proposals Only

6.9.1 Classification of Proposals62
The proposals may be classified as reasonably susceptible of being selected for award or not reasonably susceptible of being selected for award (in comparison to bids being classified as responsive or non-responsive in CSB procurements).  If a proposal is classified as not reasonably susceptible of being selected for award or the offeror is determined by the procurement officer to be not responsible, the offeror shall be notified and its proposal rejected.

In order for a proposal to be considered reasonably susceptible of being selected for award, the evaluation committee and procurement offeror should be willing and prepared to recommend award of a contract at some price level to any qualified offeror.  Conversely, if the evaluation committee and procurement officer are not willing to recommend award of a contract to a specific offeror at any price level, that offeror should be determined to be not qualified.  The offeror should be deemed not responsible, the proposal should be deemed not susceptible of being selected for award, or both.

6.9.2 Best Value Determination
Determining best value requires weighing the strengths and deficiencies of the technical proposals in relation to the pricing in the financial proposals.  The RFP will prescribe the evaluation method used, the criteria used to rank, rate or score proposals, as well as the weighting to be afforded to technical and financial proposals.  The three options are:

  1. Technical and financial factors receive equal weight;
  2. Technical factors receive greater weight than financial factors; or
  3. Financial factors receive greater weight than technical factors.

The proposal that is recommended for contract award will always be the overall highest ranked, rated or scored proposal from the combined technical and financial proposal best value determination.  This proposal will be determined to be the most advantageous offer to the State.

6.9.3 Evaluation Committee Recommendation
During the final evaluation committee meeting, the procurement officer documents the evaluation committee rankings, ratings or scoring (depending on the evaluation method used, as detailed in the RFP) of all qualified proposals, the evaluation committee’s consensus recommended selection for award, and the strengths and deficiencies of all proposals based on the RFP evaluation criteria.  A proposal’s strengths and deficiencies should be based on specific references to the technical proposal using the evaluation criteria detailed in the RFP, and not comparisons to other proposals.  The procurement officer’s documentation from the evaluation committee will be used to support both the award recommendation and the debriefing process.

The procurement officer then decides whether to accept the evaluation committee’s recommendation.  While the procurement officer’s recommendation is often in consensus with that of the evaluation committee recommendation, there may be instances in which the procurement officer disagrees with the evaluation committee’s recommendation.  In such instances, the procurement officer should work with the evaluation committee to determine the reasons for the differences in opinion, and attempt to ensure that all proposal elements are being interpreted in a similar manner.  If a consensus is still unable to be reached, the procurement officer should document the differences of opinion in the procurement file.  It is the duty of the procurement officer to make the final award recommendation, taking into account the evaluation committee’s recommendation.

6.9.4 Final Award Recommendation63
The procurement officer shall make a determination recommending contract award to the responsible offeror whose proposal is determined to be the most advantageous to the State, considering price and evaluation factors set forth in the RFP.

The procurement officer should follow its agency’s internal policies for required approval by the agency head or designee of award recommendation.

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6.10 State Finalizes Selection of Successful Vendor(s)

6.10.1 Notice to Recommended Awardee
The procurement officer should provide notice to the successful bidder/offeror that it is recommended for award.  At this time, the procurement officer is responsible for obtaining the required number of original contracts, signed only by the recommended awardee, as well as the contract affidavit and other required documents, such as any MBE, VSBE, bonds, or insurance documentation.  The cover letter transmitting those documents to the successful bidder/offeror should encourage the successful bidder/offeror to return those documents within the period of time specified in the solicitation, generally five days for the contract and contract affidavit or 10 days if MBE and VSBE documents are required.

Failure by the recommended awardee to respond in a timely manner may result in the bidder/offeror being determined to be not responsible, and the award recommendation may go to the next bidder/offeror in line.  This step requires a new award recommendation and notice to the next recommended awardee.

6.10.2 Reviewing Additional MBE or VSBE Documents, if applicable
After the recommended awardee and its subcontractors submit the additional required MBE documentation, the procurement officer should review and compare these documents to the original MBE forms submitted with the bid/proposal.

A. MBE “72-hour Rule”
Sometimes, after bid/proposal submission, but before contract execution, the recommended awardee becomes aware that an MBE intended to be included as a subcontractor is unavailable or ineligible to participate as an MBE.  In that event, the recommended awardee has 72 hours to notify the procuring agency.  The procurement officer, in consultation with the agency’s MBE liaison officer, is authorized to permit an amendment to the MBE schedule, if the recommended awardee has provided in writing a satisfactory justification in accordance with COMAR 21.11.03.12.

B. Approving or Denying a Waiver Request
If the recommended awardee requested a full or partial MBE waiver, the procurement officer would request that the recommended awardee submit its documentation supporting the waiver request.  The procurement officer in consultation with the MBE liaison officer would review the documentation and make a determination whether the recommended awardee made a good faith effort to try to obtain MBE subcontractor participation and grant or deny the waiver.  The procurement officer must grant the waiver if the recommended awardee provides a reasonable demonstration of good faith efforts to achieve the goal(s). The procurement officer must obtain sign off by the agency head or designee and forward a copy of the waiver determination to the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority, and Women Business Affairs.  See COMAR 21.11.03.11.

6.10.3 Assistant Attorney General Sign-off for Legal Sufficiency of the Contract
Upon receipt of the recommended awardee’s signed contracts, the procurement officer should examine them to see that all requisite signatures and documentation have been provided.  Send the entire package of contract documents, including attachments, to the agency’s AAG for review and sign-off for legal sufficiency.  This sign-off is required before any other approvals may be obtained.

6.10.4  Verification of Good Standing with the State Department of Assessments & Taxation (SDAT) and Comptroller’s Office
Before final contract approval (see Section 7.1), the procurement officer must verify through SDAT that the recommended awardee is a company registered to do business in the State and is in good standing.  In addition, the procurement officer must obtain through the Comptroller’s Office a tax clearance number.  In the event that a deficiency is noted by either agency, the recommended awardee may be given the opportunity to correct any defect.

Failure by the recommended awardee to correct any deficiency in a timely manner may result in the bidder/offeror being determined to be not responsible, and the award recommendation may go to the next bidder/offeror in line.

6.10.5 Confirmation of Non-Debarment
To confirm continuing eligibility of the recommended awardee to receive a contract, before final contract approvals, the procurement officer should confirm the recommended awardee made no relevant disclosures on the Bid Proposal or Contract Affidavits and again check the debarment list on the BPW website.64

6.10.6 Notice of Award Recommendation65
After the recommended awardee has provided all required signed contract documentation and all verification and confirmations have occurred, the procurement officer shall provide notice to all remaining offerors of the recommendation for award prior to final approval of the contract.  The notice of award recommendation should include the ranking table with the technical, financial and overall rankings, including the total evaluated financial price, of all reasonably susceptible offers.  (This is the information that would be publically disclosed in a BPW agenda item.)  The notice should also include the opportunity to request a debriefing.

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6.11 Unsuccessful Offeror Debriefings – Competitive Sealed Proposals Only

Unsuccessful offerors may submit a written request within a reasonable time for a debriefing to the procurement officer.  Debriefings shall be provided at the earliest possible time after the procurement officer receives a request for a debriefing and before the contract award is presented to the agency head or designee or BPW for approval.

Debriefings are to be limited to discussion of only that particular unsuccessful offeror’s proposal; discussion of another offeror’s proposal is not permitted.  The debriefing may not include discussion or dissemination of the individual evaluation committee members’ thoughts, notes, or individual rankings.  Debriefings are to be factual and consistent with the evaluation of that unsuccessful offeror’s proposal and shall provide information on areas in which the unsuccessful offeror’s technical proposal was deemed weak or deficient.  A debriefing affords offerors an opportunity to learn how to improve.

Finally, a summary of each debriefing shall be included in the procurement file.

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[52] COMAR 21.01.02.01B(77)

[53] http://bpw.maryland.gov/Pages/debarments.aspx

[54] www.dat.maryland.gov

[55] COMAR 21.05.03.02.A(2)

[56] If the evaluation committee has identified a specific technical criterion that is satisfied equally by more than one offeror, the committee members may desire to give the same ranking to those proposals in that criterion.  However, the procurement officer should guide the committee to differentiate between technical solutions where possible.

[57] COMAR 21.05.03.03.C

[58] COMAR 21.05.03.03 D

[59] COMAR 21.05.03.03.C

[60] COMAR 21.05.03.03.D

[61] COMAR 21.05.03.03.E

[62] COMAR 21.05.03.03.B

[63] COMAR 21.05.03.03.F

[64]  http://bpw.maryland.gov/Pages/debarments.aspx

[65] COMAR 21.05.03.03.G

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