Commercial Off-the-Shelf Software 2012 (COTS 2012): PORFP Procedures

These guidelines outline agency procedures for initiating and executing a Purchase Order Request for Proposals (PORFP) under the COTS Software Master Contract. This process applies to purchases under the following Functional Areas (FA):

  • COTS Software (FA I);
  • Installation and Training Services (FA II); or
  • Manufacturer’s Software Warranty / Maintenance (FA III).

A purchase under FA II is only allowed in conjunction with a purchase under FA I and/or FA III. General procurement questions should be sent to:​​.

All cloud based software solutions including but not limited to Software-as-a-service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-service (PaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), or any other cloud hosted software solution is EXCLUDED from the **Commercial Off-the-Shelf Software (COTS); Master Contract BPO # 060B2490021.

The COTS contract is NOT the appropriate contract vehicle for purchasing cloud based software.  The COTS contract does not contain the appropriate scope, functional areas and flow-down provisions for cloud based software products and services. State agencies are responsible for verification with their internal customers that the solution being purchased is COTS and not a cloud based solution prior to issuing any PORFP.

PORFP Procedures

  1. Determine equipment and/or extended warranty needs. In making product / service selections, it is recommended agencies assess what products already exist in the agency or other agency environments. This may help agencies select compatible products or at least identify technical requirements toward choosing a product.
  2. Identify the corresponding COTS Software Master Contract Functional Area or Areas. See Functional Areas: Descriptions/Examples.
  3. Follow ADPICS Procedures to create an agency Purchase Order (PO). The PO number becomes the “PORFP Number” used to identify the PORFP.
  4. Complete all sections of the PORFP Template. For guidance, refer to the PORFP Template Instructions and PORFP Template Sample #1 or PORFP Template Sample #2. Complete the PORFP Template as follows:
    1. Section 1 - General Information: Captures PORFP Number (ADPICS PO Number), FA selections, Manufacturer*, Small Business Reserve (SBR) designation, proposal due date**, and agency instructions governing the provision of products/services.

      *Only one manufacturer is allowed per PORFP.

      **DoIT recommends a 21 day period from release to the proposal due date.
    2. Section 2 - Agency Point of Contact (POC) Information: Captures the contact information of the agency representative responsible for the PORFP.
    3. Section 3 - Delivery Address / Worksite POC Information (if different from above): Captures the contact information of a secondary agency representative as needed if the delivery or work site address differs from the information captured in Section 2.
    4. Section 4 – Scope of Work: The scope of work should include the following information by selected FA:
      • FA I – Detailed description of the business need, required functionality, product name and description, COTS software version and release numbers, quantity of licenses required, and due date for delivery. If product specifics are unknown, Master Contractors may propose products based on a detailed description of the business need / required functionality.
      • FA II – Description of required installation and training services, and any associated deliverables. Include any unique requirements, for example restrictions on the time of day work can be performed. Indicate the start and end dates for services.

        Note - Purchases under FA II must be in conjunction with purchases under FA I and/or FA III.
      • FA III – Description of required COTS Manufacturer’s Software Warranty / Maintenance, and any associated deliverables. Include any unique requirements, for example restrictions on the time of day work can be performed. Indicate the start and end dates for services.
    5. Section 5 - Evaluation Criteria – Technical Proposal: Communicates to the Master Contractors how their technical proposals will be evaluated. Criteria should be objective and aligned to the SOW, prioritized in order of importance in order to identify the best value proposal.
  5. Email the PORFP to the Master Contractors in the applicable FA authorized to sell the required manufacturer product line or supporting services. If the manufacturer is not known, email the PORFP to all Master Contractors in the FA. To create the email, go to Select Master Contractor Contact List from the COTS Software Contract Links box. Follow the prompts to filter, select, and export the appropriate list of Master Contractors to email.
    Note – for a PORFP designated as a SBR, select and email the PORFP only to Master Contractors certified as SBRs. For agencies designated in the SBR Program, PORFPs that are not SBR only require written approval from the agency MBE / SBR liaison or designee.
  6. Upon receipt of the PORFP, Master Contractors should prepare and submit proposals or a COTS Software Master Contractor Feedback Form (See Step 6 below) in response to the PORFP. Proposals will provide two separate sections as follows:
    1. Technical Proposal
      • Description of the COTS software to be provided;
      • Transportation and delivery schedule;
      • Description of how the Master Contractor will provide the required installation and training services (FA II only) and/or manufacturer’s warranty / maintenance (FA III only).
      • Warranty terms;
      • A statement that the Master Contractor is authorized by the manufacturer or distributor to provide the COTS software or services as of the date of the proposal; and
      • A guarantee that the proposed COTS software proposed is virus free.
    2. Financial Proposal
      • For FA I and FA III, the proposed price including a screen shot of the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP); and
      • For FA II, the price for the proposed services, either fixed price or time and materials, as designated in the PORFP.
      • The agency POC or designee will receive proposals from the Master Contractors that choose to respond to the PORFP. If a Master Contractor chooses not to submit a proposal, the Master Contractor must submit a COTS Software 2012 Master Contractor Feedback Form to the agency POC or designee. If any Master Contractor fails to submit a proposal or feedback form by the proposal due date, the agency POC or designee shall follow-up with the Master Contractor to request submission of a feedback form.
  7. The agency POC or designee reviews the technical proposal for adherence to the requirements defined in the PORFP.
  8. The agency POC or designee establishes a process to evaluate technical proposals based on the evaluation criteria in the PORFP. The evaluation will be conducted in accordance with all applicable State laws and regulations and may include requests for clarification, additional information and best and final offers.
  9. Upon completion of technical rankings, the agency POC or designee reviews the financial proposals for each qualified proposal. For FA I and FA III the agency POC or designee will ensure the proposed pricing for the recommended proposal is at or below MSRP. For a FA II time and material PORFP, the agency POC or designee compares the financial proposal for the recommended proposal to the labor rates published for that Master Contractor. Labor rates can be found by clicking Master Contractor Contact/Pricing Information from the COTS Contract Links box.
  10. The agency will make an award based on the proposal that is “most advantageous to the State,” (See the “Basis for Award” Section of the PORFP).
  11. Approvals of awards less than $50,000 are delegated to the agency. For approval of any award over $50,000, the agency POC or designee is required to complete a COTS Software 2012 Award Package Checklist​. The agency shall mail the Award Package Checklist and all required parts to DGS at
  12. Complete the PO created in Step 2 and post the PO according to the ADPICS Procedures. Upon PO approval by DoIT, print, sign, and fax a copy to the selected Master Contractor.
  13. Notify all Master Contractors who submitted a proposal in response to the PORFP of the selected Master Contractor and the amount of the award.
  14. Products will be shipped directly to the agency address included in the PO. Agencies are responsible for following up with the Master Contractor directly concerning the status of the order, as well as subsequent invoice and product / service concerns.

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