Virginia's plan the nation's most ambitious

Virginia's Department of Information Technology is taking on the nation's most comprehensive outsourcing plan to date.

The agency is seeking proposals for a statewide seat management services plan. If they go through with it, Virginia will be the first state to outsource all of its information technology needs.

The recently released request for proposals asks vendors to fashion a plan based on Virginia's stated minimum needs in order to allow as much flexibility as possible for the commonwealth.

"We don't really see a risk involved in that," said Larry Schucht, director of the acquisition services division at the DIT, at a Tuesday morning Federal Sources Inc. executive forum. "This is really a true RFP, not like most of them which are very strict and fixed. We have set the minimum standards and are relying on the vendors' expertise to provide additional services."

The DIT is seeking seat management services, which means outsourcing its basic IT maintenance and services needs for all state agencies, public educational institutions (including students) and localities. The office will award three indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts to meet those needs.

Schucht said the evaluation process may take longer with this RFP than with the more fixed, traditional models, but "the commonwealth and our users will only benefit from that."

Virginia's Secretary of Technology Don Upson, who oversees the Council on Technology Services that developed the proposal, said COTS will host meetings between the state agencies and institutions, and the vendors, during and after the RFP process. "We want to market this initiative. It should be a benchmark for other states and other markets," he said.

Copies of the solicitation are available online at asd.state.va.us.

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