Frequently Asked Questions
Listed below are some commonly asked question through Contact DIR, we have also included FAQ's to the left navigation with other commonly asked questions. Please review before submitting your question, if you can not find the answer to your question or if you have a comment/feedback, please complete the ASK DIR form; and someone will be in touch with you.
1. Q. How do I access contract information?
A. Customers do not need a login to search the DIR contracts. You would use the All Contracts and Services page and enter a search term in the Search All Contracts box. The search will return a list of contracts where that keyword is available. Use the filters on the left side of the list to further filter your results. You can also export the list to Excel. You would then request quotes from those vendors or click on one of the Vendor Names to have access to their DIR contract web page where additional information can be found including contact information, contract documents, and information on how to order. If you need additional assistance, please call 1-855-275-3471 and ask to be connected to a Cooperative Contracts Contract Manager.
Q. How do I become a “member” of DIR so that I can use DIR Cooperative contracts?
A. DIR does not require customer membership. Any eligible DIR customer as defined by statute may use DIR contracts. Texas Government Code defines the eligible customers who can purchase information technology commodities through DIR Contracts & Services. They include:
Texas State Agencies, as defined by TGC 2054.003 (13)
Units of Local Government, as defined by TGC 2054.003 (9)
Public school districts
Special Purpose Districts
Institutions of Higher Education, as defined by TEC 61.003
Assistance Organizations, as defined by TGC 2175.001
DIR utilizes the eligibility for Assistance Organizations as determined by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts or the Texas Facility Commission (TFC). For information on establishing eligibility, please refer to the Comptroller's CO-OP purchasing program guidelines or to the TFC program eligibility page
Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)
Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA)
Private Schools, as defined by TEC 5.001
Private or Independent Institutions of Higher Education, as defined by TEC 61.003
Volunteer Fire Department, as defined by TTC 152.001
Public entities outside Texas, as defined by TGC 2054.0565
Out-of-state public entities - View Resources for Customers Outside Texas for more information on procuring technology through DIR
Q. If a school district wants to join DIR?
A. Independent School Districts within the State of Texas are eligible to buy through DIR, per state statute. No additional agreements with DIR are required. No waiting time, very simple.
We are here to help you with IT purchases. For your convenience, included below is the direct link to DIR’s All Contracts and Services page where you can search our Cooperative Contracts and learn more about how to engage our services.
Q. I have questions concerning Business Continuity/Continuity of Operations/Risk Management:
A. The State Office of Risk Management (SORM) handles guidance on Continuity of Operations for all state agencies now. They request all state agencies use the FEMA Continuity Guidance Circular 1 (Continuity Guidance for Non-Federal Governments (States, Territories, Tribes, and Local Government Jurisdictions) and the Continuity Guidance Circular 2 (CGC 2), Continuity Guidance for Non-Federal Governments: Mission Essential Functions Identification Process (States, Territories, Tribes, and Local Government Jurisdictions), when looking for information to update their plans.
The State Office of Risk Management (SORM) handles guidance on Continuity of Operations for all state agencies now. They request all state agencies use the FEMA Continuity Guidance Circular 1 (Continuity Guidance for Non-Federal Governments (States, Territories, Tribes, and Local Government Jurisdictions) and the Continuity Guidance Circular 2 (CGC 2), Continuity Guidance for Non-Federal Governments: Mission Essential Functions Identification Process (States, Territories, Tribes, and Local Government Jurisdictions), when looking for information to update their plans.
If you need more information on updating your plan, you may want to contact SORM directly at COOP@SORM.texas.gov.
Q. How can I, as a vendor, sign up to receive solicitations?
A. All agencies publish solicitations to the Electronic State Business Daily (ESBD). The ESBD is managed by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (CPA) and there is a formal process through which vendors may register as a Certified Master Bidder (CMB) which adds the vendor to the Certified Master Bidders List (CMBL).
For your convenience and future reference we have included several links within this response and encourage you to bookmark, save, and/or share this information as you like: How to Become a DIR Vendor – on this page, it explains how to become a DIR vendor and provides a direct link to DIR Current Contracting Initiatives.
Q. How do I become a DIR Vendor?
A. To become a DIR vendor, you first need to respond to a solicitation that corresponds to your company's core products and services and then be awarded a contract through that process.
DIR does not maintain a list of approved vendors nor do we assign them a "DIR number.”
DIR posts solicitations on the Current Contracting Initiatives page. We recommend checking this page frequently for updates.
Vendors registered on the Centralized Master Bidders List (CMBL) for those class and item codes for which we are soliciting will be notified of solicitation opportunities by email. It is the vendor’s responsibility to find all notices.
Vendors are not required to be on the CMBL to respond to a solicitation or be awarded a DIR contract.
Vendors may also work with a Prime Vendor on subcontracting opportunities.
Q. What is a Prime Vendor?
A. A prime vendor is any vendor that is awarded and holds a master contract with DIR. A prime vendor can be either a Manufacturer/Publisher, an authorized reseller of the Manufacturer/Publisher, or a service provider. Prime vendors can also name resellers for their products/services under their master contract.
Q. How are Contracts Awarded and Established?
A. Contracts are established using the following process, which complies with all state purchasing requirements:
We post the Request for Offer on the Electronic State Business Daily (ESBD)
Vendors submit proposals to DIR by the required deadline
We evaluate vendor responses
Responsive vendors who offer the best value to the state are sent an invitation to negotiate
After successful negotiations, contracts are awarded for a specified term
We strive to award multiple contracts to allow choice for customers
Q. How do I become a Reseller for a Prime Vendor?
A. Prime vendors and resellers work together; DIR is not involved in the process. Contact the prime vendor and negotiate directly. This process is handled exclusively between the reseller and the prime vendor. The prime vendor submits an amended HUB Subcontracting Plan (HSP) to DIR to add your company as a reseller. DIR must review and approve that request before your company can be added under the contract as a reseller.
NOTE: New products and services are added on a case by case basis, and mostly through the solicitation process.
Q. How do I search for a Contract?
A. Visit DIR’s All Contracts and Services at the “SEARCH ALL CONTRACTS” search bar and enter a keyword term or contract number in the search box. From there, further refine search results by filtering via product type, NIGP commodity code, or other filter categories.
Q. Are all state agencies required to use TEX-AN for telephone, Internet, data, and video services?
A. Yes. The Texas Agency Network (TEX-AN) for Communications Technologies, is provided to all state agencies and offered to political subdivisions and assistance organizations. Political subdivisions include public schools, public libraries, public hospitals, city and county governments.
If you need additional assistance, please call 877-472-4848 option 2 or 512-475-2432 (within the Austin area).