If, for any reason, a state agency wants to procure an item available from DIR's contracts and services program through an avenue other than a DIR contract, the agency must first obtain an exemption for the procurement from DIR.
Exemption Instructions and Evaluation Procedures
You will need to provide sufficient information to support the validity of the exemption request.
Before Submitting an Exemption Request
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State agencies must complete an Exemption Request Form with basic information pertaining to the proposed procurement and an explanation of the reason for requesting the exemption. Reasons – and the required validation information for each – include, but are not limited to, the following:
Cost. This includes the cost of making the procurement, cost for implementation, and any recurring costs over the term of the requested exemption. If a state agency determines the cost for procuring an IT commodity is less expensive through an avenue other than a DIR contract, the cost information must be provided to DIR. Any quotes received from a vendor must be included with the request.
Terms and conditions. If a state agency determines that certain terms and conditions are not available through the DIR contract and cannot be added to the DIR contract, the terms and conditions and the state agency requirement that is satisfied by those terms and conditions must be included in the request.
Funding source restrictions. If a state agency encounters specific restrictions related to the funding source that would prevent it from procuring an IT commodity through a DIR contract, a description of those restrictions must be included in the request.
Compatibility with existing technology infrastructure. If a state agency determines that its technological requirements cannot be delivered by an IT commodity available through DIR contracts, a detailed description of the compatibility issues must be included in the request. The use of a particular hardware, software, or technology service by itself is not sufficient justification for exemption.
Proprietary restrictions. If a state agency encounters proprietary restrictions that would prevent it from procuring an IT commodity item through a DIR contract, a description of those restrictions must be included in the request.
Other circumstances or requirements. If a state agency has other extenuating circumstances or requirements that would justify why an IT commodity cannot be procured through a DIR contract, a description of the circumstances or requirements must be included in the request.
Exemption Request Form may be submitted electronically (for Cooperative Contracts only).
DIR will acknowledge receipt of the request form. If the requesting state agency does not receive acknowledgement of receipt by DIR within three business days of submission, it is the state agency’s responsibility to follow up to ensure DIR’s receipt of the request form. Standard exemptions are processed within 15 business days of acknowledgement of receipt.
Rules related to exemption requests can be found in the
1 TAC 212.
Expedited Exemption Request
A state agency may submit an expedited exemption request, which DIR will process within three business days. This request must include the
Exemption Request Form accompanied by a statement from the agency head, or his/her designee, describing the situation and the reasons for the expedited review. To ensure that expedited exemption requests are evaluated in a timely manner, the requesting state agency should submit the Exemption Request Form and statement from the agency head to DIR (ATTN: EXPEDITED EXEMPTION REQUEST) electronically. It is the state agency’s responsibility to follow up to ensure DIR’s receipt of the request form.
Exemption Request Evaluation Procedures
DIR will make a good-faith effort to provide the requesting state agency confirmation of receipt of an Exemption Request Form in a timely manner. DIR will evaluate and respond to expedited exemption requests within three business days of receipt. For all other exemption requests, DIR will have a maximum of 15 business days from date of receipt for evaluation.
It is the intent of DIR to process exemption requests earlier than the maximum timeframes specified above; however, DIR will spend whatever time is necessary within those timeframes to perform the due diligence to evaluate the request.
If DIR determines, during the evaluation process, that additional information regarding the exemption request is necessary, DIR will notify the requesting state agency contact person listed on the Exemption Request Form. The requesting state agency must make a good-faith effort to provide DIR the additional information within three business days of notification by DIR.
All requests for exemptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine if the proposed purchase is in best interest of the state. If the state agency justification for the request is due to cost or to the terms and conditions of a DIR contract, DIR reserves the right to attempt to resolve the discrepancy that caused the state agency to request the exemption.
DIR will notify the requesting state agency of its decision to approve or deny the exemption request. The approval notification will include the specific scope, terms, requirements, and duration for which the exemption is approved. If the approval contains a scope, terms, requirements, or a duration that is not as broad as the state agency’s request, DIR will provide an explanation of the variance.
If the exemption request is denied, DIR shall provide the state agency a written explanation of the basis for the denial. A state agency that does not agree with the basis for denial may submit an appeal to the Legislative Budget Board.