§ 143‑135.9.  Best Value procurements.

(a) Definitions. – The following definitions apply in this section:

(1) Best Value procurement. – The selection of a contractor based on a determination of which proposal offers the best trade‑off between price and performance, where quality is considered an integral performance factor. The award decision is made based on multiple factors, including: total cost of ownership, meaning the cost of acquiring, operating, maintaining, and supporting a product or service over its projected lifetime; the evaluated technical merit of the vendor's proposal; the vendor's past performance; and the evaluated probability of performing the requirements stated in the solicitation on time, with high quality, and in a manner that accomplishes the stated business objectives and maintains industry standards compliance.

(2) Government‑Vendor partnership. – A mutually beneficial contractual relationship between State government and a contractor, wherein the two share risk and reward, and value is added to the procurement of needed goods or services.

(3) Repealed by Session Laws 2013‑188, s. 1, effective June 26, 2013.

(4) Solution‑Based solicitation. – A solicitation in which the requirements are stated in terms of how the product or service being purchased should accomplish the business objectives, rather than in terms of the technical design of the product or service.

(b) Intent. – The intent of Best Value procurement is to enable contractors to offer and the agency to select the most appropriate solution to meet the business objectives defined in the solicitation and to keep all parties focused on the desired outcome of a procurement.

(c) Information Technology. – The acquisition of information technology by the State of North Carolina shall be conducted using the Best Value procurement method. For purposes of this section, business process reengineering, system design, and technology implementation may be combined into a single solicitation. For acquisitions which the procuring agency and the Division of Purchase and Contracts or the Department of Information Technology, as applicable, deem to be highly complex or determine that the optimal solution to the business problem at hand is not known, the use of Solution‑Based Solicitation and Government‑Vendor Partnership is authorized and encouraged. Any county, city, town, or subdivision of the State may acquire information technology pursuant to this section.

(d) Repealed by Session Laws 2009‑320, s. 1, effective July 24, 2009.

(e) North Carolina Zoological Park. – The acquisition of goods and services under a contract entered pursuant to the exemption of G.S. 143‑129.8A(a) by the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources on behalf of the North Carolina Zoological Park may be conducted using the Best Value procurement method. For acquisitions which the procuring agency deems to be highly complex, the use of Government‑Vendor partnership is authorized. (1998‑189, s. 1; 1999‑434, s. 15; 1999‑456, s. 39; 2009‑329, s. 1.2; 2013‑188, s. 1; 2015‑241, ss. 7A.4(u), 14.30(zz).)