The Division of Procurement has a firm commitment to a procurement system that provides quality, integrity, and timeliness of service to all User Agencies, the business community, and the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands. As the Government's general service agency, we work to provide prompt and efficient service to departments and agencies as cost-effectively as possible.
The Division of Procurement operates according to the procurement and contract management system, strategy, and structure outlined in (3 V.I.C § 218(a)(1) and 31 V.I.C. §§ 231-251). All corresponding rules and regulations are guided by Title 31 Chapter 23 of the Virgin Islands Rules and Regulations.
The review and approval of purchase requisitions, issuance of solicitations, bid management, the awarding of contracts, and vendor maintenance are the primary functions of this Division. As a goal, it is the function of the Division of Procurement to obtain goods and services for the Executive Branch from the best vendors, for the best value, and within the best timeframe.
The Purchasing Office contracts for the acquisition of supplies, equipment, and services, and construction needs of the department and agencies of the Virgin Islands Government through the most economical methods. The Office of Procurement, Contract Management, and Reporting (OPCMR) oversees the entire contracting process, from the formation of a properly negotiated and executed contract to project completion. All discrepancies, claims, and contractual disputes, as well as protests in the bidding or procurement process, are resolved by the OPCMR.
Procurement is a series of processes that are essential to get products or services from requisition to purchase order and invoice approval. Although we sometimes use procurement and purchasing interchangeably, they differ from each other.
Purchasing is the primary process of obtaining necessary goods and services on behalf of an enterprise, while procurement describes the activities involved in obtaining those things. The public procurement process is unique to the GVI’s operations
DPP negotiates strategic contracts also known as General Contracts on behalf of our user agencies to maximize our purchasing power in various spend categories ranging from food products to security services to fuel supply and many more. Individuals or businesses that are interested in these government-wide opportunities, should email our Procurement Team for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Invitation for Bid
An Invitation for Bid (IFB), is an advertisement for vendors to submit a proposal on a project for a specific product or service. While an IFB is very similar to an RFP (Request for Proposal), it is concerned with the pricing more so than the conceptual ideas of the project. Similar to all other types of bids, an Invitation for Bid is generally awarded to the bidder who submits the lowest bid. Keep in mind, though, that this isn’t always the case. There are other factors that come into play, such as the quality of products or expertise needed to carry out a certain project.
Request for Proposal
A Request for Proposal (RFP), is a solicitation by a government entity or agency for products or services from public contractors. By law, government agencies are required to issue bids publicly whenever they are in need of a specific product or service. This is standard policy in order to prevent "insider bidding", where companies are being awarded contracts secretively. It is also beneficial for the government agency itself because it creates competition, resulting in lower prices for them.
An RFP is more than just a request for a quotation, it is an actual request to perform a specific project or supply a specific product. Often times they are issued when the selection of a supplier cannot be made solely on the basis of the lowest price. An RFP is used to procure the most cost-effective solution based upon evaluation criteria identified in the RFP.
Request for Qualifications
A Request for Qualification allows vendors and contractors to provide quotation on a specific product or service that is intended to be procured, or obtained. Unlike a number of other requests, RFQs are not solely based on the price at which the vendor or contractor provides in order to perform the service or provide the product. RFQs are based off of various aspects of the type of job to be performed or product to be supplied determining factors may include:
the length of time it will take the vendor to complete the project, the price per items, and much more is taken in to consideration before awarding the contractor/vendor that wins.
The Government of the Virgin Islands of the United States utilizes the following two (2) methods for procuring goods and services:
- Open Market (Competitive and Non-Competitive Negotiation)
All open market purchases (i.e. items procured without going through the formal bidding process required by title 31, Virgin Islands Code, chapter 23, section 236) must comply with the following:
A. PROCEDURES FOR PROCUREMENTS UNDER $5,000.00
i. On-Island Vendors For all purchases under $5,000.00 for an on-island vendor, the User Agency must attach at least one (1) quotation (not an invoice) from the vendor of choice in the ERP when preparing the requisition. Please verify the correct vendor number and account codes when preparing the requisition. Upon approval of the requisition, a Purchase Order will be generated in the ERP and automatically emailed to the preparer of the requisition. Upon receipt of an approved Purchase Order, the User Agency is authorized to proceed with the purchase.
ii. Off-Island Vendors For all purchases under $5,000.00 from an off-island vendor, the User Agency must attach and/ or affix at least two quotations (not invoices) during entry of the requisition in the ERP. One of the quotations must be from a local vendor. The local vendor must have a price variance that is greater than 15% to support the selection of the off-island vendor (see title 31, Virgin Islands Code, chapter 23, section 239(d)). No justification letter is required if these requirements are satisfied. However, if the local vendor quotes a price that is equal to but not greater than 15% of the cost of the off-island vendor or the User Agency is unable to provide at least two (2) quotations, the User Agency must submit a justification letter to the Commissioner of Property and Procurement, seeking approval to select this vendor. If approved, that justification letter must be attached to the ERP when creating the requisition. If approved, a Purchase Order will be generated in the ERP and automatically emailed to the preparer of the requisition. Upon receipt of an approved Purchase Order, the User Agency is authorized to proceed with the purchase.
B. PROCEDURES FOR PROCUREMENTS BETWEEN $5,000.00 AND $50,000.00
Open market purchases between $5,000.00 and $50,000.00 must comply with the requirements in title 31, Virgin Islands Code, chapter 23, section 239(a)(3). Supplies, materials, and equipment may be purchased and contractual services may be negotiated in the open market process, ONLY IF (i) at least three quotations are sought, (ii) the vendor selected provides the best value, (iii) the User Agency has not made the same purchase or contract for same services within any thirty day period, and (iv) the justification letter is signed by the Agency Head/ certifying officer. Therefore, this exception does not apply if the User Agency is unable  to prove it sought three quotes or if the services to be provided will be performed on a recurring basis within any thirty (30) day period. A justification letter is not required when the User Agency chooses the lowest of the three quotations for the purchase of goods. All quotations received must be attached during the requisitioning process. If the User Agency attains three quotes but does not select the lowest quotation, a justification letter signed by Agency Head and approved by the Commissioner of DPP must be attached in the requisitioning process. All approved documents must be scanned during requisition entry prior to approval. Requisitions will not be held pending approval of documents.
- Formal Advertising (Competitive Sealed Bid)
Pursuant to Title 31, Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 23, Section 236 (See Appendix D), all procurement must be conducted by competitive sealed bids, except as provided in Section 239. Therefore, all solicitations meeting the mentioned criteria shall be formally advertised in English in newspapers within in the Virgin Islands and on the Department of Property and Procurement’s website. The Formal Advertising process uses either an Invitation for Bids (IFB), Request for Proposals (RFP), Request for Qualifications (RFQ) depending on the type of procurement.
- Emergency Procurement
Under limited circumstances, open market purchases can be made under the emergency provisions in Title 31, Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 23, Section 239(a)(1) (Public Emergency has been declared by the Governor) and Title 31 Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 23, Section 239(a)(2) (a public exigency exists). All procurement under these provisions must be approved by the Governor. The Department of Property and Procurement will determine whether a public exigency exists and the applicability of the exceptions in Title 31, Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 23, Sections 239(a)(1) and (2) in accordance with the provisions in Title 31, Virgin Islands Rules and Regulations, Chapter 23, Section 239-6.
- Supply Contracts
When procuring goods and services for Executive Branch departments pursuant to Title 31, Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 23, Section 236, an IFB is used. Two (2) types of supply contracts can result from this procurement: (1) a one-time procurement, which means that the User Agency needs to buy the item(s) for immediate delivery and (2) term procurement which means that the User Agency will require the goods or services over an extended period of time. The duration of term procurements in most cases is one (1) year with an option for an additional term at the request of the User Agency. An IFB is required for all supply contracts for services, even if the total cost is between $5,000.00 and $50,000.00 because the complete service or purchase will be performed on a recurring basis.
- Professional Services Contracts
When procuring professional services for the Government of the Virgin Islands, User Agencies should follow the requirements of Title 31, Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 23, Section 239(a)(4) and the corresponding rules and regulations and the requirements outlined in Section IV of the Procurement Manual. However, if a User Agency is not able to comply with the requirements of Title 31, Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 23, Section 239(a)(4) and its corresponding rules and regulations, or another exception to the formal bidding process does not apply to the contract, User Agencies will be required to formally advertise a Request for Proposals. In submitting such requests, the User Agency must submit a letter of request stating the need for the services, scope of work, and proof of funding to DPP. Professional Services Contracts are used for services solicited through a Request for Proposals. Professional Services Contracts are used for profit and non-profit businesses/individuals engaged in rendering widely diversified services for the Government of the Virgin Islands.
- Construction Contracts
When procuring construction services for the Government of the Virgin Islands, an IFB is used. The User Agency must submit the following to the Commissioner of Property and Procurement:
• a letter, signed by the Agency Head requesting advertisement of the project, this letter must include the funding source (local or federal) and any special conditions that may apply to this solicitation;
• proof of funding through a properly executed Purchase Order stating the funds available for the project or a signed letter from the Public Finance Authority (PFA);
• An in-house cost-estimate, i.e. scope of work/bid sheet, stamped by the Department of Public Works Division of Engineering along with a blank bid sheet
- Task Order Contracts
There may be instances when a User Agency’s request to procure services cannot be captured by a typical supply contract or a typical professional services contract because the services will not occur at a predetermined or expected frequency. In those instances, the Commissioner of DPP will determine whether a Task Order Contract is necessary based on the information contained in the User Agency’s request. Task Order Contracts are generally required for the acquisition of services under Title 31, Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 23, Sections 239(a)(1) and (2). Task Order Contracts may be required within the discretion of the Commissioner of DPP, for services under Title 31, Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 23, Section 239(a)(3), when the cost of services is less than $50,000.00 and not subject to a Professional Services Contract or a Supply Contract. In such instances, the services to be performed will not occur at a pre-determined frequency, but rather can only occur when required, and upon written request by the User Agency. All standard supporting documentation required for a Professional Services Contract will be required for a Task Order Contract
All Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) and Agreement (MOA) must go through the approval process of DPP review, DOJ Legal Sufficiency, and approval by the Governor even though there is no exchange of funds and/or services. This applies whether the MOUs/MOAs are between government agencies only or with non-GVI entities. In all instances where there will be no exchange of funds and/ or services, Memoranda of Understanding may be utilized to memorialize each party’s responsibilities and commitments to participate in a particular program or joint-partnership towards the fulfilment of a common goal. Executive Branch agencies may enter into Memoranda of Understanding with other Executive Branch agencies, Federal agencies, and with profit/ non-profit groups. Where there will be the exchange of funds or services or other valuable consideration, between Executive Branch agencies, semi-autonomous and independent instrumentalities, Federal agencies, and universities, including the University of the Virgin Islands, a Memorandum of Agreement will be required. You may view samples of each contract type under Forms & Docs Procurement.
For the procurement of goods and services utilizing federal funds whether in whole or in part, User Agencies must comply with the requirements in their respective grant award or the federal program under which the funds were awarded, and the requirements outlined in the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards found in Title 2, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 200. Title 2, Code of Federal Regulations, section 200, streamlines and supersedes the information contained in eight earlier US Office of Management and Budget Circulars, thus, Title 2, Code of Federal Regulations, section 200, is sometimes referred to as the "Super Circular". Pursuant to Title 2, Code of Federal Regulations, section 200.90, the Virgin Islands is defined as a state and states are required to follow their own procurement laws in accordance with Title 2, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 200.317.
Therefore, User Agencies are still required to follow the provisions of Title 31, Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 23, and all the associated rules and regulations when procuring goods and services using federal grant awards. In addition, to following all applicable local requirements, all states are required to comply with the requirements in Title 2, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 200.322 regarding the use of recovered materials in all procurement as well as ensuring all necessary clauses in title 2, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 200.326 are included in state contracts. Therefore, it is imperative for User Agencies to review the terms and conditions of all federal awards and applicable sections of the Code of Federal Regulations to ensure compliance with all requirements.
The Government Travel Policy is enforced under Executive Order No. 439-2008. All Government employees are who overnight for work purposes are eligible for a $75 daily per diem.
Inter-island travel accommodations are accepted at the following hotels on St. Thomas - Emerald Beach Resort, Lindbergh Bay Hotel, and Windward Passage Hotel; on St. Croix the hotels include King's Alley Hotel, Caravelle Hotel, Renaissance Carambola, and the Inn on Strand Street on the island of St. Croix. The maximum daily rate for all hotel stays is $250 + taxes.
Each agency may purchase bulk tickets from these commuter airlines as necessary: Seaborne Airlines/Silver Airways, Cape Air/Nantucket Airlines, and Sea Flight.
Out of territory travel and related expenses must be pre-approved by the Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
All folios and receipts must be reconciled and turned in with a Travel Expense form against all cash advances, credit cards, or to request a reimbursement.
The Office of Procurement, Contract Management, and Reporting is a specially trained unit responsible for managing procurement functions across the Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands under the supervision of the Commissioner of Property and Procurement. OPCMR was authorized under Executive Order No. 493-2019.
Why was my requisition rejected when I submitted the invoice and the cost was below $5,000?
Requisitions are approved by quotations ONLY through the Department of Property and Procurement ("DPP").
Why was my requisition rejected when I submitted a quote under $5,000 from an off-island vendor?
All purchases under $5,000 from an off-island vendor must include at least two quotations with at least one from a local vendor (if applicable)
What documents should a user agency submit to DPP to request the solicitation of services?
User Agencies must submit a justification letter requesting advertisement along with the funding source and a copy of the Scope of Work/Services.
What is the procedure for adding a new vendor?
The new vendor request should be submitted to DPP and shall include a request to add vendor letter and current W-9 form for individuals. For business entities, a request to add vendor letter, a current W-9 form and all vendor supporting business documentation must be submitted. (A list of vendor required business documents can be found on DPP’s website under the Resources > Forms & Documents>Procurement tab).
How can I get a Purchase Order modified?
User Agencies must submit a request to the Office of the Commissioner of DPP, stating the cause for the modification and the revision(s) needed.
How long is a Purchase Order valid?
Purchase Orders (POs) are valid for 90 days. If unexpended but required, User Agencies must contact the Department of Finance and request an extension.
What is the process for approving a contract?
Contracts must be submitted to DPP, inclusive of a transmittal letter, all vendor supporting business documentation, and proof of the funding source.
Where can I find a copy of the Government’s standard contracts and forms?
You can obtain copies of the Government’s contracts and forms on DPP’s website, under the Resources > Forms & Documents> Procurement tab.
What documents are required to support a vendor’s contract?
DPP’s website provides a list of vendor types and the vendor documents necessary for contracting. This checklist can be found under the Resources > Forms & Documents> Procurement tab.
Who is required to have a DUNS number and be registered with SAM.gov?
All entities doing business with the Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands must have a DUNS number and SAM.gov registration.
When should I use an MOU versus an MOA?
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is used when there is no exchange of funds between the parties for the performance of tasks.
A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) is used when funds or in-kind services are being exchanged
How long must a request for advertising services be posted?
The Government’s solicitations are posted for a minimum of 30 days (with some exceptions to the rule).