Georgia's purchasing power allows the GTA Office of Procurement Management to deliver the best value in technology goods and services for state agencies and eligible users. We strive to develop and implement sound and transparent procurement practices throughout the state. We are also dedicated to building strong relationships with state agencies, eligible users, and vendors. GTA's procurement process promotes fair and open competition and provides professional leadership and guidance to state agencies.
The following sections excerpted from the GTA Procurement Manual highlight key information for potential suppliers:
Public Access to Procurement Records
"Solicitation opportunities will be publicly advertised as required by law and the provisions of the GTA Procurement Manual. The State Purchasing Act delays the release of certain procurement records in the event the public disclosure of those records prior to the GTA public announcements of the results of a solicitation would undermine the public purpose of obtaining the best value for the state, such as cost estimates, proposals and bids, evaluation criteria, supplier evaluations, negotiation documents, offers and counter-offers, and certain records revealing preparation for the procurement.
"After final contract award has been made or after a bid has been cancelled following evaluation without intent to rebid, requests for access to supplier proposals and communications shall be subject to the disclosure provisions of Georgia's Open Records Act. Pursuant to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) § 50-18-70 et seq., GTA shall make all public records, including bid proposals, open for personal inspection and copying, except those records which by order of a court of this state or by law are specifically exempted from disclosure.
"GTA is allowed to assess a reasonable charge to defray the cost of reproducing documents. For onsite inspections of documents, a state employee shall be present during the time of such onsite inspection of documents. Please note: Even though information, financial or other, submitted by a supplier may be marked as 'confidential' or 'proprietary,' GTA will make its own determination regarding which information may or may not be withheld from disclosure."
Marking Submissions as "Confidential," Proprietary," or "Trade Secret"
"If a supplier considers any portion of the documents, data, or records submitted in response to this solicitation to be exempt from disclosure under Georgia law, the supplier must clearly redact in a separate redacted copy each such submission or portions of the submission considered to be excluded from disclosure and specify the statutory exemption justifying such exclusion, i.e., code section Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) § 50-18-72(20)(A) 'Records that reveal ...'
"Wholesale designation of a response or substantial parts of a response as 'confidential' will not be accepted by GTA. If only portions of a page are subject to some disclosure, the supplier should not redact the entire page. Please note: Even though information, financial or other, submitted by a supplier may be marked as 'confidential or 'proprietary,' GTA will make its own determination regarding which information may or may not be withheld, redacted, from disclosure."
Submission of Redacted Copies
"If supplier considers any portion of its bid or proposal to the solicitation to be trade secret or otherwise not subject to public disclosure under the Georgia Open Records Act, the supplier must, in addition to the required original documents, provide a separate redact electronic copy of its bid or proposal in PDF format and briefly describe in a separate writing as to each item redacted the grounds for claiming exemption from the Georgia Open Records Act, including the specific provision of the act permitting such exemption.
"This redacted copy should be clearly marked 'redacted copy - available for public review.' In addition, the electronic file name should include the words 'redacted copy' at the beginning of the file name. The redacted copy shall be submitted at the same time the supplier submits its bid or proposal and must only redact those specific portions that are claimed not subject to disclosure.
"The redacted copy should reflect the same pagination as the original and show the location from which information was redacted. Except for the redacted information, the redacted electronic copy must be identical to the original bid or proposal. The redacted copy will be open to public inspection under the Georgia Open Records Act without further notice to the supplier. If the supplier fails to submit a redacted copy with its bid or proposal, GTA is authorized to produce the vendor's bid or proposal with the exception of audited financial statements in answer to any public records request under the Georgia Open Records Act.
"Even though information submitted by a supplier may be marked as 'confidential,' 'proprietary,' or 'trade secret,' GTA will make its own determination regarding which information may or may not be withheld from disclosure."
" ... [I]f the supplier claims that certain information in its bid or proposal may be withheld as trade secret pursuant to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) § 50-18-72(a)(34), the supplier shall include with its bid or proposal submission an affidavit indicating the specific information that the supplier identifies as trade secret, affirmatively declaring that such information is trade secret.
"Along with the affidavit, the supplier shall provide a justification regarding how and why each redaction request constitutes a trade secret pursuant to Georgia law. Designation of a 'trade secret' shall not be binding to the state, but GTA will review and consider the designation. If the supplier does not include an affidavit with its bid or proposal submission, GTA is authorized to produce the supplier's bid or proposal with the exception of audited financial statements in answer to any public records request under the Georgia Open Records Act.
"Wholesale designation of a response or substantial parts of a response as 'trade secrets' will not be accepted by GTA. In general, the state does not consider pricing information to be trade secret. Please note: Regarding pricing being exempt from disclosure, recent findings from the court show there were no facts justifying exemption."