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TITLE 40SOCIAL SERVICES AND ASSISTANCE
PART 15TEXAS VETERANS COMMISSION
CHAPTER 457PROTESTS OF AGENCY PURCHASES
RULE §457.1Protests

(a) The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meaning unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

  (1) Agency--The Texas Veterans Commission.

  (2) Commissioners--Commissioners of the Texas Veterans Commission.

  (3) Interested parties--All vendors who have submitted bids or proposals for the provision of goods or services pursuant to a contract with the agency.

(b) Any actual or prospective bidder, offeror, or contractor who is aggrieved in connection with the solicitation, evaluation, or award of a contract may formally protest to the Director of Finance. Such protests must be in writing and received in the finance director's office within 10 working days after such aggrieved person knows, or should have known, of the occurrence of the action which is protested. Formal protests must conform to the requirements of this subsection and subsection (c) of this section, and shall be resolved in accordance with the procedure set forth in subsections (d) and (e) of this section. Copies of the protest must be mailed or delivered by the protesting party to the agency and other interested parties.

(c) In the event of a timely protest or appeal under this section, the agency shall not proceed further with the solicitation or with the award of the contract unless the Executive Director, after consultation with the Director of Finance, makes a written determination that the award of contract without delay is necessary to protect the best interests of the state.

(d) A formal protest must be sworn and contain:

  (1) a specific identification of the statutory or regulatory provision(s) that the protesting party alleges has been violated;

  (2) a specific description of each action by the agency that the protesting party alleges to be a violation of the statutory or regulatory provision(s) that the protesting party has identified pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection;

  (3) a precise statement of the relevant facts;

  (4) a statement of any issues of law or fact that the protesting party contends must be resolved;

  (5) a statement of the argument and authorities that the protesting party offers in support of the protest; and

  (6) a statement that copies of the protest have been mailed or delivered to the agency and all other identifiable interested parties.

(e) The Director of Finance shall have the authority, prior to appeal to the Executive Director of the commission, to settle and resolve the dispute concerning the solicitation or award of a contract. The Director of Finance may solicit written responses to the protest from other interested parties.

(f) If the protest is not resolved by mutual agreement, the Director of Finance will issue a written determination on the protest.

  (1) If the Director of Finance determines that no violation of rules or statutes has occurred, he/she shall so inform the protesting party and other interested parties by letter which sets forth the reasons for the determination.

  (2) If the Director of Finance determines that a violation of the rules or statutes has occurred in a case where a contract has not been awarded, he/she shall so inform the protesting party and other interested parties by letter which sets forth the reasons for the determination and the appropriate remedial action.

  (3) If the Director of Finance determines that a violation of the rules or statutes has occurred in a case where a contract has been awarded, he/she shall so inform the protesting party and other interested parties by letter which sets forth the reasons for the determination, which may include ordering the contract void.

(g) The Director of Finance's determination on a protest may be appealed by the protesting party to the Executive Director of the agency. An appeal of the Director of Finance's determination must be in writing and must be received in the Executive Director's office no later than 10 working days after the date of the Director of Finance's determination. Copies of the appeal must be mailed or delivered by the protesting party and other interested parties. The appeal must include a certified statement that such copies have been provided. The appeal shall be limited to review of the Director of Finance's determination.

(h) The Executive Director may confer with the General Counsel in his/her review of the matter appealed. The Executive Director may, in his/her discretion, refer the matter to the Commissioners for their consideration at a regularly scheduled open meeting or issue a written decision on the protest.

(i) When a protest has been appealed to the Executive Director under subsection (f) of this section and has been referred to the Commissioners by the Executive Director under subsection (g) of this section, the following requirements shall apply:

  (1) Copies of the appeal and responses of interested parties, if any, shall be mailed to the Commissioners.

  (2) All interested parties who wish to make an oral presentation at the open meeting are requested to notify the Commission's General Counsel at least 48 hours in advance of the open meeting.

  (3) The Commissioners may consider oral presentations and written documents presented by staff and interested parties. The Chairman shall set the order and amount of time allowed for presentations.

  (4) The Commissioners' determination of the appeal shall be by duly adopted resolution reflected in the minutes of the open meeting, and shall be final.

(j) A protest or appeal that is not filed timely will not be considered, unless good cause for delay is shown or the commission determines that a protest or appeal raises issues significant to procurement practices or procedures.

(k) A decision issued either by the Commissioners in open meeting, or in writing by the Executive Director, shall be the final administrative action of the agency.


Source Note: The provisions of this §457.1 adopted to be effective June 5, 2008, 33 TexReg 4344

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