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Before We Get Started 7 The Procurement Process The procurement process includes four dimensions: work distribution, method of award, contract form, and contract type. Once these key procurement decisions have been made, appro- priate terms and conditions can be identified. Work Distribution The work distribution dimension divides the project responsibilities defined by the agency for the contractor by the contract statement of work into assignments expressed in systems engi- neering terminology--concept of operations, requirements, design, implementation, and test- ing. The assignments also include the crosscutting activities of configuration management, risk management, validation and verification, and metrics. The assignments can be grouped into the following forms of work distribution: Low-bid contractor--The selection of a contractor for systems installation using the low-bid process. The low-bid contractor is responsible for furnishing a fully operational system includ- ing all hardware, software, and construction services required to satisfy a detailed design defined by plans and specifications. Systems manager--An organization whose responsibilities may include all project activities associated with a systems acquisition except for the provision of equipment, electrical con- tracting, and construction contracting. Systems integrator--Similar to the systems manager, except that the integrator is not involved in the planning and design stages. The systems integrator provides all of the personal services associated with the systems implementation except for the provision of equipment, electrical contracting, and construction. Design-build (operate and maintain) (DB [OM])--A (single) contractor or private devel- oper provides for the design and construction of improvements. The term encompasses design-build-maintain, design-build-operate-maintain, design-build-operate, design-build- finance, and other contracts that include services in addition to design and construction. The design-build contractor's work is based on an initial design that may be prepared by a consultant. Commodity (COTS)--Contracting for the acquisition of commodities is applicable to ITS contracting to the extent that an agency is procuring COTS products. These products may include field equipment such as variable message signs, traffic signal controllers, radios, or computers. They may also include COTS software and systems. Consultant Services--Work provided by consultants is limited to provision of personal serv- ices. Some of the ways in which consultant contracts may be used include systems design and installation support, inspection, design, and documentation and training. Services--Contracts for other forms of services are frequently awarded during the life cycle of an intelligent transportation system. The differentiation is made here to identify services that are outside the mainstream of system development, such as inspection, independent validation and verification (IV&V), outreach, internet service providers (ISPs), and staff supplements. Method of Award The method of award dimension of procurement defines the criteria used and steps taken to select a contractor to perform the work. As indicated below, there are distinct differences among the various methods of award. These differences should be taken into account when selecting a