When competitive negotiation is the method of procurement, price is not the sole determining factor. The RFP document identifies the criteria that will be used in making the award decision. An evaluation panel of County staff review and evaluate each proposal against the evaluation criteria. Vendor presentations and discussions may be conducted, along with negotiations. The RFP describes the details of the evaluation process.
There is a special process when the solicitation is for "Professional Services". The state procurement code says: "Professional services" means work performed by an independent contractor within the scope of the practice of accounting, actuarial services, architecture, land surveying, landscape architecture, law, dentistry, medicine, optometry, pharmacy or professional engineering. Per a mandatory provision in the state procurement code, the price of the professional services is not part of the initial evaluation, and is only addressed during negotiations.