Contract Advisory Team Solicitation Reviews


The interagency Contract Advisory Team (CAT) was created to assist state agencies in improving contract management practices by reviewing and making recommendations on solicitation documents for contracts that have a value of at least $5 million during the full term of the contract, including any renewals periods authorized under the contract.

The reviews are conducted from a contract management and business perspective. A typical review will include suggestions on best contracting practices and risk mitigation strategies.

Submitting your Solicitations for a CAT Review

Solicitation documents should be sent to the CAT for review through the Procurement Oversight & Delegation (POD) web application. Requests for CAT reviews will be processed in the order received. CAT reviews may take up to 30 days to complete. Even if the review period exceeds 30 days, the agency does not have the authority to issue the solicitation until it receives a letter from CAT containing recommendations. Publishing a solicitation without receiving a letter from CAT may result in an audit finding.

To avoid impeding the agency's procurement process, state agencies should submit their major contract solicitation document(s) after final agency approval or for some state agencies, after final executive-level approval, (final executive-level approval may be necessary for some major contract solicitation documents, especially for IT related solicitations - see DIR IT Project Delivery Framework).

Guidelines for Submissions

  • CAT requires the complete solicitation package to be submitted. This is includes the primary solicitation and any additional exhibits or attachments that will be advertised, as well as supporting documents (such as a proprietary purchase justification).
  • CAT’s review period begins when it receives all information needed to conduct its review. It is recommended that agencies submit their solicitation documents after obtaining internal agency approvals. In addition, CAT recommends that agencies incorporate a 30-day period for CAT review into the procurement schedule to avoid potential delays to the agency’s solicitation, evaluation, and award process.
  • Prior to posting or publishing the solicitation following CAT review, an agency is required to either:
    • comply with CAT recommendation(s); or
    • submit to CAT a written explanation regarding why the recommendation is not applicable to the procurement under review.
    The agency’s responses to the CAT recommendation must be kept within the procurement file.
  • If the initial solicitation documents submitted for CAT review change substantially, the agency is required to resubmit the solicitation documents for additional CAT review. Changes to the solicitation documents for a major contract are considered substantial when:
    • the solicitation change caused the estimated value for the original term of the contract, not including renewal periods, to increase by 25 percent or more; or
    • there are significant revisions, deletions and/or additions to the specifications, scope of work, set(s) of deliverables, performance measures, payment methodology, or other elements of the solicitation.

Expedited CAT Reviews

Requests for expedited CAT reviews can be made in the POD portal during the CAT submission process. Agencies may designate a solicitation as low-risk and select one of three options for the request to expedite: 1.) Template Solicitation 2.) Risk Analysis or 3.) Reduced Monitoring (if an agency is reported by the SAO as requiring reduced monitoring).

If requesting an expedited CAT review, the agency must attach supporting documents such as a previously reviewed template solicitation or the risk analysis and conclusions document.

Agencies identified by the SAO as requiring additional monitoring may not designate a solicitation as low-risk and request an expedited review even if the solicitation would otherwise qualify. Agencies requiring additional monitoring must also attach the needs assessment, acquisition plan, and risk assessment in addition to the full solicitation package.

More details can be found in 34 TAC 20.163 and questions regarding requests to expedite can be directed to spd.oversight@cpa.texas.gov.

For comments or suggestions regarding the use of the Procurement Oversight & Delegation application, please contact: spd.oversight@cpa.texas.gov | 512-463-1138