580:16-7-56. Accessible information technology (IT) acquisitions, excerpted from Title 580, Department of Central Services Chapter 16.
"Information technology" or "IT" means any electronic information equipment or interconnected system that is used in the acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information, including audio, graphic, and text. [62 O.S. §34.29]
"Oklahoma Information Technology Accessibility Standards" or "IT Accessibility Standards" means the accessibility standards adopted by the Office of State Finance together with the Department of Central Services, to address all technical standard categories of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 794d), as amended by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-220, August 7, 1998) to be used by each state agency in the procurement of information technology, and in the development and implementation of custom-designed information technology systems, web sites, and other emerging information technology systems.
"Procurement" means buying, purchasing, renting, leasing, or otherwise acquiring any goods or services. The term also means all functions that pertain to the obtaining of any goods or services, including, but not limited to, the description of requirements, selection, and solicitation of sources, preparation and award of contracts, and all phases of contract administration.
- To ensure accessibility of information technology for individuals with disabilities pursuant to 62 O.S. §34.28, procurement of information technology shall be subject to the Oklahoma Information Technology Accessibility Standards prescribed by the Office of State Finance and maintained by the OSF Information Services Division. These standards apply to all information technology purchased after the effective date of these rules, providing the solicitation process was not initiated prior to the effective date.
- When developing, procuring, maintaining or using information technology, or when administering contracts or grants that include the procurement, development upgrading, or replacement of information technology each state agency shall ensure, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency, that the information technology allows employees, program participants, and members of the general public access to use of information and data that is comparable to the access by individuals without disabilities. [62 O.S. §34.28(B)] When used in this section, "state agency" includes all agencies defined in 62 O.S. §34.29.
- Unless an exception applies, an agency must procure a product or service that best meets the business needs of the agency and the applicable IT Accessibility Standards.
- Accessibility determination must be conducted as part of the acquisition evaluation.
- Accessibility must be considered among the general, technical and functional requirements of the procurement specifications. At a minimum, it must be accomplished through review of vendor provided information submitted in the form of a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) or comparable document with judgments made regarding degree of conformance to the IT Accessibility Standards.
- The relative accessibility weighing may be adjusted for due cause based on the specific procurement.
- Title 580. Department of Central Services Chapter 16. Central Purchasing DCS - Central Purchasing Division Rules – 07/01/2013
- (D) When acquiring a product, an agency shall acquire products that comply with applicable IT Accessibility Standards when such products are available in the commercial marketplace or when such products are developed in response to an agency solicitation. Agencies cannot claim a product, as a whole is not commercially available by stating no product in the marketplace meets all of the IT Accessibility Standards. Instead, an agency must identify commercial, off-the-shelf products that best meet the general, technical and functional requirements as defined by the agency. Once those products have been identified, the agency should purchase the product that is the most accessibility compliant.
(b) Contract clauses
- All solicitations and contracts for information technology shall include a clause, prescribed by the DCS Director pursuant to 74 O.S. §85.7d, ensuring compliance with applicable IT Accessibility Standards, which are in effect on the date of issuance of said solicitation or contract.
- The information technology clause(s) and IT Accessibility Standards shall be made available at the principle office of the DCS Central Purchasing Division and published on the DCS website.
- A supplier shall provide a written certification, signed by an authorized officer of the supplier, that the product or service complies with applicable IT Accessibility standards required by such contracts or solicitations prior to the expenditure of state funds. An agency may also utilize a VPAT published on a supplier's primary website. A VPAT obtained from a supplier website shall be good for a one-year period.
Exceptions to compliance with IT Accessibility Standards include:
- information technology operated by state departments or agencies, the function, operation or use of which involves intelligence activities, crypto logic activities related to public safety, command and control of law enforcement, equipment that is an integral part of a weapon or weapons system or systems which are critical to the direct fulfillment of public safety or intelligence missions. Systems which are critical to the direct fulfillment of public safety or intelligence missions do not include a system that is to be used for routine administrative and business applications (including payroll, finance, logistics and personnel management applications);
- information technology acquired by a contractor or grantee incidental to a contract or grant, provided the technology does not become State property upon the completion of the contract;
- information technology located in spaces frequented only by service personnel for maintenance, repair or occasional monitoring of equipment;
- information technology requiring a fundamental alteration in the nature of a product or its components to achieve accessibility;
- Except as required to comply with the IT Accessibility Standards, state departments and agencies are not required to install specific accessibility-related software or attach an assistive technology device to information technology products unless required by other applicable State or Federal laws;
- When state agencies provide public access to information or data through information technology, agencies are not required to make products owned by the agency available for access and use by individuals with disabilities at a location other than where the information technology is provided to the public, or to purchase products for access and use by individuals with disabilities at a location other than where the information technology is provided to the public;
- information technology that would impose an undue burden on the agency.
(d) Documentation of exceptions
Whenever an agency determines that an acquisition exceeding $5,000.00 meets the criteria of a general exception or undue burden, the agency shall document the explanation of why, and to what extent, compliance with applicable IT Accessibility Standards meets an exception or creates an undue burden on the agency. Agencies are encouraged but not required to maintain documentation for commercial off-the-shelf acquisitions of $5,000.00 or less unless the purchase is part of an existing contract or affects a larger EIT system where accessibility is critical.
- The explanation shall be documented on a form prescribed by the DCS Director and signed by the chief administrative officer of the agency or an employee of the agency to which responsibility for accessibility compliance has been delegated.
- The documentation shall be retained in the acquisition file to support the procurement.
(e) Alternative means of access
When compliance with IT Accessibility Standards imposes an undue burden, agencies shall provide individuals with disabilities the information and data involved by an alternative means of access that allows an individual to use the information and data in accordance with other applicable State and Federal laws such as Title I and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.