Playing Fast and Loose with Independence on IV&V Projects

More States are recognizing the value of having an unbiased, outside, opinion expressed about their systems development projects.  Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) is a standardized approach to providing these opinions. A key tenet of IV&V is “Independence”.

Independence

  • The ability of an IV&V contractor to give an opinion about your system wihtout being biased or under undue influendece.

We have seen many “IV&V” contractors play a game with Independence.  They avoid procurement Conflict of Interest rules by partnering with a Systems Integration (SI) vendor in one State for the construction or implementation of a project and bid in another State to provide IV&V over the same SI vendor.  Technically they aren’t working for the systems integration contractor, but they do receive money from the contractor they are charged with overseeing on your behalf.  This negates the independence they profess to bring to your project. We’re not suggesting there be no communication, just that no financial relationships exists between your IV&V vendor and these entities.

So what do you need? You need a consultant who does not contract with or have an obligation to system integrators, system developers, software solution vendors, and fiscal agents that will likely bid on your projects.  You need language in your IV&V procurements that guarantees this independence.