S.B. 5, as amended, would modify current law relating to purchasing practices of state agencies. This bill would:
1. permit sole source procurement when the acquisition is determined to be in the best interest of the state or when compatibility with existing contractual services, supplies, or equipment is the overriding consideration or when a used item becomes available and is subject to immediate sale;
2. increase the dollar amount of purchases that can be bid by telephone, fax, or sealed bids from $5,000 to $25,000;
3. authorize posting of public notices on a bulletin board for three days as a means to solicit bids for purchases between $25,000 and $50,000, rather than $5,000 and $10,000, under current law; and
4. allow the Director of Purchases to delegate authority to any state agency to make direct purchases of less than $25,000.
Under the last item, if the acquisition is funded in part or entirely by a grant, the delegated purchasing authority would have no dollar limit. Also, the requirement that notices be published in the Kansas Register to solicit bids is continued, but the dollar threshold is increased from $10,000 to $50,000.
The "public bulletin board" noted in item no. 3 includes an electronic monitor in the Office of the Director of Purchases, that Internet access to notice of bids is available through the Information Network of Kansas (INK), and that paper copies of bidding information are available from the Division of Purchases. Prospective bidders may also complete a "vendor registration application," which allows bidders to specify the categories of commodities and services they offer. The information included on the application is entered into a database, which is used by the Division of Purchases in soliciting bids.
The Director of Purchases would be required to make reports to the Legislative Coordinating Council, the Chairpersons of the Senate Ways and Means Committee and the House Appropriations Committee, and the Chairperson of the Kansas Performance Review Board. These reports would include a list of all contracts over $5,000 entered into without competitive bids, a list of agencies with delegated purchasing authority, and a list of instances in which the Director waived publication of the notice of bid solicitations in the Kansas Register. The bill would also authorize the Director of Purchases to conduct a cooperative purchasing agreement or consortium for purchase of supplies, materials, equipment, or contractual services. This consortium could be with federal agencies or agencies of other states or local units of government.
The bill was recommended by the Legislative Educational Planning Committee during the 1996 interim. The Committee report states that S.B. 5 is similar to 1996 S.B. 402, enacted by the Legislature and vetoed by the Governor because of a pilot project that would have exempted Fort Hays State University from many state purchasing statutes for FY 1997 and FY 1998.
The further amendments made by the Senate Committee are technical in nature.
The House Committee amendment clarified the usage of federal funds as suggested by the Legislative Division of Post Audit.
According to the original fiscal note prepared during the 1997 Session, the bill as introduced would have no impact on expenditures or receipts.
1. *Supplemental notes are prepared by the Legislative Research Department and do not express legislative intent. The supple-mental note and fiscal note for this bill may be accessed on the Internet at http://www.ink.org/public/legislative/fulltext-bill.html.