The General Assembly passed legislation Wednesday sponsored by Sen. Louis P. DiPalma and Rep. Patricia A. Serpa that would reform the state’s purchasing policies and processes. The legislation was a result of numerous hours of work conducted by the Senate Rules, Government Ethics and Oversight Committee, which Senator DiPalma leads, and the House Oversight Committee, which Representative Serpa chairs.
“As we have seen with recent controversial state contracts and purchases, there is a distinct need for reform of our state purchasing processes and policies. The public deserves transparency and assurances that every state contract or purchase agreement is made with the sole best-interests of Rhode Island residents in mind and these bills will provide the administrative framework to ensure that state contracts and purchases are conducted fairly, cost-effectively and without any inference or evidence of impropriety,” said Senator DiPalma (D-Dist. 12, Middletown, Little Compton, Newport, Tiverton).
“This bill will further enhance our residents’ confidence in how the government operates, ensuring that fair and transparent purchasing processes are clearly established in law. The residents of our state should know that their tax dollars are being spent wisely and properly and this legislation will provide safeguards against concerns relating to state purchasing,” said Representative Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick).
The legislation (2022-S 2586A, 2022-H 8101A) would require that no request for proposal shall change to a master-price agreement unless the request for proposal is cancelled and reissued as a master price agreement. It also would provide certain criteria required of vendors, parent corporations, subsidiaries, affiliates and subcontractors of state vendors when bidding on requests for proposals.
In particular, no vendor, parent corporation, subsidiary, affiliate or subcontractor of any state vendor may bid on a request for proposal if that person or entity has or had any contractual, financial, business or beneficial interest with the state or with any official, officer or agency in charge of the request or if they participated or were consulted with respect to the requirements, technical aspects or any other part of the formation and promulgation of the request for proposals.
The legislation now heads to the governor’s desk for consideration.
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