Daily Court Reporter - News New state procurement policy now in effect
New state procurement policy now in effect
KEITH ARNOLD, Daily Reporter Staff Writer
The state's newly appointed director of Administrative Services recently unveiled a revised and enhanced procurement policy for state agencies set to become effective this month.
The policy changes are intended to makes clearer requirements and obligations and have earned the approval of chief financial officers and legal counsels, DAS Director Matthew Damschroder said in an announcement.
The first training session on the enhanced policy for procurement and fiscal staff of state agencies was completed prior to the director's announcement.
"The new policy is the result of extensive effort by the DAS procurement team with input from end users, policy makers and stakeholders," Damschroder said. "We're confident that the policy and accompanying manual provide clear guidance and sets a high bar for fairness, open competition and transparency in all competitive procurements."
DAS also received input from the Ohio Inspector General, the Ohio Controlling Board and Auditor of State, a press release noted.
Of primary importance to the procurement policy, is incorporation of a definitions section that includes explanations of "sole source" and "single source."
A spokesman for the department said inclusion of the definitions section was in direct response to recent IG reports.
Under the new policy, state agencies that make direct purchases in which vendor evaluations include consideration of past relevant project and technical experience, performance, quality control and pricing must abide by certain requirements.
Other key improvements include:
• Clarification that state agencies must obtain - not just solicit - a minimum of three quotes or proposals when referencing state term schedule contracts as the purchasing authority;
• Clarification that a "no response" or "no bid" does not constitute receipt of a valid quote or proposal. If three quotes or proposals cannot be obtained, the state agency must secure controlling board approval of a waiver for "no competitive opportunity" prior to issuing a purchase order; and
• Clearer expectations for making state term schedule vendor selections based on lowest cost or best value.
When making an award based on best value, state agencies must provide written justification that includes a description of how a determination was made that the anticipated cost would be fair and reasonable and a description of the basis on which the award was made, the new policy mandated.
An online course on the procurement policy is to be made available to future employees and as a refresher for current staff, officials said.
Date Published: February 13, 2019