Senate Bill No. 477

(By Senator Buckalew)


[Introduced February 12, 1998; referred to the Committee on Government Organization; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

A BILL to amend and reenact section eleven, article three, chapter five-a of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to state purchasing on competitive bids; and removing requirement of submitting to the state auditor a duplicate copy of such bids.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section eleven, article three, chapter five-a of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:

§5A-3-11. Purchasing in open market on competitive bids; bids to be based on standard specifications; period for alteration or withdrawal of bids; awards to lowest responsible bidder; uniform bids; record of bids; and exception.

The director may make a purchase of commodities, printing, and services of ten thousand dollars or less in amount in the open market, but such purchase shall, wherever possible, be based on at least three competitive bids.
The director may authorize spending units to purchase commodities, printing and services in the amount of one thousand dollars in the open market without competitive bids.
Bids shall be based on the standard specifications promulgated and adopted in accordance with the provisions of section five of this article, and shall not be altered or withdrawn after the appointed hour for the opening of such bids. All open market orders, purchases based on advertised bid requests or contracts made by the director or by a state department shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, taking into consideration the qualities of the articles to be supplied, their conformity with specifications, their suitability to the requirements of the government and the delivery terms: Provided, That state bids on school buses shall be accepted from all bidders who shall then be awarded contracts if they meet the state board's "Minimum Standards for Design and Equipment of School Buses." County boards of education may select from those bidders who have been awarded contracts and shall pay the difference between the state aid formula amount and the actual cost of bus replacement. Any or all bids may be rejected. If all bids received on a pending contract are for the same unit price or total amount, the director shall have authority to reject all bids, and to purchase the required commodities, printing and services in the open market, if the price paid in the open market does not exceed the bid prices.
All bidders submitting bid proposals to the purchasing division are required to submit an extra or duplicate copy to the state auditor.
Both copies The bids must be received at the respective offices prior to the specified date and time of the bid openings. The failure to deliver or the nonreceipt of these bid forms at either of these offices prior to the appointed date and hour are grounds for shall result in rejection of the bids. In the event of any deviation between the copies submitted to the purchasing division and the state auditor, such bids as to which there is such deviation shall be rejected, if the deviation relates to the quantity, quality or specifications of the commodities, printing or services to be furnished or to the price therefor or to the date of delivery or performance. After the award of the order or contract, the director, or someone appointed by him for that purpose, shall indicate upon the successful bid and its copy in the office of the state auditor that it was the successful bid. Thereafter, the copy of each bid in the possession of the director and the state auditor shall be maintained as a public record by both of them by the director, and shall be open to public inspection in the offices of both the director and the state auditor and shall not be destroyed by either of them without the written consent of the legislative auditor: Provided, That the board of regents directors of the state college system and board of trustees of the state university system may certify in writing to the director the need for a specific item essential to a particular usage either for instructional or research purposes at an institution of higher education and the director upon review of such certification may provide for the purchase of said specific items in the open market without competitive bids. If the director permits bids by facsimile transmission machine to be accepted in lieu of sealed bids pursuant to the provisions of section ten of this article, a duplicate facsimile transmission machine bid shall be transmitted to the state auditor director pursuant to this section: Provided, however, That an original bid is received by the state auditor director within two working days following the date specified for bid opening.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to remove the requirement that a duplicate copy of competitive bids on state purchases be sent to the state auditor.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.