(a) Subject to the limitations of this section, the director may permit spending units to procure commodities directly from a preapproved vendor through a master contract direct ordering process if the director determines the process is fair, economical and in the best interests of the state.
(b) Definitions. -- For purposes of this section:
(1) "Information technology" means hardware and software related to electronic processing, and storage, retrieval, transmittal and manipulation of data.
(2) "Master contract" means an agreement, having a term of no more than one year, between the Purchasing Division and at least two preapproved vendors authorizing a spending unit to purchase a commodity directly and on a recurrent basis through the direct ordering process.
(3) "Preapproved vendor" means a "vendor", as that term is defined in section one, article one, chapter five-a of this code, that has entered into a master contract with the Purchasing Division and may participate in the direct ordering process subject to the terms and conditions of the master contract.
(4) "Direct ordering process" means the competitive bidding process whereby the preapproved vendors that are parties to a master contract may submit sealed bids directly to spending units to provide a commodity identified in the master contract subject to the limitations set forth in this section.
(c) Master contract procedures. --
(1) For each master contract, the director shall set forth the requirements, technical or otherwise, under which a vendor may be qualified to supply a commodity through the direct ordering process. For each master contract, the director shall follow the notice and advertising requirements set forth in section ten, article three, chapter five-a of this code.
(2) A master contract may authorize the direct ordering process for only one type of commodity.
(3) A vendor may submit information to the director to establish that it meets the requirements set forth in the master contract.
(4) If the director determines that a vendor meets the requirements set forth in the master contract, the vendor may enter into the master contract as a preapproved vendor.
(d) Direct ordering procedures. --
(1) A spending unit may commence the direct ordering process by issuing a request for a commodity identified in the master contract, stating in the request the quantity of the commodity to be procured in that particular instance.
(2) The preapproved vendor that submits the lowest bid in response to the request shall be awarded the procurement in that particular instance.
(3) The direct ordering process may not be utilized for any request for commodities, other than information technology, anticipated to cost more than $50,000, unless approved in writing by the Director of Purchasing. The state may not issue a series of orders each anticipated to cost less than $50,000 to circumvent the monetary limitation in this subsection.
(4) The direct ordering process may not be utilized for any request for information technology anticipated to cost more than $1 million, unless approved in writing by the Director of Purchasing. The state may not issue a series of orders each anticipated to cost less than $1 million to circumvent the monetary limitation in this subsection.
(e) Rule-making authority. -- The Director of the Purchasing Division shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement this section, including but not limited to provisions to establish procedures for the solicitation and authorization of master contracts, preapproval of vendors and implementation of direct ordering.