“An Act relating to the State Procurement Code; relating to the procurement of supplies, services, professional services, construction services, state fisheries products, state agricultural products, state timber, and state lumber; relating to procurement preferences; relating to procurement by the office of the ombudsman, the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, the Alaska Energy Authority, and other state agencies and public corporations; and providing for an effective date.”
Posted: April 11, 2009 : v26-LS0791\R
Bill Version: CSHB 225(FIN)(CORRECTED)
Status: (S) STA : 2010-03-23
House Bill 225 makes numerous changes to the state's procurement code. Collectively, these changes streamline the procurement code to ensure consistent application of the law, and results in a more understandable, efficient procurement process. These changes are needed to prevent failed procurements and provide modern procurement tools and techniques to the State's workforce.
Streamlining is accomplished in part by simplifying the application of our many preferences, which is currently complex and confusing for our employees and vendors. The bill makes application of the preferences uniform – currently, preferences do not contain the same language so they must be applied differently. The bill eliminates the Alaska Offeror's preference and Employers of people with disabilities preference. The Offeror's preference is only contained in regulations, has no basis in statute, and limits competition for our RFPs. The employers of people with disabilities preference is a seldom used preference that is very difficult for the Division of Vocational rehabilitation to administer. As of today there are only two vendors receiving this preference, both of which are in the business of leasing office space to the state. This bill also eliminates bidder preferences for our office lease procurements and contains an Alaska Veteran preference, which mirrors HB 24.
Another problem we have in state procurement is solved by clarifying the Alaska business license requirements. Under the current law, a high percentage of offers on high dollar, complex projects are rejected on a technicality. The bill also modifies protest procedures to reduce frivolous protests, and affords us greater flexibility to renegotiate contracts.
HB 225 modernizes our Procurement Code and provides tools and techniques to our employees that have proven cost effective in the private sector. For example, the bill allows for electronic receipt of bids, and for successive rounds of negotiations which has been a very successful technique in other states and the private sector. The bill also eliminates the requirement to maintain outdated vendor lists in a time when commerce is moving online.
The dollar threshold for informal or small procurements is also increased, which will simplify many purchases that are now procured via time consuming and more complex formal procurement rules.
It has been many years since our procurement code has been modernized. These changes will position us to become more efficient and cost effective in our purchasing and contracting.
I urge your support on this piece of legislation.