Contract Procurement Committee
February 8, 2012
The 2012 Executive Budget proposes substantial changes to state procurement processes and expands on 2011 local government procurement mandate relief.
Your Feedback Needed!
To represent our members’ interests it would be helpful to have additional feedback on how and whether these changes would impact your company’s ability to do business with New York State agencies. For instance:
- Eliminating the OSC pre-audit contract review on its face would appear to streamline contract processing. However, we question how and with whom would a vendor file a bid protest? Is this a concern?
- Strategic Sourcing and centralizing contracting functions at the Office of General Services is intended to leverage the sheer size of the state’s purchasing pool. How have vendors found the implementation process for strategic sourcing thus far? From a vendor perspective, has the process included sufficient transparency to allow for an open and fair competition? Has your business been able to effectively compete in Phase 1 of strategic sourcing and if so, are there changes you might suggest prior to broadening the scope of strategic sourcing as this budget proposes?
- Centralizing technology procurement responsibilities under OGS is intended to maximize the purchasing power as well as bolster uniform technology standards across state agencies. Will this impact your ability to do business with the State, positively or negatively? Do you have any concerns?
- Do you believe that strategic sourcing and centralized contracting will help or hurt M/WBE participation? Will it have any affect on a prime contractor’s ability to find M/WBE subcontractors? Will it help or hurt M/WBEs from bidding as a prime?
The following is a summary of the changes proposed in the Executive Budget.
Public Protection & General Government Article VII Budget Bill Part L (S. 6255/A. 9055)
Consistent with the strategic sourcing approach initiated by the Governor in 2011, the budget enhances the Commissioner of General Services’ power and authority over state procurements. Changes to state contracting include:
- OGS to be responsible for centralized contracts for services and technologies in addition to commodities. State agencies would be required to purchase off these centralized contracts before attempting their own individual or multi-agency contract; currently, state agencies are only encouraged, not required, to use centralized contracts for services, technologies and telecommunications.
- Contracts established or purchased through OGS centralized contracts, to be exempt from OSC pre-audit review. The comptroller currently has the responsibility to approve contracts that exceed $50,000 or for contracts that exceed $85,000 for OGS contracts.
- Lowest price procurement will include services and best value procurement will include commodities; the procurement method used would be at the discretion of the commissioner. Governor Cuomo recently signed [A.8692 (Heastie)/S.6117 (Ranzenhofer)] a chapter amendment which gives local governments the option to use best value procurement for commodities in addition to services, excluding Article Eight public work projects.
- In order to continue the state’s goal of advancing M/WBE participation in state contracting, additional weight would be given to M/WBE’s in evaluating offers for commodities and services during best value procurements. (In the appropriation bill for Empire State Development Corporation $1.6 million is included to support expenses associated with achieving the Governor’s M/WBE participation goals and to develop a M/WBE monitoring and compliance system.)
- The commissioner will determine and set printing standards and develop a centralized contract for printing work for all state agencies. State agencies would be allowed to procure printing independently of the OGS centralized contract when it does not meet the form, function, and utility required by the individual agency. The threshold for competitive bidding for printing would be raised to $85,000 from $10,000 for the office of general services and would be set at $50,000 for other state agencies and departments.
- State agencies would be permitted to accept electronic bid submissions for all commodity, service and technology contracts and may require electronic submission as the sole method for submitting bids.
- All agency procurements over $50,000 must be reported in the state’s procurement opportunities newsletter which is an increase from the current threshold of $15,000.
- Expands contract opportunities for local municipalities, school districts, not-for-profits and other “authorized users”, as added by paragraph k to section 163 of the state finance law, to include commodities and technologies that these users can use OGS centralized contracts or piggy back off other contracts for purchases over $500,000.
- Redefines “commodity” to include electronic information resources which will permit state purchasing on behalf of academic and library organizations electronic database subscriptions for academic purposes.
Public Protection & General Government Article VII Budget Bill, Part M (S. 6255/A. 9055)
Expands on Chapter 500 of the laws of 2009 to include term appointments for professional, scientific, technical or other expert services to fill vacancies where the expertise required is not available through an appointment from an eligible list. These qualified experts would be exempt from taking a civil service exam, for a not to exceed sixty months and the maximum number of persons in such appointments would not exceed 500 at any one time. The Division of Budget report on the implementation of Chapter 500 appointments can be found here.
ELFA Article VII Budget Bill, Part A (S.6257/A.9057)
Will require school districts to purchase school buses through an OGS established centralized contract to be eligible for reimbursement. Only if a school district would be unable to provide appropriate transportation services with the vehicles offered through the centralized contract would the district be allowed to make an alternative purchase approved by the commissioner.