ISSUE IN BRIEF: State Procurement LawStaff Contact: Ken Pokalsky
The purchase of goods and services by state and local governments in New York represents more than $25 billion in economic activity, and represents a major marketing opportunity for many Business Council members. Therefore, the Business Council has a significant interest in the major 2005 legislative issue related to government procurement - extension of the state procurement law.
Section 163 of the State Finance Law, which is set to expire on June 30, 2005, sets forth basic provisions for state procurement process. Among other things, Section 163:
- establishes basic requirements, standards and procedures for state procurement activities,
- gives authority to the State Procurement Council to develop various policies related to procurement efforts,
- set criteria for so-called "preferred source" contracts,
- establishes provisions for contract bidding, including the use of "best value" bids for certain service contracts, and
- sets discretionary buying thresholds for state agencies.
The Business Council believes that it is essential that the legislature act to extend the procurement statute by the June 30 sunset date. To do otherwise would cause significant disruption in the state's ability to function, and the business communities' ability to engage in this significant market segment. We believe that the current procurement act has served the state - and the business community - reasonably well, and should be extended largely "as is."
In addition, the legislature will be considering a number of other changes to state procurement law, outside of Section 163. These include, but are not limited to, proposals to create centralized bidder/vender registries, expand various purchase preference provisions, increases in discretionary bidding thresholds, incorporation of printing procurement into the general procurement law, and expanded provision to promote the purchase of recycled and re-manufactured goods. The Business Council believes that, while some of these proposals have real merit, their consideration should not be allowed to delay extension of Section 163.