02/18/19 -- HB 214 -- Allows certain purchases to be made without getting bids
HB 216, introduced by Representative Curtis Trent (Republican - District 133) was a fairly simple bill. It increases the dollar amount after which a department must seek multiple competitive bids prior to making a purchase. While I generally favor requiring competitive bidding in the government purchasing process, overuse of that procedure can be extremely inefficient and add am onerous amount of paperwork to the process. Especially in areas relating to Information Technology, it is not unusual for there to be only one or two possible vendors who are even capable of supplying the required product. If for example a department needs to update a piece of software, it is exceedingly likely that only the creator of the software they currently use will ever be able to meet the requirements outlined in the request for proposal. So do force the department to seek multiple bids would be a waste of time and resources.
Similarly, when dealing with replacement parts or equipment, having to go through a bidding process would extend the time a malfunctioning piece of equipment is out of service. And finally, due to the lower dollar amounts often involved, it is sometimes difficult to get multiple bids for certain services, as the deal isn't substantial enough to attract multiple companies.
Overall, I think this bill was an acceptable reform to the process, so I voted yes.