SB 256 Modifies provisions relating to county purchases
Sponsor: Schaefer
LR Number: 1337S.01P Fiscal Note: 1337-01
Committee: Jobs, Economic Development and Local Government
Last Action: 4/8/2009 - Hearing Conducted H Local Government Committee Journal Page:
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2009

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Current Bill Summary

SB 256 - Under this act, a county is not required to obtain bids on purchases of $6,000 or less. Currently, such amount is set at $4,500.

Under current law, counties may waive competitive bidding when the County Commission determines that there is only one feasible source for the supply. This act requires counties to post notice on such proposed purchases of over $6,000 and advertise the commission's intent to make such purchase in the newspaper at least ten days in advance. Currently, the commission must post notice for such proposed purchases of at least $3,000 and also advertise in the newspaper for such purchases of at least $5,000.

This act creates the "Political Subdivision Services Bidding Standards Act". Contracts for services by any political subdivision shall be advertised and bids solicited and awarded in compliance with any federal, state, and local law specifically written for such political subdivision. If a political subdivision is not covered by a specific federal, state, or local law, it shall comply with the advertising and bidding requirements outlined in this act when soliciting bids and awarding contracts.

Contracts for services shall be advertised in advance of the acceptance of bids, once per week for four consecutive weeks, with the first ad appearing at least 30 days in advance of the stated deadline for acceptance of bids. For contracts worth over $50,000, bids shall also be advertised by providing information to at least one organization which regularly provides information to contractors providing the service needed. Ads and solicitations must include the submission deadline.

Unless otherwise specified by law, a contract shall be awarded to the lowest qualified responsible bidder. The bidder's qualification shall be determined by his or her education and training. However, the political subdivision may reject the low bidder based on the bidder's failure to provide a performance or payment bond, nonperformance on previous contracts, or other reasons specified as to the bidder's inability to adequately perform the contract. The reason for rejection shall be provided to the bidder within five business days of the rejection.

No contract shall be awarded in violation of certain requirements, including opening bids in advance of the advertising deadline, accepting bids that are unwritten, accepting bids after the advertised deadline, and failing to hold bids confidential. A person submitting a bid, or who would have submitted a bid except for such violations, may seek equitable relief and monetary damages for monetary losses.

Electronic bidding shall be allowed if it meets the standards of confidentiality. Nothing in this act shall require acceptance of a bid which exceeds the amount estimated by the political subdivision for the contract. Nor shall the act prohibit a political subdivision from contracting without bidding if there is an immediate danger to the public; however, the political subdivision shall produce a written public record documenting the need to contract for such services without competitive bidding.

These provisions shall not apply to contract negotiations for architectural, engineering, or land surveying services, as provided under Sections 8.285 to 8.291, RSMo.

This act is similar to SB 1254 (2008) and SB 102 (2009).