Senate Bill 20
During the legislative session a new senate bill, SB 20, was passed which will modify purchasing and contracting processes for state agencies and the bill became effective September 1st. Some of the new SB 20 requirements that impact purchasing and contracting include the following:
- Conflict of interest and code of ethics training;
- Required posting on a website (Purchasing Office) of all purchase orders;
- Required training for purchasing/contracting personnel;
- New competitive bidding thresholds for DIR and Information Technology Co-Ops; See Senate Bill 20 Purchasing Requirements;
- Restrictions on the ability of state agencies to sign contracts;
- Extension of the retention period for contracts;
- Required contracting guides, need and risk assessments, evaluation criteria for competitive bidding, checklists, and vendor performance reporting;
- Required internal and state audits for compliance verification.
If a state agency does not make a good faith effort to comply with the SB 20 requirements, that agency could lose their purchasing authority. For institutions of higher education, this means that we could lose our ability to purchase under the Texas Education Code Best Value and become subject to more stringent rules, regulations, and potential control of purchasing/contracting functions.
SB 20 Purchasing Requirements
As part of the Texas Tech University System (TTUS), Angelo State is partnering with the other institutions and our general counsel to determine what changes we need to implement in order to become compliant with SB 20. We are developing a contract management guide, assessments, and training tools to help interpret SB 20 requirements. Until these projects are complete, we must demonstrate that we are making a good faith effort to comply with SB 20.
In order to demonstrate this effort, we ask that all departments follow the below guidelines for purchasing and contracting:
- Continue to follow the operating policies relating to purchasing, contracting and payment:
- Contact the Purchasing Office at 325-942-2012 for procuring goods or services over $5,000 so they can assist you with obtaining competitive bids. Procurement of non-technology related goods and services from cooperative purchasing programs is exempt from this requirement.
- Please remember the golden rule of Purchasing: Encumber funds prior to receiving a good or service;
- Do not sign any contract of $5,000 or more without submitting it for approval to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Continue to follow the current process for obtaining information technology quotes through the IT Service Center at 325-942-2911 or email@example.com.
In order to demonstrate a good faith effort for complying with the conflict of interest requirements of SB 20, requisitioners and approvers of online requisitions will need to certify prior to processing a requisition that they do not have a conflict of interest with the vendor. For contracts, all financial managers will need to certify they do not have a conflict of interest with a vendor and that they agree to abide by terms of the contract upon request for financial manager approval.
Once TTUS has completed the SB 20 compliance project, we will notify all departments of the new processes. In the meantime, please follow the above steps to ensure our ability to demonstrate that we are making a good faith effort to comply with SB 20.