§ 37-2-18.1. Reverse auctions.
(a) Contracts exceeding the amount provided by § 37-2-22 may be awarded by electronic reverse auctions when it is determined in writing by the chief purchasing officer that the state will obtain a better value with this method than with a competitive sealed bid process. Factors to be considered in determining whether electronic reverse auctions shall be utilized shall include:
(1) Whether specifications can be prepared that permit electronic posting of bid solicitations and secure receipt of electronic bids; and
(2) The cost for preparing and executing the auction; and
(3) Whether conditions are such that the commodities or services to be purchased are appropriately competitive.
(b) All reverse auctions shall be conducted electronically using real-time, on-line bidding procedures. These procedures shall include the following:
(1) Participation as a bidder shall be subject to a prequalification process conducted in accordance with the provisions of § 37-2-25.1.
(2) The solicitation shall designate both an opening date and time and a closing date and time. The closing date and time may be dependent on a variable or variables specified in the solicitation. At the opening date and time, the auctioneer shall begin accepting real-time, on-line bids. The solicitation shall remain open until the closing date and time.
(3) Following receipt of the first bid after the opening date and time, all bid prices shall be posted electronically to the internet and updated on a real-time basis. At any time before the closing date and time, a bidder may offer a lower bid than the lowest bid of any bidder, including his own. A bidder's lowest bid shall supersede any prior higher bid offered by that bidder. Bid prices may not be increased at any time after the opening date and time. All bids shall be binding and may not be withdrawn. If a price entered by the bidder is in error, the bidder must correct the bid within the time period and manner specified in the solicitation.
(4) The invitation for bids shall state that the award shall be made on the basis of the lowest responsive bid price.
(c) The contract shall be awarded with reasonable promptness by written notice to the responsive and responsible bidder whose bid is either the lowest bid price, lowest evaluated, or responsive bid price.
(d) Subsequent to the awarding of the contract, all documents pertinent to the awarding of the contract shall be made available and open to the public inspection and retained in the bid file.
(P.L. 2005, ch. 296, § 2.)