Title 37
Public Property and Works

Chapter 2
State Purchases

R.I. Gen. Laws § 37-2-54

§ 37-2-54. Chief purchasing officer — Purchases.

(a) The chief purchasing officer, except as otherwise provided by law, shall purchase, or delegate and control the purchase of, the combined requirements of all spending agencies of the state including, but not limited to, interests in real property, contractual services, rentals of all types, supplies, materials, equipment, and services, except that competitive bids may not be required:

(1) For contractual services where no competition exists such as sewage treatment, water, and other public utility services;

(2) When, in the judgment of the department of administration, food, clothing, equipment, supplies, or other materials to be used in laboratory and experimental studies can be purchased otherwise to the best advantage of the state;

(3) When instructional materials are available from only one source;

(4) Where rates are fixed by law or ordinance;

(5) For library books;

(6) For commercial items that are purchased for resale;

(7) For professional, technical, or artistic services;

(8) For all other commodities, equipment, and services which, in the reasonable discretion of the chief purchasing officer, are available from only one source;

(9) For interests in real property.

(10) For works of art for museum and public display;

(11) For published books, maps, periodicals, newspaper or journal subscriptions, and technical pamphlets;

(12) For licenses for use of proprietary or patented systems; and

(13) For services of visiting speakers, professors, performing artists, and expert witnesses.

(b) Nothing in this section shall deprive the chief purchasing officer from negotiating with vendors who maintain a general service administration price agreement with the United States of America or any agency thereof or other governmental entities, provided, however, that no contract executed under this provision shall authorize a price higher than is contained in the contract between the general service administration and the vendor affected.

(c) The department of administration shall have supervision over all purchases by the various spending agencies, except as otherwise provided by law, and shall prescribe rules and regulations to govern purchasing by or for all spending agencies, subject to the approval of the chief purchasing officer; and shall publish a manual of procedures to be distributed to agencies and to be revised upon issuance of amendments to the procedures. No purchase or contract shall be binding on the state or any agency thereof unless approved by the department or made under general regulations which the chief purchasing officer may prescribe.

(d) The chief purchasing officer shall adopt regulations to require agencies to take and maintain inventories of plant and equipment. The department of administration shall conduct periodic physical audits of inventories.

(e) The department of administration shall require all agencies to furnish an estimate of specific needs for supplies, materials, and equipment to be purchased by competitive bidding for the purpose of permitting scheduling of purchasing in large volume. It shall establish and enforce schedules for purchasing supplies, materials, and equipment. In addition, all agencies shall submit to the department of administration, prior to the beginning of each fiscal year, an estimate of all needs for supplies, materials, and equipment during that year which will have to be acquired through competitive bidding.

(f) The director of the department of administration shall have the power: to transfer between departments; to salvage; to exchange; and to condemn supplies and equipment.

(g) Unless the chief purchasing officer deems it is in the best interest of the state to proceed otherwise, all property (including any interest in real property) shall be sold either by invitation of sealed bids or by public auction; provided, however, that the selling price of any interest in real property shall not be less than the appraised value thereof as determined by the department of administration or the department of transportation for the requirements of that department.

(h) Subject to the provisions of this chapter, the chief purchasing officer shall purchase, or otherwise acquire, all real property determined to be needed for state use, upon the approval of the state properties committee as to the determination of need and as to the action of purchase or other acquisition, provided that the amount paid shall not exceed the appraised value as determined by the department of transportation (for such requirements of that department) or value set by eminent domain procedure.

(i) The department of administration shall maintain records of all purchases and sales made under its authority and shall make periodic summary reports of all transactions to the chief purchasing officer, the governor, and the general assembly. The chief purchasing officer shall also report trends in costs and prices, including savings realized through improved practices, to the governor and general assembly.

(j) The chief purchasing officer shall attempt in every practicable way to insure that the state is supplying its real needs at the lowest possible cost. Further, to assure that the lowest possible cost is achieved, the chief purchasing officer may enter into cooperative purchasing agreements with other governmental entities.

History of Section.
P.L. 1989, ch. 526, § 2; P.L. 1999, ch. 367, § 1.