Public Property and Works

State Purchases

SECTION 37-2-70

§ 37-2-70. Professional services – Legal.

(a) Before a state governmental entity procures the services of an attorney, a state agency shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the chief purchasing officer or a public agency shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the directors of the public agency the following:

(1) The need for the services, including the scope of the services to be performed;

(2) That no legal personnel employed by the state on a full-time basis is available to perform those services;

(3) That funding is available, indicating from which sources the funding is to be provided;

(4) That attorneys to be engaged meet the following minimum requirements:

(i) Appropriate professional licensing;

(ii) Competence to perform those services as reflected by formal training and education, general experience, experience in providing the required services, and the qualifications and competence of persons who would be assigned to perform the services; and

(iii) Ability to perform the services as reflected by workload and availability of adequate personnel, equipment, and facilities to perform the services expeditiously.

(b) The attorney shall enter into a letter of engagement with the state. The letter of engagement shall state the rate of compensation, the scope of the services to be performed for the compensation, and provision for the payment of expenses incurred in connection with legal services. The letter of engagement shall certify that the rate of compensation does not exceed the rate of compensation charged by counsel to his or her preferred public or private clients. A letter of engagement shall not be for more than one year.

(c) Nothing herein shall prevent the issuance of a public solicitation of requests for qualifications or the conduct of pricing negotiations prior to contract award. All requests for qualifications shall be solicited through utilization of the Rhode Island vendor information program (RIVIP) as set forth in § 37-2-17.1.

(d) Each state department and each state government entity which procures the services of an attorney who is not an employee of that department or body shall, on or before March 1 of each year, prepare and submit to the director of the department of administration an annual report of outside legal services, which report shall identify and set forth:

(i) The name, firm, affiliation, and address of each attorney or law firm retained by the department or entity during the previous calendar year and/or of each attorney or law firm to whom the department or entity paid any fees or other payments during the previous calendar year;

(ii) The amount of all fees or other payments from public funds made by the department or entity to any such attorney or law firm during the previous calendar year.

(e) The director of the department of administration shall annually compile all annual reports of outside legal services and present them, together with an executive summary thereof, to the governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, and the chairpersons of the senate and house committees on finance, not later than May 1 of each year.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1989, ch. 526, § 2; P.L. 1999, ch. 367, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 422, § 1.)